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winners 2012

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Practical Book of the Year

Kenneth Cox & Caroline Beaton
Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland
Judges’ comments
A practical book with personality, Fruit & Vegetables for Scotland is meticulously researched and impressively informative. It fills a long-empty gap for Scottish gardeners coping with weather conditions that are vastly different to the rest of the UK. But even if you’re not north of the border, the comprehensive growing advice is applicable to all. This is an engaging and enjoyable read that you will return to time and time again.
Lucy Halsall RHS Step-by-Step Veg Patch
John Walker How to Create an Eco Garden
Tom Moggach The Urban Kitchen Gardener
Charles Chesshire Japanese Garden Design: Traditions and Techniques

Reference Book of the Year

Charles Nelson
Hardy Heathers from the Northern Hemisphere
Judges’ comments
Given the vast library of horticultural reference works, it is an almighty challenge to produce one that adds something new while remaining accessible and yet attractive to handle and read. The winner stood out as indisputably important in covering a group of plants that are much loved by gardeners, whilst being an authoritative work of reference that will maintain its relevance for years to come.
Aris Auders & Derek Spicer RHS Encyclopedia of Conifers
Sarah Raven Wild Flowers
Jim Gardiner Encyclopedia of Flowering Shrubs
Alistair Hay, Monika Gottschalk & Adolfo Holguin Huanduj Brugmansia

Inspirational Book of the Year

Kim Wilkie
Led by the Land
Judges’ comments
All the shortlisted books were inspirational and original in their own way. But Kim Wilkie’s Led by the Land stood out because of the uniformly high quality of both the writing and photographs, together with the breadth and appeal of the subject matter. This is an important and insightful book from one of the most talented and visionary of contemporary British landscape gardeners.
Daniel Chamovitz What a Plant Knows
Abigail Willis The London Garden Book A-Z
Louise Jones Mediterranean Landscape Design
Jennifer Potter The Rose

Garden Publication of the Year

The Garden
Judges’ comments
Despite the gloomy outlook for the UK economy and the particularly testing times for print media, gardeners of all interests are still well served by a variety of excellent publications. After deep deliberation the judges decided to give the award to ‘The Garden’, a publication that has been reinvigorated over the past year to provide increased appeal to a broader audience.
Gardeners’ World Magazine
Garden News
Gardens Illustrated
Which? Gardening

The Dr David Hessayon Garden Columnist of the Year Award

Frank Ronan
The Writer’s Plot – Gardens Illustrated
Judges’ comments
This category attracted a wide entry, in a range of styles, and from many different publications. The judges admired Carol Klein’s zestful Garden News column, Jane Moore’s informative Head Gardener’s Diary, and the no-nonsense good humour of Helen Yemm’s Thorny Problems. In the end, however, the prize went to Frank Ronan’s beautifully written column, The Writer’s Plot, for Gardens Illustrated. Thought-provoking, subtle and inspirational, it is a worthy winner.
Andrew Jackson Wakehurst View – Kew Magazine
Carol Klein Carol Klein – Garden News
Jane Moore Head Gardener’s Diary – Kitchen Garden
Helen Yemm Thorny Problems – Telegraph Gardening

News Story of the Year

Marc Rosenberg
Red alert over Monty’s beetle tip – Amateur Gardening
Judges’ comments
In a category that included a range of revealing, challenging and insightful stories, one stood out that encapsulated everything the judges were looking for. The writer showed real journalistic elan in spotting the germ of a story and pursuing it in depth. The resulting article was an excellent piece of investigative journalism, provoking a storm of publicity and making the organic gardening debate into a national news story. It is, without doubt, the worthy winner of 'News Story of the Year’.
Veronica Peerless Are organic slug pellets really safe? – Which? Gardening
Veronica Peerless Buying plants by post – Which? Gardening
Sally Nex Death knell sounds for botany degrees – The Garden
Matthew Appleby B&Q draws criticism for topsoil peat move –  Horticulture Week

Journalist of the Year

Stephanie Mahon
A tour de forcing; Second nature; Something for everyone – The English Garden & The Edible Garden
Judges’ comments
There were two very close contenders in this category, Stephanie Mahon and Ambra Edwards. Both writers displayed real flair and originality as well as impressive levels of knowledge. In the end the decision came down to the fact that the single article the judges enjoyed the most – out of all submissions – was 'A Tour de Forcing', and so Stephanie Mahon is our winner.
Ambra Edwards Viva vita; Different strokes; A Tom Stuart-Smith garden for modern life – Gardens Illustrated
Stephen Anderton Protect your tender stems; Jimmy Hancock obituary: A green and pleasant three decades – The Times
Michael Mosley The truth about fruit and veg; The truth about eating your age; The truth about taste and nutrition – Gardeners’ World Magazine
Ian Hodgson A frond for life; Man on a local mission; Gardening in the rain – Amateur Gardening

