Regional Community Garden Winners

CONGRATULATIONS to our amazing regional winners!

2019 has been our biggest and best year yet, so by winning their regional category each of these community gardens have really wowed our esteemed panel of judges!

Each regional winner will win a cash prize + 100 stunning Calliope plug plants!
The prizes will be announced 29th September in the Sunday Mirror, where you can find out who has been crowned OVERALL WINNER!


PRIZE £3,000 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Herts and Essex Community Farm 8 Consent Image 2
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Herts & Essex Community Farm

Allotments are hard to come by in Harlow so in 2013, a group of residents came together and transformed a derelict patch of council land into a green haven. Within the first year, they had cleared enough of the site to start growing crops and hold a minimusic festival — and one has been held every year since. The garden now has 12 raised beds suitable for wheelchair users, 10 growing beds, two allotment pots, three polytunnels and a large brassica tunnel, plus a wildlife pond and secret garden.



PRIZE: £1,500 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Grow Fopr Talgarth 2019 consent given image 6

Grow for Talgarth

In 2015 five volunteers wanted to brighten up the town with colourful planted displays. To signify the town’s agricultural heritage, troughs were donated by farmers, painted and filled with flowers donated by locals. Now it’s an interactive and bustling space for everyone in the community.


PRIZE: £1,000 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Blackhills Growing 2019 consent given 4

Blackhill's Growing

In 2010, Blackhill's started a growing project. After taking young people in the local community on an exchange trip to Zambia, they were inspired by visiting projects where growing food is used by the members, to raise funds and help to create a cohesive, supportive community. Now their community growing space provides nutritious food for the wider neighbourhood.


PRIZE: £750 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Wonky Garden 2019 Consent Given 2

Wonky Garden

This garden focuses on creating beautiful outdoor health and wellness spaces designed by, and for, the community.  Originally developing a raised-bed garden, the project now looks after 5 locations; two busy community centres, a hospital rehabilitation ward, a local hospice for people facing life limiting illnesses and a rugby club for people of all ages.


PRIZE: £750 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Saffron Acres Community Garden 2019 consent given image 4

Saffron Acres

The Saffron Acres site started off as a very small allotment plot a few years ago, where local people came together to learn gardening skills and socialise.

Now, the site has expanded to around 13 acres and has a lot to offer the locals and the local wildlife.


A word about 2019 sponsors Calliope®

The Cultivation Street competition category ‘ Calliope Your Life’ has been brought to you and sponsored by Calliope® Geraniums.

Calliope® Geraniums can grow like no other, they have outstanding growing performance as they are worry-free and offer vibrant colours.



The Judges 2019

The 2019 judges included;

Lady Salisbury
Gemma Aldridge - The Sunday Mirror
Lauren Hall - ITV
Neil Fishlock - Calliope
Stephen Dowbiggin - Director of Dowbiggin Associates Ltd
Mark Glover - Newington Communications
Carol Paris - Somerton Group


Cultivation Street Judging Picture 2019 Lo

School Winners

This prize is award to the school that has best involved children to create an inspirational school garden.

1st PRIZE - Redwood Park Academy, Portsmouth

PRIZE: £2,000 +100 Calliope® plug plants

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The garden has developed over the last 3 school years from an underused space with an empty greenhouse into a thriving project that involves around 150 young people from across The Solent Academies Trust to access and enjoy horticulture. Many of the students who use the garden have complex learning difficulties, physical disabilities or other additional needs.

2nd PRIZE - Linwood High School, Scotland

PRIZE: £1,000 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Craig Hepburn Menorial Garden Linwood High School 2019 Consent Given Image 4

Linwood High School is a newly built school that lies in an area of deprivation in the West of Scotland where a number of children don't have access to a garden or outside space. The garden is named after Craig Hepburn, a former pupil of the school, who was murdered aged just 19. His parents continue to support the garden and visit it on a regular basis, they even held a party for Craig's 21st in the garden.

3rd PRIZE - Llannefydd School, Wales

PRIZE: £750 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Clwb Garddio Ysgol Llannefydd 2019 Consent Given 1

In 2019, one of the parents started a gardening club at the school to support the school’s run-down green space and encourage children into outside learning about plants and nature. Attended by children aged between 5 and 11 years old, the club meet once a week and have begun to turn around the garden to its full potential.

Highly Commended - Midfield Primary School

PRIZE: £500 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Midfeild Primary 2019 Consent Given 1

Having started with an empty patch of grass in 2015, the school wanted to continue to develop a healthy environment for Midfield children by creating an Edible Eco Garden. The local catchment area is categorised as a ‘pocket of deprivation’ and, as such, the children do not often get access to inspirational green spaces out of school. Now the garden serves as access to greenery for all.

Highly Commended - Hammersmith Academy

PRIZE: £500 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Hammersmith Academy School Garden 2019 Consent Given 6

Started in 2015, the school garden provides pupils access to a green space which promotes mental health and well-being and teaches students about growing their own. The garden has become a conduit for teaching students about environmental issues, sustainability, connecting with the wider community, horticulture skills, and serves as a channel for teamwork, communication, and leadership, as well as a form of therapy for students with challenging behaviour.

Calliope My Life 2019 Winners - Brought to you by Calliope®

Judges Choice
St Albans CE Primary School

PRIZE: £500 +100 Calliope® plug plants

St Alban’s pupils were keen to reuse containers, to fit in with the school’s 'plastic pledge' and environmental approach and so decided to use unwanted handbags as containers as a take on traditional ‘grow bags’. Staff, volunteers, and local charity shops donated bags and these were filled with soil dug up from the grounds, with the help of our gardening volunteers. Plants overwintered from last year in the mini grow house were used again alongside this year’s fresh plants and the children enjoyed the task of planting these up.

