Lockdown has seen one million new gardeners picking up a trowel for the first time, suppliers selling out of compost and veggie seeds, and novice gardeners seeking more expert advice than ever from the gardening media. Sales of gardening magazines have boomed during lockdown, with BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine reporting its most successful year in 29 years of publishing.
So, this year’s horticultural ‘Oscars’, the Garden Media Guild Awards, had much to celebrate last night (Thursday 26 November).
Despite being displaced from its usual venue at the Savoy and moving online, the awards, now in their 29th year, have been celebrating the very best gardening writers, authors, bloggers, broadcasters, podcasters and photographers across the UK.
Over 200 of the top garden media professionals tuned in to celebrate the winners and raise a glass of Babylonstoren wine (which came free with every ticket) to toast a brighter 2021. Hosted by designers/TV presenters Ann-Marie Powell and James Alexander Sinclair, the event had a record 17 sponsors from the world of gardening.
This year’s award winners included
- Val Bourne, who won Journalist of The Year, and
- Jean Vernon, who was awarded the Beth Chatto Environmental Award for her article on bees in The Telegraph.
- Alan Titchmarsh was named Columnist of the Year, while
- writer and broadcaster Michael Perry won Social Media Influencer.
- Humaira Ikram scooped the Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award for her work on BBC Gardeners’ Question Time.
- Gardening Book of the Year was Michael Holland’s delightful children’s book, I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast, while
- Caroline Ball’s Heritage Apples was named Practical Book of the Year.
- The hotly-contested Garden Publication of the Year Award went to the RHS’s The Garden magazine, edited by Chris Young, for its authoritative writing and its sensitive coverage of environmental issues.
- Katy Watson, an opera singer turned gardener who blogs as ‘Katy in the Garden’ won the Blog of the Year Katy, who writes about how to involve the whole family in the garden, gave birth to her second child just months ago.
- Photographer Jason Ingram won the double with awards for Features Photographer of the Year and the Gordon Rae Photographer of the Year, while
- Nicola Stocken was the first ever winner of the Guild’s new Portfolio Photographer of the Year Award.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, whose past winners include Carol Klein, Alan Titchmarsh, Roy Lancaster and Jekka McVicar, was this year presented to Anna Pavord who said she was “delighted and honoured”. Anna, author of the best-selling The Tulip, sent a video message from her magnificent garden in west Dorset, which has often served as inspiration for her columns in newspapers and magazines. ”Gardening has boomed over the last 30 years…all of us have been lucky to discover we can make a living from what we love best,” she told the audience