Northwood House in Cowes was once again the venue for the awards ceremony for this year’s Wight in Bloom competition, sponsored by Red Funnel.
From the 131 entries – an increase of 25% – some 30+ gardeners who had entered the competition came together to find out who had taken the top spot in their category and who would be the overall winner to be presented with the Peggy Jarman Trophy.
For the 2017 Wight in Bloom competition there were several entries from school gardens, which was an encouraging development and numbers of general entries across the 11 sections included those in a new category – ‘Best Water Feature’.
Wednesday’s event saw Simon Dabell, Chair of Visit Isle of Wight compering the ceremony. Simon introduced Wight in Bloom’s Patron Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL and Simon’s interaction with Alan, who handed out the prizes, was just as entertaining as in other years when the 2 had worked together at the prize giving.
Alan had arrived fresh from meeting the Countess of Wessex, on her visit to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. Having had an Island home for some 18 years Alan is always keen to promote the Garden Isle on his travels.
Kevin George CEO of Red Funnel said his company would offer continued support to the competition with the gardens across the Island enhancing the visitors’ experiences. Red Funnel’s business was about the Island and they were delighted to support Wight in Bloom. Indeed, later Kevin confirmed his company was committed to long-term sponsorship of the event.
• Best Small Front Garden – Sandy Crump, Newport
Her garden was described as a real joy
• Large Front Garden -Terry Richards, Brighstone
Quintessentially English Garden. He pipped perennial achiever Oscar Stretch from Sandown
• Top Commercial Garden – Haven Hall, Shanklin
Described as stunning by judges
• Senior Citizen Complex– Orchard House Care Centre, Newport
• Young People Initiative – Arreton St. George’s Primary School
This category attracted 11 schools and one solo entrant. This award went to Arreton St George’s with their well-maintained flower beds with excellent colour
• Community Floral Project – Northwood House, Cowes
An outstanding display of challenging plants maintained by dedicated volunteers
• Small Tourist Attraction Garden – Princess Beatrice Garden at Carisbrooke Castle
Consisting of formal and informal plants at the English Heritage-owned property
• Large Tourist Attraction Garden – Osborne House
An absolute delight and a fantastic garden at the English Heritage-owned property
• Creative use of a Small Space – Mrs. Poulton, Whippingham
A mobile home garden of flowers and herbs
• Best Water Feature – Peter Blow
Erected when Peter converted a small boat into a pond
• Best Edible Garden – Pam Toms of Wyatts Lane, Northwood
Pam was the winner with her treat of a vegetable display
• Overall winner of the Peggy Jarman Trophy – Osborne House
Winners in each category received certificates, gardening vouchers and tools, sponsored by local garden centres – Forest View and Honnor & Jeffrey – in recognition of the skill and pride they displayed in their gardens and neighbourhoods. Each category winner also received a goody bag with products from Liz Earle.