As an environmentally friendly means of staging them, a local electrical wholesaler delivered some cable drums and the pupils arranged the bags on the drums, adding in some great chalkboard signs to finish. The plants have been looked after by breaktime waterers and even the plants from last year, as well as those freshly grown this year, now put on a display that both faculty and family members have admired.

St Albans 2019 Calliope My Life 1

Public Choice
Holywell Primary School

PRIZE: £500 +100 Calliope® plug plants

The display was created by children aged 4 and 5 in the reception class at Holywell Primary School, in Rubery Birmingham. They potted up all of the plug plants when they arrived and carefully tended to them as they grew; watering them regularly as a class in order to share the responsibility.


The children helped collect all of the apparatus used for growing including the uniform’s wellies, watering cans and plant pots used in the display. Each of the children were given the opportunity to draw the faces of the two life-size scarecrow students. As well as being uplifting, the display also offers the opportunity to showcase and remind the students of the new words they have learnt.

Holywell - How does your garden grow - Calliope My Life 2

Gardens for Better Health Winners

Gardens For Better Heath was a brand new category to our 2019 competition.

This prize has been awarded to the garden that, the judges felt, had the most positive impact on the mental or physical health of the local community. The judges considered the people who are helped, the programmes provided and the impact on the local community.

1st PRIZE - Lost The Plot, Kent

PRIZE: £2,000 +100 Calliope® plug plants

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Talk It Out mental health voluntary support group has been running now for 8 years, starting as an outdoor wellbeing centre and growing into a thriving allotment plot for mental health survivors in the local community.

2nd PRIZE - IncludeMe2, Reidvale Community Allotments, Glasgow

PRIZE: £1,000 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Includeme2 2019 Consent Given 1

Started in 2018, the Allotment Angels project is part of Includeme2 club which works with children, young people and adults who have additional support needs across Glasgow. It started with a disused allotment plot in the heart of the city; with the railway line on one side and tenement buildings on the other. Over the next 9 months they transformed the space, with volunteers clocking up to 130hours of communal work in one week.

3rd PRIZE - Wonky Garden Projects

PRIZE: £750 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Wonky Garden 2019 Consent Given 2

This garden focuses on creating beautiful outdoor health and wellness spaces designed by, and for, the community. Originally developing a raised-bed garden, the project now looks after 5 locations; two busy community centres, a hospital rehabilitation ward, a local hospice for people facing life limiting illnesses and a rugby club for people of all ages.

Highly Commended - Heart, Mind & Soul Silverburn, Fife Scotland

PRIZE: £500 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Heart Mind Soul Silverburn 2019 Consent Given 3

As a mental health employability charity, they’ve taken over a 27-acre estate from the local authority including a walled garden and 2 sensory. Over the past 5 years the garden has been restored to not only back to their former glory but to improve their design.

Highly Commended - Therapeutic Horticulture Martineau Gardens, Birmingham

PRIZE: £500 +100 Calliope® plug plants
Theraputic Horticulture at Martineau Gardens Community Garden2019 consent given 3

Martineau Gardens is one of the longest-running community gardens in Birmingham. Protecting it from development over the years, locals have turned it into a more rough-and-ready version of the gardens that stand today. Now the space hosts Therapeutic Horticulture sessions, attracting volunteers with mental health issues, learning disabilities and autism.

Ambassador of The Year Winners

1st PRIZE - Gary Bissett, Inver Garden Centre

PRIZE: £1,000

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Gary Bissett has been working with 8 local nursery schools, teaching them how to sow seeds in order to grow sunflowers, peas and beans; encouraging them on the importance to grow plants for the environment. Many of the schools he works with, need help on matters like recycling, sustainability, eco school projects and sensory gardens—Gary delivers talks and advice to guide them through the process so that they can have a positive experience. He’s assisted them in the creation of outdoor classrooms, focusing on companion planting with vegetables and flowers growing side by side.  Now the children come into the centre to inform Gary how everything is growing.

Gary is also an advocate for the therapeutic elements of gardening, actively working with adults with learning difficulties and patients in the midst of their rehabilitation wards recovering from strokes. This work is used to help these vulnerable individuals to experience the benefits of the outdoors.

2nd PRIZE - Georgia Isherwood
Dobbies Kings Lynn

PRIZE: £500
Georgia Isherwood Dobbies Kings Lynn 2019 Consent Given image2

Georgina’s interaction with schools extends much further than their gardening goals. Not only does she enjoy donating and planting with numerous local schools. Her projects involve cultivating for outdoor kitchen gardens and herb planting with children in mainstream setting and those with social, emotional and mental health needs.

3rd PRIZE - Dale & Graeme
Simpsons Garden Centre (shared prize)

PRIZE: £300
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Dale and Graeme have supported the creation of a new garden for palliative care residents and their families; working extensively with the hospice team to design the layout and planting up all of the plants and shrubs on site. Both Dale and Graeme were so passionate about helping the hospice and so encouraging towards their efforts. So much so that the contact from the hospice makes a point of going to them directly to purchase everything she needs for a new garden project she’s involved with too.


Emma Taylor & Janet Hawkings - Garden Store Little Heath (shared prize)
Zoe Stanmore - Dobbies Southport
Sophie Menjou – Haskins West End
Angela Fletcher – Notcutts Rivendell
Angels Murray – Dobbies Liverpool
Diane Mackintosh & Toni Middleton – Haskins Snowhill (shared prize)
Louise Canfield – Aylett Nurseries St Albans
Mathew Lewis – Old Railway Garden Centre Breacon
Simon Haines – Sunshine Garden Centre London
Nicci Miller – Langlands, Shiptonthorpe
Jackie Barker – Notcutts Solihull– Simpsons Garden Centre Inverness
Carol Watson – Notcutts Tunbridge Wells