Practical Journalist of the Year

Lia Leendertz
Come in from the rain; Waste not want not; Reap what you sow – The Guardian
Judges’ comments
The standard of entries was extraordinarily high in this category, but the outstanding readability of Lia’s work was the decisive factor. She pitches practical gardening content at a good level for her readership, choosing interesting subject matter and presenting it clearly and inventively. The judges loved her use of language and the humour and personality that shine through her work, which is always delivered with flair and sparkle.
Ross Bayton How to grow your own indoor citrus; How to plant for privacy; How to save your own seeds – Gardeners’ World Magazine
Philip Turvil Organic guide to managing tools; Organic guide to guilt-free growing; Organic guide to ordering seeds – Grow Your Own
Anne Swithinbank The vegetable gardener – Grow Your Own
Joe Maiden Tried and tasted beetroot; Tried and tasted planted onion sets; Filling the hungry gap – Kitchen Garden

Trade Journalist of the Year

James Armitage
Land of the giants; Return of the natives; Get to grips with grasses – Garden Design Journal
Judges’ comments
James’s sound horticultural knowledge is underpinned by a chatty writing style that appeals to a wide audience. It also makes his articles a joy to read not only for designers but for anyone in the horticultural trade. As a plant expert, he successfully communicates his expertise and his unquestionable authority gives his readers confidence to broaden their choice and try plants which they may normally not have considered.
Darryl Moore Looking Forward: Ted Smith; Robert Irwin: California light; Sitting on the dock of a bay – Garden Design Journal
Jonathan Tilley Public sector peat target hit by low demand; Poor weather hits garden visitor numbers; Native talent – Horticulture Week
Emma Reuss Looking Back: Elizabeth Banks; Take two; Open air theatre – Garden Design Journal
Matthew Appleby No Joe Swift for BBC coverage; Ash disease hits Britain; Beekeepers stung! EU orders a pollen warning on honey jars – Horticulture Week

Photographer of the Year

Jürgen Becker
Judges’ comments
The overall quality of entries was very high in this category, and all the photographers should be very pleased with their year's achievements. However, the judges unanimously selected Jϋrgen as the winner since all his eight images have the attributes of great garden photography – beautiful light, magnificent composition and a real appreciation of plants and planting.
Derek St Romaine
Clive Nichols
Marianne Majerus
Lynn Keddie

Features Photographer of the Year

Jürgen Becker
Garten Praxis – Hortus
Judges’ comments
All five finalists in this category showed an outstanding sense of composition and a fine appreciation of lighting. With such high standards, the judges’ deliberations were difficult. In the end they decided on a winner whose work was not just breathtaking but moving as well. In the words of the judges, Jϋrgen’s images ‘gave us the sense that we could step into the garden and walk down one of the pathways’.
Lynn Keddie A Study in Ice
Jason Ingram Plants Chosen with Passion – Gardens Illustrated
John Millar The Art of Nature
Isabel Bannerman Secret Life of Plants – Gardens Illustrated

Book Photographer of the Year

Jonathan Buckley
Wild Flowers
Judges’ comments
In this category, the judges felt the finalists’ submissions did not contain a single weak shot among them - testament to the fact that they were dealing with photographers of the highest calibre. But there could only be one winner, and Jonathan Buckley was victorious for his splendid yet sensitive images of flowers and gardens, in books ranging from Life in a Cottage Garden to Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook.
Jürgen Becker My Vision Becomes a Garden
Edward Parker Photographing Trees
Gary Rogers I Dream of a Kitchen Garden
Clive Nichols Mediterranean Landscape Design
Andrea Jones The Garden Source

Garden Programme TV Broadcast of the Year

Gardeners’ World
The Olympic Park, 10 Downing Street and South Bank Roof Garden
Judges’ comments
Although the judges would have liked to see many more entries in this category, they felt the winning programme stood out as a real landmark production. The Gardeners’ World programme broadcast on 27 July was a tremendously rich half hour of great images and excellent presentation, and the judges were particularly impressed by the balance of the programme and the high production values. This was gardening TV at its very best.
The Beechgrove Garden - Programme 3
The Beechgrove Garden - Programme 22
Bees, Butterflies and Blooms
Gardeners’ World TX19

