The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and BBC 1 The One Show are announcing the winners of the ‘My Chelsea Garden’ Competition and sharing some of Britain’s best gardens from over 7,600 entrants.
The entries in all four categories – Back Garden, Front Garden, Indoor Garden and Kids’ Corner Garden – showed immense pride in our green spaces – indoors and outdoors - a love of gardening and an appreciation of growing plants more than ever before.
Alex Jones unveiled the Nation’s Best Gardens on BBC 1 The One Show on Friday 22 May.
The Competition judges One Show Presenter Alex Jones, Monty Don, RHS Head of Shows judging, James Alexander Sinclair and Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, had a tough time selecting the final overall winners due to the amazing gardens the nation have been nurturing during these times.
All judges were moved by so many stories saying how people’s gardens, both indoors and outdoors, have been helping them more than ever and providing a place to escape, with gardening being a helpful welcome distraction during lockdown.
Back Garden Winner
Name of Entrant: Terry Winters from Salisbury
Terry said: “I'm lucky to have a garden, many don't. I am even luckier in that I have created my garden from what was a blank canvas back in 2011. It is a personal space, one to escape life's pressures and experience the changing seasons. It connects me to nature and allows me to be creative and keep fit without the need of a gym. It's a shared space as my wife also is a keen gardener. And it's a productive space as we grow our own fruit and veg. Most of all it's a special place - to me anyway.”
Sue Biggs said: “What the garden meant to Terry was an example of so many people who are looking for an escape from life's pressures at this this difficult time. He talks about the garden as a shared space with his wife, as an escape from those pressures, and to me that was lovely.”
Alex Jones said: "It is beautiful"
Indoor Garden (Houseplants, window sills, balconies etc.) Winner
Name of entrant: Corinne Tokley-Packer from Tilbury
Corinne said: “I am a 36 year old wife and mother of two, I live in a normal end of terrace 3 bedroom house with my family and many animals, including our four dogs.
“My houseplants are helping me tremendously at the moment, unfortunately I have an incurable auto immune disease scleroderm/MCTD so I am currently on the high risk shielded list. My plants are therapy for me. My plants proved a peaceful and tranquil environment, they keep me occupied I am constantly taking cuttings, I love watching them grow and I’m constantly learning.
“I have always owned houseplants but my collection grew around five years ago, I was very poorly and was suffering with constant infection that left me housebound, I really missed the garden so we brought the outside in.
“I have around 150 houseplants at the moment I love each one and some have been named, Fernando the fern for example.”
Monty Don said: "She has made the most of the space and the situation she’s in, and it showed real enthusiasm and exuberance.”
James Alexander-Sinclair said: “I love how she uses every possible surface. There's things on the floor, things on tables, there's plants going up, and things hanging down. It’s incredible.”
Kids Corner Garden - Winner
Name of entrant: Clare Shepherd (and Henry Shepherd!) from Barnsley
Henry said: “My name is Henry Shepherd, I am 7 years old and this is my garden, I designed it so I could walk through it and also sit down and look at the garden around me.
“I made bug houses with my grandad last year and I have built more bug houses using bits of sticks and old drain pipe I found. I wanted to make a tiny pond for visiting animals, I also have a bowl with water in for our hedgehog that visits the garden.”
Monty Don said: “It was an utterly charming picture and an utterly charming story. And as you know I am a sucker for charm.”
Alex Jones said: "Henry is absolutely adorable and the garden has so many elements to it. For younger viewers watching, I think Henry is a real inspiration. It's exactly where I'd like to see my son at seven years old."
James Alexander-Sinclair said: "It's got everything you could possible want in a kid’s garden. It's got the lot. Good for Henry."
Front Garden – Winner
Name of entrant: Rosemary Fletcher from Dunstable
Rosemary said: “Keeps me busy- weeding, Watering, sweeping, propping up, feeding, cutting, shaping, keeps me fitter than I would otherwise be. Lovely to look out on from the front windows and always a source of conversation with passersby who look in at the gate. Attracts birds, bees and all sorts. It is a welcoming space for all who come through the gate as well as a private place to be quiet and still.”
Alex Jones said: “"To look at Rosemary's garden it's is beautiful. You can see how much care she's taken on every aspect. It's lovely. I just love it."
Sue Biggs said: “When someone loves their garden, these winning entrants show how wonderful the results can be. From Rosemary’s exuberant use of plants making a lush green formal front garden and Terry’s ground cover dotted with simple elegant clipped shrubs, to the charm and delights of Clare and Henry’s Kids’ Corner and Corinne’s brilliant example of bringing the benefits of outdoor gardening inside, all the winners should feel so proud of what they have achieved at home.
“I have loved looking at people’s ‘Chelsea gardens’ and reading how gardening and growing plants has been helping people in these times has been incredibly moving too.”
Each winner from each category will receive 4 tickets for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021* and will be sent a special RHS Award commending their Garden.