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Garden Media Guild Awards 2018

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Garden Media Guild Awards 2018 with host Sophie Raworth. Picture; Jayne Lloyd
Garden Media Guild Awards 2018 with host Sophie Raworth. Picture; Jayne Lloyd

Gardening’s ‘Oscars’ and key trends for 2019

It was a delight to be invited to yesterday’s Gardening Media Guild Awards to see horticulture’s great, good and not-so-good (me) at the yearly event at The Savoy, hosted by Sophie Raworth.

Key themes to emerge from winners included no-dig gardening, pocket-sized veg patches, the health benefits of wildlife spaces and what to do with unwanted black plastic pots.

An explosion in the number of gardeners communicating across all social platforms has led to a growth in green-fingered, online trendsetters who are sharing their views and advice.

Charles Dowding, the ‘no-dig guru’, has 97,000 YouTube followers and won Social Media Influencer of the Year for his ‘easy-to-learn science tips’ and ‘visuals and images that make you want to leave behind your supermarket bags for life’.

Garden Media Guild Awards 2018 - chair Clare Foggett. Picture; Jayne Lloyd
Garden Media Guild Awards 2018 – chair Clare Foggett. Picture; Jayne Lloyd

Reaction to uncertain times

Clare Foggett, chair of the Garden Media Guild, said: “Growing your own food in whatever space you can is also on the rise – perhaps a subconscious reaction to the uncertain times we live in?

“It’s fantastic that so many of this year’s winning entries highlight the force for good that gardening can be and across such a diverse range of platforms, from social media and blogs to traditional stalwart TV programmes and long-standing print magazines.

“The entire world of gardening media is in a wonderful position to make people aware of gardening’s social, environmental and health benefits, and we have a responsibility to do that too.”

Award winners

The Roy Lancaster TV Broadcaster of the Year (sponsored by HTA): Paolo Proto of BBC Gardeners’ World for a feature highlighting the millions of mainly un-recyclable black plastic plant pots thrown away every year, challenging the industry for a solution.

Radio Broadcaster/Podcaster of the Year: Charlotte Petts of Growing Wild FM for showcasing the down-to-earth health benefits of nature.

Blog of the Year (sponsored by Mr Fothergill’s): Caro Shrives, who specialises in community and small space food growing, for The Urban Veg Patch blog. https://urbanvegpatch.blogspot.com/          

The Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award (sponsored by Hayloft): Ben Dark, The Garden Log podcast.

Garden Publication of the Year: Kitchen Garden magazine for encouraging gardeners of all abilities to grow their own, enticing them to try out more unusual crops like edible flowers and championing bloggers on social media.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Photographer Gary Rogers, chair of the Professional Garden Photographers’ Association.

The Peter Seabrook Practical Book of the Year Award (sponsored by The Garden Press Event): Lucy Bellamy, Brilliant & Wild: A garden from scratch in a year.

Garden Book of the Year (Reference and Inspirational): Cedric Pollet, Winter Gardens – Reinventing the Season.

Garden Publication of the Year (sponsored by Westland): Steve Ott, Kitchen Garden.

Trade Publication of the Year (sponsored by The Landscape Show): Kate Lowe, Horticulture Week.

The Dr David Hessayon Garden Columnist of the Year Award: Val Bourne, Amateur Gardening.

News Journalist of the Year (sponsored by Briggs & Stratton): Ian Hodgson, Garden News.

Practical Journalist of the Year (sponsored by Thompson & Morgan): David Patch, Kitchen Garden.

Journalist of the Year (sponsored by Stihl): Stephanie Mahon, Garden Design Journal.

The Gordon Rae Photographer of the Year Award: Andrea Jones.

Features Photographer of the Year: Richard Bloom.

Website of the Year (sponsored by Honda): Nick Mann, www.HabitatAid.co.uk.

Digital Innovation of the Year (sponsored by Cobra): Simon Hampton, RHS Grow Your Own app.

Social Media Influencer of the Year: Charles Dowding.      

More information at www.gardenmediaguild.co.uk/awards.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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