Britain's bravest gardeners recognised
31 August 2012
The search is on for Britain's most inspirational gardeners as nominations open for this year's Gardening against the Odds Awards, run by environmental charity The Conservation Foundation in association with the Sunday Telegraph.
Now in its third year, the award seeks out groups and individuals who garden in the face of seemingly impossible difficulties, whether in the teeth of inhospitable growing conditions, or while battling physical disability or mental illness such as depression or grief. It was set up in memory of garden writer Elspeth Thompson, who died in 2010 and herself suffered from serious depression.
Last year's winners were Sherborne Allotments in Southend, Essex, where two allotment plots have been transformed from dereliction to a vibrant, productive community growing area by sufferers of the rare genetic condition Huntingtons Disease.
Other awards winners included a garden created by young military veterans in the grounds of the Chelsea Barracks in London; and a community garden created by elderly volunteers from a rubble-strewn yard in Anglesey, north Wales.
Among individuals recognised were Tommy Thompson, who has cerebral palsy and works as a gardener at the Alnwick Garden in Northumberland, and Prescila Bisa, whose colourfully-planted doorstep in central London has drawn many admiring comments and inspired seven of her neighbours to follow suit.
Judges this year include Tim Richardson, director of the Chelsea Fringe, conservationist David Bellamy and garden designer Bunny Guinness. For the first time regional awards are also on offer, with the top three from each area going forward to the final.
Anyone can put forward a relative, friend or neighbour as long as they do so before 17 September 2012. To nominate a gardener or group, visit the awards website.