Garden Media Guild 2020 awards
Over 200 top media professionals tuned into the online Awards Ceremony for the annual Garden Media Guild presentations on 26th November, 2020.
Now in its 29th year the Guild’s awards ceremony has been celebrating the very best in garden writing and broadcasting with authors, bloggers, broadcasters, podcasters and photographers, competing for what are considered to be the horticultural equivalent of the ‘Oscars’. The award ceremony is usually held at the Savoy, however, the pandemic saw the awards move online this year, hosted by designers/TV presenters Ann-Marie Powell and James Alexander Sinclair.
As the Garden Media Guild committee point out 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.
The online ceremony proved a huge success with guests being able to raise a glass of Babylonstoren wine (which came free with every ticket) to toast a brighter 2021 and the winners of each category. This year also saw the event attract a record 17 sponsors from the world of gardening. For every ticket sold for the Awards, popular gardening app and headline sponsor, Candide, donated £10 to the Community Forest Trust as part of their collaborative ‘Tree-Inspired’ campaign enabling a tree to be planted in the name of each participant. Ticket sales also raised money for the Garden Media Guild’s two nominated charities, Greenfingers and Perennial.
Tamsin Westhorpe, co-chair of the Garden Media Guild pointed out that this year has been a rollercoaster for all of us, including gardening journalists: “We remain proud that as an industry we campaigned hard to get the Government to reopen nurseries and garden centres ahead of many other businesses. By pressurising ministers to see sense and open them up we managed to avert disaster for many growers, whose plants were rotting in greenhouses because they couldn’t be sold,” she said. Tamsin added that as we come out of lockdown, and with Brexit just around the corner, hopefully gardeners can help lead the way to a cleaner, greener and happier country: “The horticulture industry is worth £24 billion and we have never been more aware of the importance of gardening in helping to keep us happy and healthy.”
This year’s award winners included the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award whose past winners have included Carol Klein, Alan Titchmarsh, Roy Lancaster and Jekka McVicar. This year, the award, sponsored by Candide went to Anna Pavord, (pictured banner above) author of several best selling books and gardening correspondent at the Independent. She contributes to several national magazines such as Gardens Illustrated and Country Life and has written for the Observer for some 20 years. Anna sent a video message from her garden in west Dorset, which has often served as inspiration for her columns: “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.
The Practical Journalist of the Year (sponsored by Thompson & Morgan) award went to Lucy Chamberlain (Amateur Gardening) while the Beth Chatto Environmental Award (sponsored by Beth Chatto Education Trust) went to Jean Vernon for her article ‘Return of the bees always gives me a buzz’ in the Daily Telegraphy. The Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award (sponsored by Hayloft Plants) went to Humaira Ikram and the Portfolio Photographer of the Year (sponsored by Field Studies Council Publications) was picked up by Nicola Stocken.
Features Photographer of the Year (sponsored by Roses UK) went to Jason Ingram who also picked up the Gordon Rae Photographer of the Year (sponsored by Candide).
Journalist of the Year (sponsored by Johnsons Lawn Seed) was awarded to Val Bourne and Katy Watson was awarded the Blog or Vlog of the Year Award for Katy in the Garden (sponsored by Mr Fothergill’s). Website of the Year (sponsored by Honda) went to Gardensillustrated.com
The ‘RHS Garden’ picked up the award for Cover of the Year (sponsored by Cobra) and Michael Perry was awarded Social Media Influencer of the Year (sponsored by STIHL). The Radio Broadcast/Podcast of the Year (sponsored by Evergreen Garden Care) went to The Organic Gardening Podcast with Penny Meadmore picking up the Roy Lancaster TV Broadcast of the Year (sponsored by the HTA) for her broadcast for the Virtual Shrewsbury Flower Show on Growing Vines.
Caroline Ball was awarded The Peter Seabrook Practical Book of the Year (sponsored by the Garden Press Event) for ‘Heritage Apples’ and Michael Holland picked up the Garden Book of the Year (sponsored by Briggs & Stratton) for ‘I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast’. Alan Titchmarsh was awarded the Dr David Hessayon Garden Columnist of the Year (sponsored by Marshalls) and ‘The Garden’ – editor Chris Young, achieved the Garden Publication or Garden Section of the Year accolade (sponsored by Westland).
For a full list of awards in each category and judges comments, please visit:
For a full list of those shortlisted please visit: https://www.gardenmediaguild.co.uk/awards/shortlist-2020
Our congratulations to all the winners and to those who were shortlisted in each category. Congratulations also to the co-chairs of the Garden Media Guild, Tamsin Westhorpe and Constance Craig Smith for their organisation of a superb online awards ceremony with headline sponsor Candide.