You can now find the 2023 student gardener of the year in Turku. Oliver Ahnlund won the Student Gardeners 2023 competition offered by the student housing organisations. This was the second year for the competition with the target of discovering the finest plantings by the student apartments’ residents.
University teacher of landscape architecture, Aada Taipale, acted as a judge for the competition and she was especially convinced by the balcony garden’s verticality aspect.
“The balcony space has been used versatilely and the vegetation is layered. There were a variety of plant species: useful plants, but also more common house plants, which were perhaps brought outside for the summer to air out,” describes Taipale.
For the competition winner, growing plants is an important hobby.
“Working with plants is therapeutic and calming. Plants themselves bring me joy, but growing and caring for them gives everything an even deeper meaning. Caring for them from seed is long-term, educational, and rewarding,” says Ahnlund.
For Ahnlund, it has been nice to watch the plants grow and taste home-grown tomatoes right there on the balcony.
“I like plants and I intend to continue this as my hobby. I recommend the pastime of gardening and planting to every student who has the opportunity! I thank my mother for all the plant care tips and tricks I received.”
Taipale praises the competition’s versatile offering.
“The competition was very wide-ranging. Gardening varied from planter boxes and yards to balconies and light-filled, indoor spaces at home. A lot of vegetables and useful plants were grown, but it was also a pleasure to see flowering plants among them – this is also a pollinator-friendly act,” Taipale praises.
The competition showed that great plantings can be achieved in many sorts of student homes.
“It was also great to see that people can grow many useful plants indoors – not everyone has a balcony.”
About the competition
The Student Gardeners competition, which presented the finest cultivations by student apartment residents, was now organised for the second time. The winner of the 2022 competition was from Lappeenranta. Total of 45 “green thumbs” from Vaasa, Lappeenranta, Jyväskylä, Turku, and the metropolitan area took part in the competition on Instagram. The winner will receive a 200-euro gift card to a gardening store. In addition to the winner of the national competition, the student housing organisations awarded local winners.
In Turku TYS´ expert jury fell in love with this atmospheric yard of Student Village West, where you could find both decorative and eatable plants. The winner will receive a gift card worth 99 euros to Viherlassila.