This is a year like no other. As many of us stay at home to protect the NHS and support keyworkers, we have more time to spend tending our gardens, courtyards, driveways, window boxes or balconies than ever before. Even though some supplies are difficult to find during lockdown, our home gardens and green spaces will never have looked so good! As many of the national and local garden competitions have been cancelled, Perennial, the charity for people in horticulture, has stepped up with the largest ever virtual garden competition. The competition will celebrate gardens of all shapes and sizes across the UK and raise funds at a time when Perennial’s services are needed most and usual fundraising methods are not possible. With the support of Suttons and a panel of top gardener judges, the HortAid-20 Gardening Competition is open to anyone.
Perennial President, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, is heading up the judging panel. He says: “During the current crisis the need for Perennial’s help has never been greater. It really is a life-saver for gardeners and all people in horticulture who are in need of support, and our current work is making a vital difference to so many in these life-threatening times. That is why the team at Perennial have set up the HortAid-20 Gardening Competition to help raise funds. With categories to suit everyone whether you have a large garden or small, or even no garden at all please do enter, have a bit of fun and help the men and women who have devoted their lives to making our landscape a better place.”
Alan is joined by a team of the country’s finest gardeners who will judge photographs submitted by individuals until 15 August 2020. The panel includes Rachel de Thame, Ann-Marie Powell, James Wong, Jim Buttress, Jo Whiley, Lee Connelly (The Skinny Jeans Gardener), Lesley Watson and Michael Perry. All category winners will win a certificate personally signed by Alan and Jim and the chance to meet one of the judges.
Anita Bates, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at Perennial, says: “Our HortAid-20 Gardening Competition is open to everyone with categories to suit all ages and abilities. Thanks to Suttons we have a top prize of a hamper of goodies worth £250 up for grabs, plus individual category prizes and the chance to meet one of our fabulous judges – when we’re all allowed out again of course! Each entry costs just £5 with all proceeds helping us provide our essential advice and support to people in horticulture. Go on, have a go, you might just surprise yourself!”
Hilary Cutler, Sales and Marketing Director from Suttons says: “Suttons is delighted to sponsor the HortAid-20 Gardening Competition with Perennial to support their fundraising activities during this challenging time. With everyone spending more time in their gardens than probably ever before we are looking forward to seeing the entries, from all generations and gardens large and small.”
Full entry details for the HortAid-20 Gardening Competition can be found online at: https://perennial.org.uk/home/how-you-can-help/gardening-competition/.
The closing date is 15 August 2020 with photographs invited by email to GardeningCompetition@perennial.org.uk