2021 Community Garden Competition Winners

It’s that time of year again! We want to thank all of the entrants for joining in and helping make this year’s Community Garden Competition a success. We’ve received so many heart-warming and inspirational entries this year. We deeply appreciate everyone who has shared their local community’s story with us.

So why wait any longer? Keep reading to discover who are our community garden winners!

Snowshill Drive Community Garden

Snowshill Drive Community Garden

In 2019, Andy P. decided that a unused green space just 500m from his front door had potential.

Between donations and personal spends, in 2020 the area has been filled with wildlife-friendly shrubs and flowers. Local businesses donated a lawn mover, a recycled plastic park bench, and a local letting agent donated towards the creation of a rose garden.

Elderly folk who are unable to tend a garden, and people who suffer mental illness have become regular visitors to the garden. Now, the space is a tranquil, relaxing space for the community. Families also use the garden for picnics in the warmer months, and local workers use the space as a lunchtime retreat.

Andy wants to use the prize to help with his next project; creating a shrub border alongside the footpath.

Tadcaster Garden, North Yorkshire

Tadcaster Garden, North Yorkshire

Since 2016, Tadcrafters CIC in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire has supported a range of charities and causes. From promoting craft skills, enabling people to learn new skills and developing social networks in and around the town. 

In 2020, a neglected garden (originally a 17th Century Quaker burial ground) was taken on by the local community. This formed a new gardening group, bringing together existing and aspiring gardeners of all ages to restore the garden. The aims of the project is to create a welcoming, wildlife-friendly space for everyone to enjoy. As well as providing a place to meet, sit, chat, garden and appreciate the surroundings. 

Whilst the project has the support of both the town and district councils, they have no funding resources in place. Therefore, a donation of plants and bulbs would be a very welcome boost to the plans to create a beautiful community garden. 

Gretton Court Sensory Garden, Melton Mowbray

Opening Day – Gretton Court Sensory Garden, Melton Mowbray

Gretton Court is an extra care facility in Melton Mowbray, Leicester. Provided by Leicestershire County and Melton Borough Councils, the facility allows elderly and disabled residents to live independently in a safe environment with the extra support they need.

In 2017 and after 5 years of fundraising, The Friends of Gretton Court (a volunteer group) opened a sensory garden for the use of Gretton Court residents, their families and the wider local community. The garden provides a safe environment to meet and enjoy the outside in a varied garden. Designed to be friendly for the sight impaired and wheelchair users, the sounds, smells and beautiful sights in the garden have helped to stimulate memories and wellbeing, Past residents are also displayed as memory leaves on the feature stainless steel Memory Tree. During the pandemic, the garden has allowed people to meet outside safely.

The volunteer group hope that winning one of our prizes will help continue and extend the objective of the garden by displaying plants and shrubs on as wide a season as possible.

Check out some of our other blogs:

Our Top 10 Easy Gardening Secrets

If you’re new to gardening, it might feel like there’s so much to learn and so little time to learn it in. This is completely normal, as there are so many different plants and flowers that require individual attention and care.

We have pulled together a list of 10 secrets you should know before getting started for an easy gardening process.

  1. Perennials require your patience
    Perennial plants are a gardeners bread and butter. However, they can take 2-3 years to grow to their full height and potential. This is completely normal, but something to bear in mind when planning your seasonal displays.

  2. Pick a Season
    Before starting your gardening journey, decide on a specific flowering season before buying plants and flowers. It’s best to learn the basics in one season at a time, rather than trying to master them all at once.

  3. Know Your Hardiness Zone
    Wherever your live, you will have a hardiness zone. This tells you which plants will survive different weather conditions in your area. For example, you might struggle to find winter flowers that thrive in your garden if you often experience particularly harsh weather.

  4. Dead Heading Flowers Promotes Healthy Growth
    If you’re new to gardening, dead heading healthy buds might seem ridiculous, but there is method to the madness. Many flowers will fade before their season has ended, leaving your display feeling sad and dejected. Deadheading your flowers will encourage the bulb to continuously provide new flowers to keep your display looking fresher for longer.

  5. Understand Your Plants Needs
    Specifically, how much sunlight does your plant need? Failure to plan will decrease your plants chance of survival throughout the season. Make sure you know where to grow each plant and how much sunlight it will need to grow properly.

6. Make Your Own Mulch and Compost
Natural compost and mulch will do your plants more good than chemical fertilizers. Going DIY on your plants will also help the environment, reducing your carbon footprint where it matters. Read our blog on how to create a sustainable garden for more information on DIY compost.

7. Spring Flowering Bulbs
By general rule of thumb, plant your hardy spring-flowering bulbs in autumn before the first frosts. Cover with mulch to keep warm and protect against the harsh winter weather.

8. Know Your Soils Quality
If you’ve recently started gardening or have just moved into a new home, you may not know if your soil is plant ready. The best soil is well-drained, filled with natural amendments such as organic compost and manure. It should accept water easily, and only use fertilizer if you know it’s organic.

9. Water Your Plants Correctly
Many online sources might tell you to water your plants regularly, especially throughout summer. However, it’s usually best to give your ground plants a deep watering once a week to make sure the water reaches the root. Regular light watering only dampens the top of the soil and doesn’t actually reach the root.

10. Be In Control of Your Weeds
Weeds are a gardeners worst nightmare. By their nature, they are annoying and stubborn, and it can be easy to grab a toxic weeding solution to get rid of the problem quickly. However, the most effective way to weed your garden is by hand or by hoe. Take your time to ensure the entire weed is out of the ground.

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