WIGHT IN BLOOM 2015 AWARDS CEREMONY

WIGHT IN BLOOM COMPETITION RESULTS ANNOUNCED – PRESS RELEASE – 19TH AUGUST 2015

Green-fingered Islanders came together at a ‘red carpet’ style awards ceremony, held at The Botanic Gardens in Ventnor today (Wednesday, August 19th), to find out how their horticultural and floral displays had been judged in this year’s Wight in Bloom campaign.

Managed by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) and co-funded by the DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation), Red Funnel Ferries and a range of sponsors, Wight in Bloom 2015 is being developed as a curtain-raiser to VIOW’s Garden Isle campaign, which will coincide with Visit England’s Year of the Garden 2016.

Wight in Bloom is open to all Island residents and organisations with the aim to make the Island a brighter, greener place to live and visit.

The awards were presented by the celebrity gardener and TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh, who was revealed as Patron of the newly introduced horticultural competition at a “floating garden” launch event held on board Red Funnel’s Red Eagle car ferry in May.

The results come after judges visited Island gardens earlier this summer. Entries were shortlisted for one of the nine awards on offer and judged by a team of volunteers that included Island horticultural businesses, as well as Peggy Jarman, Honorary President of Wight in Bloom.

Winners in each category received gardening vouchers and tools, sponsored by local garden centres and tourism businesses, in recognition for the skill and pride they displayed in their gardens and neighbourhoods.

Ventnor Botanic Gardens were the venue sponsor, while Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare provided gift bags containing beauty products for all of the main winners.  The live music performances were kindly supplied by Classic Isle.  There was also a prize for the overall winner who was presented with a glass trophy, courtesy of The Needles Landmark Attraction.

With more than 100 entrants this year, including small and large front gardens, schools, community groups, towns and villages, the results announced at the prestigious awards ceremony were “blooming” marvellous in each of the nine categories.

WIGHT IN BLOOM 2015 WINNERS

Category 1 – Best Small Front Garden

Sponsored by Care in the Garden, Wootton

1st                                 David Mansfield, Binstead

2nd                                Carol Pryke, Binstead

Highly Commended     Pamela Toms, Northwood

Category 2 – Best Large Front Garden

Sponsored by Thompson Plant & Garden Centre

1st                                Hilary Wellsted, Bembridge

2nd                               Mr & Mrs Denness, Sandown

Highly Commended    Mrs J Hinton, Niton

Category 3 – Best Public House Garden

Sponsored by Medina Garden Centre

1st                                The Buddle Inn, Niton

2nd                               The Dairyman’s Daughter, Arreton

Highly Commended    Vernon Cottage Tearoom, Tavern and Restaurant

Category 4 – Best Accommodation Garden

Sponsored by Busy Bee Garden Centre

1st                                The Havelock

2nd                                Bembridge Coast Hotel

Highly Commended     Heatherleigh Guest House

Category 5 – Best Senior Citizen Complex, Nursing Home, Care Home

Sponsored by Jubilee Garden Centre

1st                                 Chemotherapy Garden, NHS Trust, St Marys Hospital

2nd                                 Knights Court, Ventnor

Highly Commended      The Briars, Sandown

Category 6 – Best Young People Initiative

Sponsored by Honnor & Jeffrey Garden Centre

1st                                  Bembridge C of E Primary

2nd                                 The Children’s House Montessori

Highly Commended      Northwood Primary School

Category 7 – Best Community Floral Project

Sponsored by Ager Farm Nursery

1st                                   Aspire, Trinity Building, Ryde

2nd                                   East Cowes Floating Bridge and Carosal – Care in the Garden, Wootton

Highly Commended        War Memorial Gardens Bembridge – Bembridge Weeders

Category 8 – Best Tourist Attraction Garden – Large  

Sponsored by Forest View Nursery                                

1st                                   Mottistone Gardens – National Trust

2nd       Joint                    Osborne House – English Heritage

2nd       Joint                    Ventnor Botanic Gardens

Best Tourist Attraction Garden – Small 

Sponsored by Forest View Nursery

1st                                     Rylstone Crazy Golf & Tea Gardens 

 2nd                                     The Old Smithy, Godshill

Highly Commended          Model Village, Godshill

Overall Winner             

Sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction

Aspire, Trinity Building, Ryde

Alan Titchmarsh MBE, VMH (Victoria Medal of Honour RHS), said:  “Today it is my pleasure and privilege to present these awards to such worthy winners. You have produced such stunning plant and floral displays which delight so many people on a daily basis.

“All our winners would, I am sure, have put their skills to good use without this competition but, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to publicly reward our green- fingered Islanders and say thank you.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Alan’s involvement played a huge part in the promotion and success of the campaign and has meant that entries increased by more than 30% this year.  This is a stunning result and I would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who made a special effort to make the Island look its best.”

Simon Dabell, Chairman of Visit Isle of Wight, who welcomed guests to the awards ceremony, said: “Each individual garden plays its part in making the Island an even lovelier place, both for people who live here and for visitors.

“This year’s competition is particularly special as Visit Isle of Wight will be continuing to put the Garden Isle landscape at the heart of its marketing message in 2016”.

Kevin George, Chief Executive of Red Funnel, said: “Red Funnel is delighted to be sponsoring Wight in Bloom for a second year. The competition has brought vibrancy and colour to the visitor experience and we would like to congratulate the winners and runners-up as well as thank all those who entered”.