Dobbies garden centre in Havant launch competition to find town's best gardeners with Jo Whiley set to be on judging panel

A HAVANT garden centre has launched a competition in a bid to find the town’s best gardeners.

By Hollie Busby
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 11:36 am

Dobbies, located at Bartons Road, is on the hunt for green-fingered talent in the area with the start of its Not Your Average Gardener Awards.

Judging the awards, which take place across Dobbies’ 68 garden centres, will be a star-studded panel of gardening enthusiasts including DJ and broadcaster, Jo Whiley.

ITV’s This Morning presenter, Daisy Payne, Dobbie’s horticultural director, Marcus Eyles and Dobbies’ ambassador and gardening influencer, Henry Agg will also be joining the panel.

Two of the competition judges, Marcus Eyles and Jo Whiley.

The competition comes after the garden centre conducted their own research with Independent News earlier this year which found 76 per cent of Brits ‘couldn’t wait to get back in the garden’.

Dobbies will celebrate four winning gardeners with up to £5,000 worth of prizes and a virtual consultation with Marcus Eyles on how to make the most of their garden space.

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The competition has a focus on sustainability so entrants must either support local wildlife, better the environment or use sustainable gardening techniques.

There are four categories for gardeners to enter, including Most Sustainable Gardener, Best Mini Garden Makeover, Best Houseplant Parent and Best Young Gardener (under 16).

Jo Whiley expressed her ‘excitement’ to be on the judging panel.

She said: ‘Gardening is a huge passion of mine, and I would encourage anyone to try it as a hobby.

‘Being out in your green space, no matter the size, is a great chance to take a moment for your own wellbeing.

‘I’m really excited to be on Dobbies’ judging panel this year. Whether a houseplant enthusiast, a keen gardener growing fruit and vegetables on an apartment balcony, a child discovering ways to make their green space bloom or gardening newbie creating plant borders, I’m excited to hear how Brits are giving gardening a go no matter their space or experience.’

Dobbies’ horticultural director, Marcus Eyles, added: ‘We’ve seen a positive increase in gardening over the past year, with customers across Havant looking to try something new in their green space. At Dobbies we’re always on the lookout for passionate gardeners and our Not Your Average Gardener Awards are a great opportunity to shine a light on talent across Britain.’

Deadline for submissions August 26, with winners announced in September.