Gardens of the Year 2018 winners all open for the National Garden Scheme
All three winners – as well as two of the finalists – from the coveted BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine’s Garden of the Year 2018 competition, open for the National Garden Scheme to raise vital funds for nursing and health charities, and will be available to visit in 2019.
The competition, which determines the best private gardens in the UK, received 493 entrants and 11 finalists were first judged by the magazine’s expert panel – consisting of Alan Titchmarsh, Diarmuid Gavin and Kate Gould. The Judge’s Choice panel chose one winning and two highly commended gardens.
Wayne Amiel’s garden in Clapham, London is the Judge’s Choice overall winner – and he has been opening his garden for the National Garden Scheme since 2012. His garden has been cultivated over eight years from a site full of builders’ rubble to a Jamaican paradise, and all on a shoe-string budget by rescuing plants and growing from seed. Wayne’s north facing plot shows what can be achieved in a relatively small space (8m x 20m) and is gardening as its most exuberant – with bananas, bamboos, tree ferns and fire bright plants. Wayne’s first prize is a holiday to Japan for two worth £5,000, courtesy of Flight Centre – and will be opening his garden for charity once again in July 2019.
The judges also gave a Highly Commended award to Tim Richardson who owns Lindfield Jungle, and John Tordoff who owns 38 Norfolk Terrace Garden – and both will also be opening for the National Garden Scheme in 2019.
Tim’s garden in East Sussex was once a boring back garden laid to lawn, but it has been transformed into a jungle hideaway over the last 19 years. First open for the National Garden Scheme this year, visitors can wander from the planter’s terrace and enjoy the winding path through lillies, cannas, ginger and bamboo, through to the tranquil sundowner’s deck over hidden pools. Tim has won a holiday to Singapore for two worth £2,500, courtesy of Flight Centre – and will be opening his garden in both June and August in 2019.
John Tordoff’s garden in Cambridgeshire, which has been open for the National Garden Scheme since 2013, was one a derelict yard – but is now a small, paved courtyard garden in a Moroccan style, which boasts masses of colour in raised beds and pots. John’s theatrical, home-made arch transforms the space and along with the tiled floor, creates a dramatic backdrop to the colourful planting. John has won a holiday to Tuscany for two worth £2,500, courtesy of Flight Centre – and will be opening his garden in July 2019.
In addition to the three winners, two of the competition’s shortlisted gardens also open for the National Garden Scheme. Su Mill’s half-acre garden, Stoneleigh Down in Bristol, has an S-shaped lawn and caught the judge’s attention with its thoughtful planting.
Robert Bailey-Scott’s 1.5 acre Lincolnshire garden was described as an ‘amazing achievement’ by the judging panel as he and his wife have no regular gardening help, with the enourmous heraceous border and wildflower meadow being particular highlights.
George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, said: “We would like to say a huge congratulations to the three winners and all those shortlisted gardens for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine’s Garden of the Year 2018. It’s a fantastic achievement to receive this prestigious accolade, and we’re extremely proud to say that five of these brilliant gardens are part of the National Garden Scheme, and help to raise vital funds for the charities we support.
“And the great thing is – Wayne, Tim, John, Su and Robert have confirmed that our visitors can continue enjoying these award-winning gardens in 2019, as they are opening again next year. All 2019 National Garden Scheme openings will be available via Find a garden later in the year, so do check back to get the dates in your diary for next Summer.”