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Winners 2020

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Winners 2020

The Garden Media Guild Awards 2020:  Awards Winners

Previous winners: 2019|2018|2017|2016|2015|2014|2013|2012

Many congratulations to all winners

Lifetime Achievement Award 2020

Sponsored by Candide

Awarded to - Anna Pavord


1 The Peter Seabrook Practical Book of the Year 

Sponsored by Garden Press Event


  Winner - Caroline Ball for Heritage Apples

Judges' Comments 

“A breathtakingly beautiful reference book with practical and historic insights into the world of apples and apple growing.”
“A stunning book that tells the stories and history behind scores of different apples, from the well known to the obscure. Well written, deeply researched and underpinned by sound practical advice. The layout is clean, welcoming and attractive, and the structure allows the reader to dip in and out. The use of Victorian apple paintings is a lovely touch.”
“With stunning plates and well-researched content, ‘Heritage Apples’ was an obvious choice for this award. Whether used as a reference source, identification, a casual flick through, or an evening curled up in front of the fire, this book is both addictive and a joy to read. Caroline Ball is a deserved winner.”

2 Garden Book of the Year

Sponsored by Briggs & Stratton



Winner - Michael Holland for I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast


Judges' Comments 

With a wonderful concept and beautiful execution this book is a deserved winner. It is a book that will enthuse all that read it, both young and old. It is a particularly important publication as it will help engender in our younger people a vital interest in our ever-threatened natural world. It will help them appreciate and value plants and the role they play in supporting our everyday lives, while encouraging gardening an active participation in the preservation of our environment.

3 Garden Publication or Garden Section of the Year

Sponsored by Westland Horticulture Ltd

Winner - The Garden


 Judges' Comments

This was a closely-fought contest and we were delighted by the variety and quality of the entries. The judges struggled to narrow it down to five and we would like to highly commend Flora magazine, which just missed out on the shortlist. In the end our winner came out ahead of the pack due to its wealth of authoritative information, the soundness of the writing, the much-improved use of photographs, and its sensitive handling of environmental issues.


4 The Dr David Hessayon Garden Columnist of the Year 

Sponsored by Marshalls



Winner - Alan Titchmarsh

Judges' Comments

Alan came out as a clear winner in this category. He has never been afraid to voice a strong opinion, based on solid experience and delivered in his inimitable and often humorous style, and his entries are topical, original in thought and written in an accomplished and very readable format. He tackles big issues in an engaging way - yes, a bit of the grumpy gardener coming through occasionally perhaps, but he's earned the right to be and knows what he's talking about! All three of the submitted columns are packed with personality, contain original subject matter and are both witty and engaging to the end.

Alan's character is as present in his writing as it is when he's presenting. You can almost hear his voice as you're reading his columns; no bad thing, and an indication of his ability to bring his personality to paper as much as he does in front of a camera. Despite having probably covered every gardening topic under the sun for over 40 years, Alan is still finding things to say that people want to hear - the sign of a consummate pro!


5 Practical Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by Thompson & Morgan


Winner - Lucy Chamberlain


 Judges' Comments 

The standard of entries was uniformly high, with many of the features containing clear, useful advice for both novice and more experienced gardeners. This made it a challenge for the judges to choose a short list of five from the 16 entries, but in the end we picked features which we felt showed real knowledge and understanding of the techniques described, and which were entirely appropriate for their target readership. Our winner is undeniably hands on and their years of experience came across in their column that was packed with personality and practical advice.



6 Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by Johnsons Lawn Seed


Winner - Val Bourne

Judges' Comments

The judges concluded that Val Bourne’s features on designing with late-summer daisies (Sunday Telegraph), cool camassias and May Day vegetable gardening (both Country Life) were thoughtful, highly-informative and engaging, with a breadth and depth of knowledge clearly demonstrated and significant guidance to the reader. She provided broad-brush garden design insight as well as detailed technical advice in a tight, very readable style.

7 The Beth Chatto Environmental Award

Sponsored by Beth Chatto Education Trust



Winner - Jean Vernon

Judges' Comments

A stimulating and varied range of entries covered everything from veganism and peat-free compost to floral foam, invasive plants, mindfulness in the garden and the trend for rewilding. Our winner stood out for her passion, the depth of her knowledge, and the approachable and engaging way she communicated her love for the wonderful world of bees. The judges really felt her entry was written from the heart. The Beth Chatto Environmental Award for 2020 goes to Jean Vernon.


8 The Gordon Rae Photographer of the Year Award

Sponsored by Candide

Winner - Jason Ingram

Judges' Comments

Jason’s portfolio shows impressive diversity and a wonderful understanding of natural light. His skill for composition directs the viewer expertly through each frame, encouraging us to pause in all the right places – soaking up the natural beauty of each garden. He uses height, both in his wider compositions, and his still life study, beautifully. He clearly appreciates how colour can be used as a compositional aid, dictating the way we ‘read’ each picture – splashes of pink lead us up a gravel path, while swathes of blue send us under the trees towards a statue, for example. His photograph of the soil-encrusted hands cradling a harvest of tomatoes is particularly fine – the depth of field is well judged, with the folds of fruit clearly visible at the front, and any potentially distracting marks on the subject’s outfit hidden by soft focus. A beautiful set of pictures.