Garden Feature TV Broadcast of the Year

Gardeners’ World
Hot Bed Veg
Judges’ comments
This feature presented by Joe Swift covered a subject of great interest to many viewers who are either growing, or thinking about growing vegetables. The hot bed system is very old, but rarely used nowadays. The feature clearly demonstrated just how easy it is to produce early crops of vegetables on any scale using a hot bed method, with Joe’s informal presenting helping to draw out valuable growing tips from the guest and making this an informative, interesting feature.
Gill Tierney and Paul Barrett Wild Euphorbias – Gardeners’ World
Gill Tierney and Juliet Glaves Millgate House – Gardeners’ World
Gill Tierney and Patty Kraus Army Wives – Gardeners’ World
Gill Tierney and Natalie Barb Joe’s Design: Landscaping – Gardeners’ World

National Radio Broadcast of the Year

James Aldred with Ben Jones
James and the Giant Redwoods
Judges’ comments
James and The Giant Redwoods focused on the fascinating topic of the tallest trees in the world. The judges said the broadcast gripped their attention from its opening seconds and held it right to the end, calling it a ‘beautifully crafted piece of radio’. Highly commended in this category is the Gardeners' Question Time programme from Ashton under Lyne, the original site of the very first programme 65 years ago.
Howard Shannon Gardeners’ Question Time: Ashton under Lyne
Howard Shannon Gardeners’ Question Time: The Olympic Park
Clare Freeman & Charlotte Smith Chelsea Flower Show: Behind the Scenes of the Horticultural Industry – Farming Today
Anne Wareham, in discussion with Jane Garvey and Mary Reynolds Woman’s Hour: The Politics of Gardening

Local Radio Broadcast of the Year

BBC Radio Ulster
Gardeners’ Corner
Judges’ comments
The entry from Radio Ulster ticked all of the judging criteria boxes in an informative, charming and entertaining way. The presenter, Cherrie McIlwaine, is clearly a knowledgeable gardener - as were the specialist guests – and the story about the Bell family’s mission to start a fruit and vegetable garden contained timely and important nuggets of information. The judges particularly commended the programme for encouraging children to get stuck in to fruit and vegetable gardening.
BBC Radio Norfolk The Garden Party
BBC Newcastle Jubilee Garden Mania
BBC Radio Sheffield The Gardening Phone-in
BBC Hereford & Worcester Mike and Reg’s Sunday Gardening

Environmental Award

John Walker
Gardening’s Own Goal –
Judges’ comments
In this category, the judges were looking for a journalist who demonstrated a clear understanding of ecological issues, but who was able to communicate that with a spark. The winner was an exemplar in both these respects, questioning industry assumptions and marketing, and driving his arguments forward with rigour. The judges felt that gardeners who read the piece would be influenced by John’s voice for months and years to come.
Sarah Raven, Andy Vernon & Sarah Moors Bees, Butterflies and Blooms
Bruce Pavlik Piecing Together the Jigsaw – Kew Magazine
Lucy Hall Winter Wildlife Campaign – Gardeners’ World Magazine

The Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award

Rachel Mason Dentinger
The Allure of Dracula
Seeing the Wood for the Trees
Underground Connection
Judges’ comments
The judges were astounded not only by the quality but also the breadth of media in this year’s entries, in which authors, journalists, columnists, bloggers, poets, film-makers and radio presenters were all represented. Rachel stood out for her ability to make scientific content accessible to all, skilfully weaving botanical terminology, enlightening interviews and a wonderful sense of place into her pieces – never dumbing down, and always educating upwards.
Sarah Salway Stories from the Garden
Harry Richards James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution
Debora Robertson Gifts from the Garden
Annie Guilfoyle Front Gardens Guide – Gardens Illustrated

Blog of the Year

The Guardian Gardening Blog
Judges’ comments
There was plenty of stiff competition in this category, and a real mix of approaches. Our winner, the Guardian blog, is current, fast-paced and offers readers a one-stop shop for all their gardening news and musings. The breadth of the blog, which embraces diverse talents from all over the gardening world, means that readers will often stumble across bloggers they may not have looked up, and as a result be introduced to new areas of horticulture.
Louise Curley Welly Woman
Michelle Chapman Veg Plotting
James Alexander-Sinclair Crocus
Kate Bradbury Gardeners’ World blog

Website of the Year

Nicola Gammon
Judges’ comments
This was another closely fought category, with all finalists exhibiting novel approaches to interacting with their audiences. Shoot won the day with its extensive plant database; simple, consistent design; and its compatibility across a wide range of browsers and platforms, including the iPhone and iPad. Also commended by the judges was the website’s fast page load times, lack of technical errors, and speedy responses to members’ queries, making it a worthy winner.
Elspeth Briscoe
Daniel Haynes
Anne Wareham
Peter Laughton

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jekka McVicar

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