Wight in Bloom 2018 Winners announced

There were a whopping 114 gardens entered into this year’s Wight in Bloom competition – all visited by a panel of volunteer judges during July, scoring the entries for their design, range of plants, colour, presentation, maintenance and creativity.


Simon shares this latest news on behalf of Visit Isle of Wight. Ed

Over 100 guests gathered at the Quay Arts Centre for this year’s awards, celebrating Island horticultural excellence. Wight In Bloom’s Patron, celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh, MBE VMH DL presided over the ceremony, which took place in the Anthony Minghella Theatre.

Supported and managed for the past four years by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) together with event sponsor Red Funnel Ferries, Wight in Bloom is open to all Island residents and organisations with the aim to make the Island a brighter, greener place to live and visit.

A whopping 114 entries
114 gardens were all visited by a panel of volunteer judges during July, scoring the entries for their design, range of plants, colour, presentation, maintenance and creativity. This year a new judging element was introduced “How Green Is Your Garden”, gardens were awarded bonus points for recycling, wildlife friendly habitats and water saving ideas. Given the dry conditions that gardeners had to cope with this summer, water saving was a top priority.

There were some outstanding individual, professional and community entrants, one worthy of mention being Community Kids who had to cope with their gardens being vandalised at Sandown Railway Station, however they persevered and came away as winners of their category.

Lucas Richards (11yrs) sold his play house to buy the materials to create his own garden, raised his own plants from seeds, so he well deserved his Highly Commended Award in his category.

Impossible to choose winner
The toughest task was deciding the overall winner, who received the Peggy Garman Trophy (Founder of Wight In Bloom).

A group of judges visited the best gardens in each category to choose the winner, one judge said,

“Choosing an overall winner from such a variety and quality of entries was nigh on impossible. For this task we engaged our other senses too, looking for the wow factor and the intangible. This garden gave you the feeling of love poured in and definitely the wow factor.”

Winner: “Absolutely gobsmacked”
Sue Cheek was the eventual overall winner for her allotment at Quarry Road in Ryde. Sue said:

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked, I really can’t believe it. It was really hard work, but at the end of the day, it was worth it.”

Sue puts her win down to being green:

“I think I used a lot of recycled things, in fact everything on the allotment is recycled and when you looked at it, you couldn’t see everything, you had to walk around the allotment to see everything.”

Not called the Garden Isle for nothing
Alan Titchmarsh MBE, VMH DL, said:

“I think the fact that we’ve had 114 people entering this competition, it grows year on year. It’s people that remember that the Isle of Wight’s always been called the Garden Isle and who take that to heart and decide that their gardens will help to bolster that reputation. It’s so important, we all know how good we feel, even if we’re not gardeners, going down a street or a road or a lane and seeing a beautiful garden It adds to the pleasures of life it adds to the quality of life and all of these people here, they’re at the top of the game, they’ve done the most to make this island blossom.

“It makes me feel as though my life has been vindicated, I was passionate about growing things from the age of about eight, decided there and then that I wanted to be a gardener for a living and I have done for an awfully long time now, so to see youngsters coming on is just the best thing in the world and you don’t want to force them too much, it’s gentling them along, make sure they enjoy it. Mainly, to start with, just enjoy being outside, they don’t need to know Latin names and all that kind of complicated thing.”

An outstanding year for our visitor numbers
Simon Dabell, Chairman, Visit Isle of Wight, who welcomed guests to the awards ceremony, said:

“In what I feel is going to turn out to be an outstanding year for our visitor numbers, seeing so many different gardens coping with the dry conditions and still coming out on top, is astonishing in itself.

“Everyone who tends their garden is adding to the beauty and our visitors’ experience of the Island, Wight In Bloom gives us the opportunity to recognise this contribution and compete for horticultural excellence.”

George: “All about bringing it to a broader audience”
Kevin George, Chairman, Red Funnel Group, said:

“By sponsoring Wight In Bloom, it helps illustrate the fact that this a beautiful place, it has fantastic flowers, beautiful gardens, so it’s all about bringing that to life and communicating it to a broader audience.”

Winners of Wight in Bloom 2018
Each finalist was awarded a Red Funnel Travel Voucher and a Liz Earle Gift Bag.

Category 1 – Best Small Front Garden
Winner- Susan Midgely, Sandown
Runner Up – John Cavanagh, Ryde
Highly Commended Mr and Mrs David Smallman, Shanklin

Category 2 – Best Large Front Garden
Joint Winners – Steve & Carol Denness ,Sandown and Jo Hardy-Bishop, Shanklin
Highly Commended – Mr F.S.Brett, Binstead

Category 3 – Best Commercial Garden
Joint Winners – Haven Hall, Shanklin and Vernon Cottage, Shanklin
Highly Commended – Bembridge Coast Hotel

Category 4 – Best Senior Citizen Complex
Winner –Knights Court, Ventnor
Runner Up – Mountbatten Hospice, Newport
Highly Commended –The Limes, Bembridge

Category 5 – Young People Initiative
Winner – Wootton Primary School
2nd – Niton Primary School
Highly Commended – Shalfleet Primary School
Highly Commended – Lucas Richards, Nettlestone

Category 6 – Best Community Floral Project
Winner – Community Kids, Sandown Railway Station
Runner Up – Northwood House, Cowes
Highly Commended – Sandown Green Town Volunteers, Pier View Gardens

Category 7 – Best Small Tourist Attraction
Winner – The Walled Garden, Farringford Estate, Freshwater
Runner Up – Rylstone Tea Gardens, Shanklin
Highly Commended – Princess Beatrice Garden, Carisbrooke Castle – English Heritage

Category 8 – Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden
Winner – Mottistone Gardens, National Trust
Runner Up – Robin Hill Country Park
Highly Commended – Ventnor Botantic Garden

Category 9 – Best Creative Use of a Small Space
Winner – Elizabeth Allan, Northwood
Joint Runners Up– Nicola Robinson, Cowes and Graham & Jackie Smith.

Category 10 – Best Water Feature
Winner – Patricia McCree, Binstead
Runner Up – Peter Blow, Newport
Highly Commended – Den Clare, Shanklin

Category 11 – Best Edible Garden
Winner – Sue Cheek, Ryde
Runner Up – Andy and Sue Garner, Seaview
Highly Commended – Pam Toms, Northwood
Overall Winner of The Peggy Jarman Trophy
Sue Cheek, Quarry Road Allotments, Ryde

Friday, 21st September, 2018 6:13pm


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Steve Goodman

Well done winners.

Also worth ‘communicating to a broader audience’; the greedy sponsor’s refusal to ‘bring to life’ their own less than beautiful car park and their preference for needlessly ending the lives of thriving skilled jobs, businesses, and homes with a well-documented land and money grab. OTW links with well-chosen images to follow.