KEEN amateur gardeners in Chester are being given the chance to bring their own fantasy gardens to life – and win £1,000.
Thanks to the Grosvenor Garden Centre, a garden design competition for amateur gardening clubs is being held at this year’s Gardening Show in Llangollen on June 7 and 8.
The garden centre, in Chester, is putting up prizes worth £1,000.
Last year, the show’s own local gardening club at Llangollen was invited to design and build a garden and came up with such an impressive effort that the show organisers decided to make it an annual feature of the event.
The club’s garden caught the eye of the show’s special guest, TV gardening legend Charlie Dimmock, and was even featured in the Garden Answers magazine, the bible of amateur gardening groups in the UK.
Show organiser Stephen Green, Phostrogen’s gardening expert and a former chairman of the Garden Writers’ Guild, said: “Amateur gardening clubs are the cornerstone of the gardening business.
“The enthusiasm and interest of their members and their willingness to learn and to have a go are so vital.
“That’s why we are thrilled that the Grosvenor Garden Centre has stepped in to offer this support for the show.
“Llangollen Gardening Club’s effort last year was so impressive. They hold their own show as part of the Gardening Show and this was an added extra when we found we had some space to offer them.
“But the commitment they showed and the fact they put it all together so quickly was absolutely brilliant and now we just hope that they and other gardening clubs step up again and show what talent and skill is out there among our amateur gardeners.”
Claire Binns, of the Grosvenor Garden Centre, agreed and added: “We’re delighted to support the Gardening Show again and amateur gardening as well.
“They are the lifeblood of gardening and we hope through this competition to provide an outlet for their passion and imagination.”
The Llangollen club certainly plans to be back this year.
Secretary Judie Birchall said: “Our garden was one with a difference! It was created in just five extremely wet and muddy days by four of our lady members.
“We made up in pioneering spirit what we lacked in experience, and quite miraculously, created a shared vision of our dream garden.
“We transported trees, sleepers, mossy stones, slates, stumps of wood, ferns and anything else we could beg, steal or borrow to create our fantasy woodland garden.
“Each night we all went home, wet, filthy and exhausted but even more determined to realise our dream.
“In the meantime, the organiser of the show, Stephen Green, could obviously see what we couldn’t, possibly progress or potential, and asked if we’d actually like to enter into the Show Garden competition.
“Large cream foxgloves and loads of bark and moss later, we hid, just out of sight, three fairies, various dragonflies and a frog – all on holiday from my own garden – to add just a touch of magic.
“Our waterfall, after a few teething problems, meandered down its mossy, slate course into a large plastic crate hidden by variegated hostas. The judges’ verdict – a Silver Medal.”
Judie added that they were flattered that Sam Youd, the head gardener at Tatton Park and one of the judges, revisited the garden several times and Charlie Dimmock was delighted by it and full of praise for them.
To enter the Gardening Show’s competition, e-mail the organisers on email@example.com or call on 01978 890224.