Steve, Emma and Tony raised a glass in the summer… now they’re celebrating success at the Garden Media Guild Awards.
Challenging how we garden, getting your nature fix and food security – all top trends at the gardening ‘Oscars’ held in London on Thursday, November 29.
No-dig gardening, pocket-sized veg patches, the health benefits of wildlife spaces and what to do with unwanted black plastic pots were just some of the key issues being championed by gardening’s greatest influencers at the Garden Media Guild Awards this week at The Savoy Hotel.
The Garden Media Guild Awards is one of the biggest events of the horticultural calendar, rivalling the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in its significance for those who tweet, write, blog, photograph and broadcast about gardening. The awards, sponsored by Westland, attract entries from the country’s leading gardening trend-watchers and setters.
An explosion in the number of gardening lovers communicating their successes – and failures – across all social platforms has led to a growth in green-fingered, online trendsetters who are sharing their views and advice with an audience of all ages and encouraging them to get out and enjoy the many benefits of gardening, whether they have a window box or a rolling estate!
One of this year’s award winners is Charles Dowding, the ‘no-dig guru’, who promotes the benefits of leaving soil to its own devices via his 97,000 YouTube followers, with very productive results. He was awarded Social Media Influencer of the Year at the awards for his ‘easy-to-learn science tips’ and ‘visuals and images that make you want to leave behind your supermarket bags for life’.
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?”
Other 2018 winners include:
· TV Broadcaster of the Year Paolo Proto of BBC Gardeners’ World for a game-changing feature highlighting the millions of mainly un-recyclable black plastic plant pots thrown away every year, challenging the industry for a solution. As the award judges said: ‘Black plastic plant pots are one of the ignored environmental burdens of our times.’;
· Radio Broadcaster/Podcaster of the Year, and forager and wild food lover, Charlotte Petts of Growing Wild FM for showcasing the down-to-earth health benefits of nature. ‘Even the sounds of walking in woodland in the opening few seconds helped me relax and listen,’ a judge said;
· Blogger of the Year Caro Shrives, who specialises in community and small space food growing, for her Urban Veg Patch blog, and
· 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 who log their growing progress on Twitter and Instagram.
Clare Foggett added: “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.”
The hotly-contested Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award was won by Ben Dark for his Garden Log podcast. Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was garden photographer Gary Rogers, chair of the Professional Garden Photographers Association.
The awards were hosted by Sophie Raworth. Here’s a full list of this year’s winners:
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
The Roy Lancaster TV Broadcast of the Year Award (sponsored by HTA) – Paolo Proto, BBC Gardeners’ World
Radio Broadcast / Podcast of the Year – Charlotte Petts, Growing Wild FM
The Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award (sponsored by Hayloft) – Ben Dark, The Garden Log podcast
Blog of the Year (sponsored by Mr Fothergill’s) – Caro Shrives, The Urban Veg Patch
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