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March Gardening Tips

Not your average gardener awards

We are proud to announce the winners for our first-ever ‘Not Your Average Gardener’ awards.  


Judged by gardener, journalist and Dobbies’ podcast host Louise Midgely, and our Horticultural Director, Marcus Eyles, the duo has found six gardening stars across the UK who will each receive a £250 voucher to spend on gardening goods in their local store, as well as a consultation with one of the judges.  


With the aim to find the best and most dedicated gardeners from across the UK, the awards aim to showcase those with exceptional creativity, commitment and passion in making their local area a brighter place.  


The 2021 Not Your Average Gardener winners are;  


Olivia Jayne Robinson from Birtley, Best Young Gardener Award 

Growing Places from Waterlooville, Hampshire, Best Little Seedling Award 

Margaret Spencer from Liverpool, Best Community Gardener 

Pauline Wainwright from Loughborough, Most Instagrammable Garden Award 

Ella Gibson from Stonehouse, Best Mini Garden Make-over Award 

Kylie Walker from Llanelli, Wales, Dobbies Best New Gardener 2021 Award  

Not your average gardener awards

Best Young Gardener: Olivia Jayne Robinson

The judges said: “Olivia has really shown how she embraces the natural world. She has demonstrated a lovely enthusiasm for gardening and the fact that she hums when she is busy in the garden shows how happy it makes her.” 

Not your average gardener awards

Best Little Seedling: Growing Places

The judges said: “This is an inspiring group of little seedlings. Together they have shown how they support wildlife, understand the impact that gardening has on our wellbeing, and they are growing their own food and sharing it will the local community. A fantastic group!” 

Not your average gardener awards

Best Community Gardener: Margaret Spencer

The judges said: “The nomination for Margaret showcases what community gardening is all about. Through Allerton in Bloom, Margaret and the group of volunteers have all become friends, looking after and improving the local environment. The have been fundraising to get more plants, enhance their green spaces and spread the word of the great work of the group.” 

Not your average gardener awards

Most Insgrammable Garden: Pauline Wainwright

The judges said: “By transforming their garden into a more manageable space for future ease of maintenance, Pauline and her husband have created a stunning landscape that has a multitude of elements worthy of capturing on film across all four seasons. 


“From frog hotels, bird boxes and log piles to water features, wildflower patches and views of the canal, this relatively new garden can only improve with time and provide its owners with an ever-changing selection of subject matter to photograph.” 

Not your average gardener awards

Best Mini Garden Makeover: Ella Gibson

The judges said: “Small spaces are often the most difficult to design as they can end up looking cluttered if too many features are incorporated. Ella has thoughtfully transformed her diminutive corner plot into a beautiful garden that's destined to improve as it matures. 


“The bird feeder, bird bath, ivy on the back fence and carefully chosen mix of plants will be appreciated by a wide diversity of wildlife throughout the year. 


“The dwarf crab apple tree was a great choice as it has flowers and also provides an attractive focal point in the far corner. Perhaps in time some climbers could be added to clothe the remainder of the fences with colour and scent.” 

Not your average gardener awards

Best New Gardener: Kylie Walker

The judges said: “With no previous experience and a minimal budget, Kylie has to be commended for undertaking the whole task of designing, hard landscaping and planting up the garden of her first new home. The result is simply breath-taking. 


“The contrast of the white stones against the black edging logs gives the garden definition and also provides a great foil for the pretty colour palette of plants. It's clear that a lot of thought and research has gone into the project, which must have been a challenge for an inexperienced gardener but so worth all the hard work.”