‘Mindful gardening’ and wellbeing to the fore
I was lucky enough to be invited to the Garden Media Guild Awards lunch last week (November 23) – the so-called ‘gardening Oscars’ at the Savoy. A great day was had by all, meeting some lovely people (special thanks to my hosts at Mr. Fothergill’s, Mandy from www.thechattygardener.com and Margaret from www.thymus.garden) and I might even enter next year…
The Garden Media Guild Awards is one of the biggest events of the horticultural calendar – great to see the concept of ‘mindful gardening’ coming to the fore – getting out and growing to improve mental health and wellbeing.
Balancing our hi-tech working lives with the down-to-earth benefits of growing your own, adopting organic techniques, and rediscovering a love for cacti and succulents were key topics covered by winners.
This year’s winners include News Journalist of the Year Nick Triggle for a piece in Gardeners’ World magazine ‘Can gardening save the NHS?’; Stephanie Mahon, who won the Environmental Award, for features on garden design for wellbeing and sustainability and Practical Book of the Year which was awarded to No Dig Organic Home & Garden by Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty.
Columnist of the Year Katherine Swift for Last Word in The English Garden who wrote that gardening “…links all the selves you are and all the selves you have been. It links past and future, man and nature, wild and cultivated. It brings out the best in all of us”.
Shortlisted blogger Michelle Hurford, thebohemianraspberry.com, was praised for her personal reflection on the benefits of gardening for mental health and well-being.
Journalist Veronica Peerless was shortlisted for Reference Book of the Year for How Not to Kill Your Houseplant and Jane Perrone for Radio Broadcast of the Year for her podcast On the Ledge which judges said had “… good focus on a potentially new audience of houseplant owners”.
Clare Foggett, chair of the Garden Media Guild, said: “That so many of this year’s winning entries document the benefits gardening has for our health and wellbeing, or appeal to people discovering the joy of gardening for the first time, shows that our winners are adept at turning the mood of the moment into high-quality content that makes people want to get out and garden.
“Gardening is good for you, and it’s fantastic that this year’s Garden Media Guild Awards reflect that.”
The Peter Seabrook Practical Book of the Year Award (sponsor The Garden Press Event): Charles Dowding & Stephanie Hafferty, No Dig Organic Home & Garden.
Reference Book of the Year: Aljos Farjon, Ancient Oaks.
Inspirational Book of the Year (sponsor Westland Horticulture): Ambra Edwards, Head Gardeners.
Garden Publication of the Year (sponsor Bosch Home and Garden): Clare Foggett, The English Garden.
The Dr. David Hessayon Garden Columnist of the Year Award (sponsor Cobra Garden): Katherine Swift, Last Word for The English Garden.
Practical Journalist of the Year (sponsor Thompson & Morgan): Alan Titchmarsh, Gardeners’ World.
News Journalist of the Year (sponsor Briggs & Stratton): Nick Triggle, Gardeners’ World.
Journalist of the Year (sponsor Stihl): Matthew Appleby, Horticulture Week.
The Gordon Rae Photographer of the Year Award: Clive Nichols.
Features Photographer of the Year: Kevin Mackintosh, Rakes Progress.
Book Photographer of the Year: Marcus Harpur, Secret Gardens of East Anglia.
Broadcasting and new media awards
The Roy Lancaster Television Broadcast of the Year (sponsor The HTA): Paolo Proto, Gardeners’ World.
Radio Broadcast of the Year: Marian Foster, BBC Radio Newcastle’s Garden Mania.
Environmental Award: Stephanie Mahon.
The Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award (sponsor Hayloft Plants): Charlotte Petts, Growing Wild on Radio Reverb.
Blog of the Year (sponsor Mr. Fothergill’s): Jack Wallington, jackwallington.com.
Website of the Year: Daniel Haynes, gardenersworld.com.
New Media (sponsor Honda): George Williams, Smart Plant app.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Jackson.