And so it begins for another year

on Tuesday, 18 February 2020. Posted in News

Last Saturday (15 February), the judges met up with Joanna in London for the first assessment of this year’s award entries.

Judges meet

From L-R: Rob Stirling, Nicola Sturgeon and Greg Redwood

The purpose of this meet up is to assess the 36 entries generally and sort them into geographical groups for the judges to visit. Entrants will be receiving call any time to the judges’ visits.

Our panel of judges, Nicola Bristow, Greg Redwood and Rob Stirling, also find this meet-up useful to ensure they are all singing from the same hymn sheet. Entries are judged to meet specific criteria. If entries meet the criteria they will be awarded the respective award i.e. Gold, Silver, Bronze. The only time the entrants are pitted against one another is to find the ‘Best in’ category.

Award entries

The judges were generally impressed with what they could see from the entries.
“A far greater range of plants in use than previous years including some realy interesting ones including big specimens such as Strelitzia,” according to Greg, “As well nice mixed planting in the green walls with again lots of different species.”

Nicola agrees and is looking forward to seeing some of the more unusual plants in situ, to see how suitable they all are for the offices. She confirmed “Each time we come to judge, we think we’ve seen everything, but there’s always something different. It’s really inspiring.”

Rob concurred, “The creativity is always something that’s really impressive.”

Some general points from the judges:

  • More emphasis on plants than planters
  • Not many single potted Phalaenopsis seen on reception desks compared to last year
  • Lots of big specimens in use i.e. Strelitzia
  • Interesting to see how much companies are prepared to spend
  • The planting trends here are influencing retail as a wider range of plants being asked for by customers

We can’t wait to see the images from the entries and of course, the results. But we’ll have to wait until 24 April for those!

About the judges
Nicola Bristow has a wide range of horticultural experience both here and abroad; she has worked as a horticultural advisor. She is currently a Plants and Media Assistant at Longacres Garden Centre in Bagshot, Surrey. 

Greg Redwood also comes with much expertise as Head of Great Greenhouses and Horticultural Training at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

Rob Stirling is an RHS advisor answering members’ gardening questions; he also writes for a wide range of media on the topic of gardening and his specialism, tropical plants.