Gardens come to us!: Winning large garden

23 Jul 2020

Gardens come to us!

We know how much our customers love their gardens and we were keen to continue with our annual garden competition — so this year we went virtual! 

Our green fingered customers look forward to the annual garden competition, but because of Coronavirus, this year we had to do things differently to keep the competition going.  

Amanda Taylor, personal secretary at Magna, organised the Magna garden competition and was one of the judges. She said: ‘We launched the competition before the Coronavirus outbreak, and when lockdown came it seemed like we would have to cancel. But we know how important gardens are and how much extra time our customers would be spending in them, so we knew we needed to continue the competition somehow.’ 

For many people, gardening is an important part of their wellbeing. The RHS recently commissioned a survey that revealed 7 out of 10 people consider that having a garden has helped mental health during lockdown with everyday activities such as weeding, mowing and watering cited as having a positive impact. 

So, fully embracing technology, we held the competition virtually and to our surprise and delight, we received the most entries we have ever had for our garden competition!  

We asked entrants to show us around their gardens using whatever video calling  platforms they were comfortable with. With over 60 entries across six categories, our judges were virtually walked around our customers gardens.  

Amanda added:  “It was such a pleasure to be shown around so many of our customers’ beautiful gardens.  Their passion for gardening really came through as they explained what we were looking at in each one.’ 

After much Zooming, WhatsApping, Facetiming and deliberation, our judges came to their decisions for the best patios and containers, sustainable, small and large gardens, children’s category and the tallest sunflower. 

Patios and containers: 

1      Paul Pearson, Minehead    

2      Fred Dale, Alcombe 

3      Mandy Smith, Kilve 

Sustainable/wildlife: 

1      David & Hannah Marsh, Maiden Newton   

2      Helen Chant, Beaminster 

3      Richard Middleton, Bradpole 

Small garden: 

1          Dutch de Vries, Stogursey 

Joint 2  Teresa Edwards, Weymouth 

Joint 2  Peter Hayward, Bridport 

Joint 3  Gillian Hurley, Minehead 

Joint 3  Maggie Benford, Bradpole 

Large garden: 

1      Sadie Lenton, Chickerell 

2      Tamara Partridge-Bough, Sherborne 

3      Amanda Seacombe, Alcombe 

Childrens: 

1           Morgan White, Yeovil 

Joint 2   Jayden Ely, Porlock 

Joint 2   Louie Ely, Porlock 

Joint 3   Lily Rose Brimble, Dorchester 

Joint 3   Emmy-rae Hopwood, Williton 

Tallest sunflower: 

Reggie & Bertie Pile, Burton Bradstock 

Special Prize: 

Fruit & Veg garden - Rosemary Cieciora, Beaminster 

Well done to the lucky winners and  thanks to all our entrants for  their hard work. 

Neil Bliss, resident and community engagement officer, said: ‘I’m so pleased our customers embraced technology to enable us to continue with this competition. Myself and my fellow judges found it a great way of looking around your amazing gardens whilst remaining safe and following government guidelines. This has shown us that there are lots of ways we can improve what we do by making the most of the technology we have available to us all.’ 

Contact Information

Tanya Head

Marketing Manager

Magna Housing

01305 214047

tanya.head@magna.org.uk