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How to enter 2016 Kent Life Garden Competition

PUBLISHED: 11:34 19 February 2016 | UPDATED: 11:34 19 February 2016

2016 Kent Life Garden Competition

2016 Kent Life Garden Competition


Entries are invited to the 2016 Kent Life Garden Competition, run in association with Hadlow College, Coolings Garden Centre and in support of ellenor. This year sees new categories and partners: Diocese of Canterbury, Visit Kent, Kent God’s Acre Project and Action with Communities in Rural Kent

The Garden of England is often how our beautiful county is perceived and promoted. Kent is rich in its diversity and unique in having 10 different topographical areas, including a designated desert.

Kent is also rich in the produce it can grow and so is able to be attractive to all genres of gardening. As you travel around the county, it can be easy to be assaulted by the beauty of our landscape and light which has inspired artists for centuries.

Through its annual garden awards (with sponsors Coolings and the Hadlow Group), Kent Life has celebrated the talents of the many gardeners in our county as they work with the soil, climate and their passion to bring out the best of all Kent has to offer.

This year, in working with new partner organisations, Kent Life is able to celebrate the gifts of gardeners in new categories. And 2016 is extra special as we celebrate the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown’s bith and the year of the English Garden, promoted by Visit England.

Through the new wider partnership Kent Life has developed with Visit Kent, the Diocese of Canterbury, Action with Communities in Rural Kent and Kent God’s Acre Project, we are now able to celebrate a wider range of gardens or habitats that are being created and tended by groups who are part of many of our communities’ life.

Whether it is a community garden, churchyard, public garden or schools, these are great ways of bringing together members of this community, their expertise and enthusiasm as they enhance the beauty of the surroundings in which we live.

Here’s how to enter this year’s five different categories, the criteria and deadline.

Five categories

1. Best Kentish Garden (gardens open to the public)

2. Amateur/Home Garden of the Year

3. Primary School Garden of the Year

4. Best School Sacred Space Garden

5. Community Garden of the Year

One winner and two runners up in each category

First prize:

 Engraved trowel

 Framed personalised certificate

 £200 vouchers from Coolings

 Pictorial feature in Kent Life

Two runners up in each category:

 Framed personalised certificate

 £50 vouchers from Coolings

How to enter

 Complete the entry form (from the magazine)

 Attach a written description of your garden and what it means to you (up to 300 words).

 Include up to eight photographs taken either last season or this year, that show overviews and details. If digital images, please ensure they are hi-res (300 dpi) jpgs or tif files

 Add a sketch plan if possible

 Enter by post or email (see checklist at end).

The rules

 Entries from previous years, apart from the winner, are welcome

 The finalists will be photographed along with their garden

 Kent Life regrets that photos and sketches cannot be returned and that by submitting them you are agreeing to their use in Kent Life and its associated websites and publications.

Some of the judging panel

 Roger Platts, head judge: award-winning garden designer and plantsman

 Amanda Cottrell, OBE: immediate past chairman of Visit Kent

 Leigh Clapp: Kent Life garden editor and photojournalist working nationally and internationally

 Andy Garland: BBC Radio Kent broadcaster and producer

 Sarah Sturt: Editor of Kent Life

The criteria

The judges will be looking at design and layout, plant use, attention to detail, maintenance and plant health, as well as the active participation and enthusiasm of the entrant/s. Children’s original sketches and descriptions of what the garden means to them are welcomed.

All entries

For all categories please send your entry to:

Postal entries to: Kent Life Garden Competition, Kent House, 81 Station Road, Ashford TN23 1PP

Or Email entries to:

More information:

Checklist – have you included?

 Description of your garden

 Photos: include four to eight pictures of the garden (can be taken last year); for schools, scrapbooks showing Garden Club children’s drawings, observations, etc are welcomed

 Plan of garden: include a plan of the garden (optional, but recommended)

 Your phone number and email

Judging process

Closing date for entries: 10 June 2016

All finalists’ gardens will be visited and photographed between 18 June and 1 July 2016.

Garden Awards afternoon tea (this is by invitation only): 15 September 2016

Takes place at: Hadlow College TN11 0AL


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