9 Features Photographer of the Year

Sponsored by Roses UK

Winner - Jason Ingram

Judges' Comments

Jason Ingram is the overall winner, we really enjoyed his skilful use of light and thoughtful compositions in all of the stories, each were quite different, but all expertly and sensitively handled..
The subtle treatment of the Hellebores perfectly reflects the flowers ‘understated...delicacy and grace’ mentioned in the title, the atmospheric compositions illustrate the contemporary and modern in the New Romantic garden, and we liked the lovely relaxed story-telling capturing rich snippets of life in the Woodhill Manor story in particular. We felt inspired and involved in the stories looking at his photography, it is consistently of a very high calibre in all the features entered. 

10 Portfolio Photographer of the Year Award

Sponsored by Field Studies Council Publications

Winner - Nicola Stocken

Judges' Comments

The standard of entries was high but the judges felt that Nicola ‘s portfolio met all the criteria and captures ‘That Hour’ which all photographers know so well, the first light of early morning which is exceptionally magical. Congratulations Nicola.

11 The Roy Lancaster TV Broadcast of the Year Award

Sponsored by The Horticultural Trades Association

Winner - Growing Vines by Penny Meadmore

Judges' Comments

With such an eclectic mix of formats – from short, single subject items to complete one-hour programmes – this category gave the judges something of a quandary to sort through. However, based on the straightforward way that Penny Meadmore got across to viewers the often complex subject of viticulture, we felt that she covered it brilliantly in an interesting, easy-to-follow and succinct way that was full of useful information. 

12 Radio Broadcast or Podcast of the Year

Sponsored by Evergreen Garden Care

Winner - The Organic Gardening Podcast

Judges' Comments

The Organic Gardening Podcast provided everything that the judges were looking for in the medium of sound. A mixture of different, interesting, thought-provoking and well targeted information, advice and lively engaging chat. Despite some issues with sound quality – brought about by contributors working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic – we agreed that it was a worthy winner.

13 The Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award

Sponsored by Hayloft Plants

Winner - Humaira Ikram

Judges' Comments

This category was extremely diverse in medium, audience, content and production values, and so it was challenging to rate all the different entries against each other. In the end, Humaira's likeable friendly manner, lightly-worn knowledge and interesting choice of topics, such as toddler-proof plants, won out. 

14 Blog or Vlog of the Year

Sponsored by Mr Fothergill's

Winner - Katy in the Garden

Judges' Comments

Our choice of winner is Katy in the Garden. Her writing is engaging, fluent, natural and gently thought-provoking. Nothing feels forced or over the top. We loved her piece on gardening as a child – very personal and heartfelt, but speaks to all of us and the photos were so endearing. Her piece on primulas was a lovely mix of garden history, personal memories and present-day experience. What stood out most was the honesty, freshness and relatability (particularly for young gardeners with either a small child, a small plot, or both). Like the writing, the blog’s design is appealing in its simplicity and elegance. And, unlike many blogs, this one is not overtly about raising one’s profile or generating income.

15 Website of the Year

Sponsored by Honda

Winner - Gardens Illustrated

Judges' Comments 

Our impressive shortlist all boasted good content, lively writing and excellent images, with websites that were a delight to navigate. In a closely fought battle, the winning entry stood out for its elegant execution and a welcome dash of innovation.

16 Social Media Influencer of the Year

Sponsored by STIHL

Winner - Michael Perry

Judges' Comments

The judges felt that Michael Perry, known as The Plant Geek, is not only well known and credible within the industry he is also very likeable with a passion for plants and gardens. He attracts a broad spectrum of people across all age groups.
He has very successfully built up a large audience across all sectors of the media, appearing on a multitude of media platforms including slots on Good Morning Britain and a show on QVC. He shows authenticity and engages with his followers and audience, especially when sharing his top tips with his posts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. He also encourages interaction with his followers with quizzes, trends and giveaways.
He actively promotes conversation about all aspects of the industry whether it be for the trade or the consumer and documents his travels from around the world cultivating a community of ‘Plant Geeks’. His followers range from hardcore botany lovers to first time gardeners.
By motivating people to garden indoors and outdoors, he displays authority and has a high visibility making him a great media influencer.

17 Cover of the Year

Sponsored by Cobra Garden Machinery

Winner - The Garden

Judges' Comments

The winner literately jumped up at us and instantly gave us that feel good factor. This humorous cover that was beautifully shot was a departure from the usual style of this publication. Stepping outside the box paid off and the topic the cover was representing was clear as a bell. The result was a memorable, joyful and inspiring image that would appeal to every reader. What a splash it made!

Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution throughout their lifetime to our profession. This award is in the gift of the GMG Committee

The previous winners are:

1993 Peter Seabrook; 1994 Fred Whitsey; 1995 Graham Stuart-Thomas; 1996 Rosemary Verey; 1997 Christopher Lloyd; 1998 Beth Chatto; 1999 Penelope Hobhouse; 2000 Geoff Amos; 2001 Jerry Harpur; 2002 Roy Lancaster; 2003 Joy Larkcom; 2004 Alan Titchmarsh; 2005 Dr David Hessayon; 2006 Geoffrey Smith; 2007 Ken Muir; 2008 Michael Warren
2009 Peter Beales; 2010 Andrew Lawson; 2011 John Brookes & Nigel Colborn; 2012 Jekka McVicar; 2013 Stefan Buczacki; 2014 Christopher Brickell; 2015 Adrian Bloom; 2016 Jim McColl; 2017 Richard Jackson; 2018 Gary Rogers; 2019 Carol Klein; 2020 Anna Pavord

Sponsored by Candide



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