On Thursday July 26, Dorset’s most wildlife friendly gardeners were revealed at Castle Gardens in Sherborne during Dorset Wildlife Trust’s annual Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition awards ceremony, sponsored by The Gardens Group.
From a homeless hostel to a sculpture park, this year’s entries saw an unprecedented crop of contenders, featuring all shapes and sizes of gardens including the smallest of courtyards and the most striking of meadows. A new innovation award was also introduced for 2018, to encourage gardeners to share their inventive and environmentally friendly ways of welcoming wildlife into their gardens.
Before the awards were announced, one of Britain’s leading plantsmen, Neil Lucas, inspired the audience with a talk on the relationship between our gardens and the animal life within them. The RHS council member and author of Designing with Grasses dug into his personal experience, uncovering how his naturalistic planting style led him to establish the Knoll Gardens Foundation, supporting sustainable gardening that is welcoming to wildlife.
The Gardens Group managing director Mike Burks explained: “With every new year we see a higher standard of wildlife friendly gardening on display, and it is a great privilege to judge these havens and visit the much-needed corridors being created for the county’s wildlife.
“The fantastic volume and variety of entries we received shows that wildlife friendly gardeners are moving ever more into the mainstream and we were delighted to see the new Innovation Award shining a light on those creative corners of the garden that we can all learn something from! I hope all of the entrants left feeling proud of their efforts and inspired to keep it up.”
Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition award winners 2018
First place: Philippa Forrest from Shaftesbury
Second place: Angela Patterson from Lyme Regis
Third place: Penny Fenwick from Buckland Ripers
Highly commended: Meriel Peain from Weymouth
First place: Anne Smart from Weymouth
Second place: Julian Wardlaw from Piddlehinton
Third place: Marion and Jim Perris from Frome Vauchurch
Highly commended: Brian Baker from Wooland
Highly commended: Sally Lester-Shaw from Blandford Forum
First place: Lyn Parsons from Bournemouth
Second place: Carole Irving from Maiden Newton
Third place: Judith Hooper from Wimborne
Highly commended: Penny Smith from Swanage
Highly commended: Stuart Bexon from Cerne Abbas
Gardens in rented accommodation
First place: Lorraine Bickle from Branksome
Second place: Hannah Marsh from Maiden Newton
Highly commended: Claire Wait from Bournemouth
First place: Monique Gudgeon, Sculpture by the Lakes in Pallington
Second place: Julia Nineham, Prince of Wales School and Pre School in Dorchester
Third place: Jim Gardner, Danecourt Road Community Space in Poole
Michael House in Grosvenor Gardens, Boscombe
Helen Mandy from Beaminster
Jacqui Warder from Puddletown
Hannah Marsh from Maiden Newton
Best New Garden
Kerrie Froude from Sherborne