The third ‘Gardening Against The Odds’ awards are now open for entries and nominations, celebrating those who create beauty in the face of physical or psychological difficulties, or an inhospitable environment. The awards, organised by the Conservation Foundation, are in memory of gardening writer Elspeth Thompson, who died in 2010.
The awards are open to individual gardeners as well as groups all over the UK. You can enter yourself or nominate someone you know. The judges aren’t looking for show-garden perfection, instead this is more a recognition of ordinary gardens created in extraordinary circumstances, of a garden that gives joy and inspiration to the owner or community.
Three winners will be chosen from 12 UK regions. These will then be judged by a distinguished panel of gardeners and environmentalists* to choose one winner, two runners-up and nine highly commended entries.
Last year’s winners were the gardeners of Sherbourne allotments, members of the Southend branch of the Huntington’s Disease Association. The gardeners, who are HD sufferers and their carers, managed to transform a weedy piece of wasteland into a haven of tranquillity, finding companionship and delight along the way.
To enter this year’s awards, visit the Conservation Foundation website and click on the Awards tab:
The closing date for entries is 17 September. Winners will be announced in October.
*Judging panel includes
David Bellamy – botanist and co-founder of The Conservation Foundation
David Shreeve – co-founder of The Conservation Foundation
Frank Wilson – Elspeth Thompson’s husband
Craig Sams – Green & Black’s founder
Christopher Woodward – Garden Museum director
Susan Hampshire – actress and president of the Foundation’s Friends
The Duchess of Northumberland
Bunny Guinness – gardening writer
Francine Raymond – gardening columnist
Richard Reynolds – guerrilla gardener
Anne Cuthbertson – editor of Life (The Sunday Telegraph)
Tim Richardson – Chelsea Fringe director
Annie Maw – a 2010 award winner who found strength in gardening after she broke her back and was confined to a wheelchair.