Gardeners from across the Island are celebrating after being crowned ‘Cream of the Crop’ at The Wight in Bloom Awards 2016.

Sponsored by Red Funnel and managed by Visit Isle of Wight, the Island’s gardening elite gathered at Northwood House in Cowes today (Tuesday, 6th September) for garden tea party-themed ceremony, hosted by Wight in Bloom Patron, Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL, and compared by Visit Isle of Wight Chairman, Simon Dabell.

Wight in Bloom is an annual horticultural competition that is open to all Island residents, with the aim of making the Isle of Wight a brighter, greener place.  The free to enter competition encourages and rewards those who take pride in their environment and make the Island a colourful and vibrant place to live and visit.

Island schools that took part in the competition were invited to attend the event, and exhibit photographs and examples of their work in their gardens this year.  Alan Titchmarsh met with some of the schools and their gardening co-ordinators before the Awards ceremony to talk to the children about their garden projects.

Pupils from The Bay Primary School opened the ceremony with a song that featured the Community Kids.

There were over 100 entrants from across the Island in 11 categories. Wight in Bloom Patron, Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL presented the award certificates and prizes to the winners of each of the categories, a gift bag courtesy of Liz Earle and Quantum™ Pruners from sponsors Fiskars


Wight in Bloom 2016 Winners


Best Small Front Garden

1st                                Rosalind Wyman, Shanklin

2nd                                Linda Ryan, Sandown

Highly Commended         Mervyn Stevens, Shanklin

Young Person Special Achievement Award      Eloise Smith, East Cowes


Best Large Front Garden     

1st                                  Oscar Stretch, Sandown

2nd                                 Hilary Wellsted, Bembridge

Highly Commended          Steve and Carol Denness, Sandown


Best Commercial Garden

1st                                    The Fighting Cocks, Arreton

2nd                                   The Cedars, Wootton

Highly Commended            The Clifton Hotel


Best Senior Citizen Complex

1st                                   Knights Court, Ventnor

Joint 2nd                           Columbus House, Shanklin

Joint 2nd                           Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport


Best Young People Initiative  

1st                                   Cowes Primary School

Joint 2nd                           The Bay Primary School, Sandown

Joint 2nd                           St Georges School, Newport


Best Community Floral Project

1st                                     Shanklin Theatre

2nd                                    East Cowes Town Planting – Care in the Garden

Highly Commended             Yarmouth Town Council


Best Small Tourist Accommodation Garden

1st                                     Godshill Model Village

2nd                                    Rylstone Tea Gardens & Crazy Golf

Highly Commended             The Garlic Farm


Best Large Tourist Accommodation Garden

1st                                     Mottistone Gardens

2nd                                    Ventnor Botanic Gardens

Highly Commended             Osborne House


Best Creative Use of a Small Space

1st                                      Elizabeth Allen

2nd                                     William Donovan

Highly Commended              Amanda Amapola


Best Coastal Garden

1st                                      Villa Amanti, Ventnor

2nd                                     Georgina Higgs, Sandown

Highly Commended              Carlton Deck Tea Gardens, Shanklin


Best Edible Garden

1st                                       Sue Garner, Sandlands Allotments, Seaview

Joint 2nd                               Nick Hewitt, Sandlands Allotments, Seaview

Joint 2nd                               St Georges School, Newport


Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to be the main sponsor for Wight in Bloom for the fourth consecutive year. The competition just gets bigger each year and the standard of the entries is amazing. We would like to congratulate all winners and thank everybody who entered and made Wight in Bloom 2016 such a success.”

The launch event also honoured Peggy Jarman, a long-standing organiser and Honorary President of the competition, who sadly died earlier this year.

In recognition of her hard work to maintain Wight in Bloom’s annual competition, Visit Isle of Wight and Red Funnel have renamed the overall prize as The Peggy Jarman Trophy.  Terry Jarman, the late Peggy Jarman’s son presented the Trophy to Rosalind Wyman, who was the winner of the Best Small Front Garden category – and the overall winner of Wight in Bloom 2016.

David Thornton, CEO, VIOW said: “The success of Wight in Bloom is testament to all the hard work and dedication by Peggy Jarman, who over the years worked with Island communities, businesses and local people to create colourful displays at entrances to villages, around bus shelters, in pub gardens and in residents’ own gardens.

“Peggy has been sadly missed by all who knew her but I know she would have been the first to congratulate all of our worthy winners for their hard work in making the Island a great place to live and visit.

“I would also like to thank Alan Titchmarsh for his continuing support as Patron of Wight in Bloom and for taking time out of his busy schedule to present the awards today”.

Alan Titchmarsh said: “The Isle of Wight really does live up to its title of ‘The Garden Isle’ and this year’s finalists have proved that the island’s gardeners are a skilful bunch of folk who not only appreciate the value of beautiful gardens in enriching our lives and adding to the island’s reputation, but are also happy to prove that fact by their own efforts.

“The Isle of Wight is a place where plants and flowers really do make a difference and it is a real pleasure for me to be involved in recognising those who have added to its beauty in gardens large and small, public and private. Long may they continue to brighten our lives”.