B&Q Gardener of the year: Judging criteria

Entrants to B&Q Gardener of the year competition are asked to identify at least one of five categories that apply to how they have created their outdoor space or garden. The five categories are: Best use of colour, Best use of imagination, Best grow your own space, Best use of small space and Best eco-friendly garden.

The judges will use the below criteria for each of these categories in their selection of the winning gardener and four runners up.

Best use of colour

Overview

  • This category celebrates the British public’s love of using colour in their gardens. Most people seem to have a strong opinion on colour and every year there is a new planting colour trend
  • We want to see how people have used colour in their garden to create various moods and atmospheres, aimed at creating a particular feel in the garden e.g. a palette of greens and white for a tranquil feeling space
  • We are also looking for examples of how colours have been cleverly combined in gardens through the use of plants and materials e.g. a striking combination of hot colours in both the choice of foliage and flowers in a planting border

Judging criteria

  • Clever use of colour – how colour has been used to create a specific feel
  • Creative use of plants – how plants have been combined and their flower and foliage utilised to create the desired effect
  • Overall impact - The big picture

Inspiration

Best use of imagination

Overview

  • The British are known for their eccentricity, and in this category we are looking for gardens where people have allowed their imaginations to run wild. This could be expressed as unique themes such as a fairy garden, specific functions, such as a gym garden, or even a really bonkers feature such as a topiary troop of elephants for a front hedge
  • We are looking for innovative use of materials and plants in these spaces creating wow factor

Judging criteria

  • Unique ideas where people have had fun with their outdoor space
  • Creative use of plants – how plants have been used in unique ways to support the concept
  • Overall impact - The big picture

Inspiration

Best grow your own space

Overview

  • No matter how big the space, we want to see how people have utilised every opportunity to make it productive and bounteous. Whether it be a balcony filled with herb pots or a kitchen garden brimming with vegetables and cut flowers
  • We are keen to see examples of a diversity of productive plants being grown from vegetables to herbs to cut flowers
  • This isn’t about being self-sufficient, it’s about the passion and enjoyment of growing

Judging criteria

  • Productivity– regardless of the size of the space we are keen to see spaces that have been fully utilised to incorporate growing potential
  • We are looking for plants that have been grown allowing people to harvest, whether that be vegetables, herbs or cut flowers
  • Overall impact - The big picture

Inspiration

Best use of small space

Overview

  • Many people have small outdoor spaces such as balconies, courtyards, or small urban gardens. We want to see how this has not been a barrier to people wanting to garden
  • We’d like to see innovative ideas for space saving, such as nifty storage or multi-functional areas
  • We’re also looking for how, regardless of space, plants have been incorporated at every opportunity

Judging criteria

  • Clever use of space – how space has been maximised to its full potential
  • Creative use of plants – how plants have been incorporated and perhaps used to enhance or make the space feel bigger and more inviting
  • Overall impact - The big picture

Inspiration

Best eco-friendly garden

Overview

  • Gardens have the potential to play a significant role in creating a habitat for wildlife and having a positive impact on the environment
  • We want to see how people have used plants to support our pollinating insects and also provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. We’re also keen to see creative wildlife features such as insect hotels
  • Overall consideration for sustainability by the gardener will also be viewed positively, such as the consideration of careful water usage and home composting

Judging criteria

  • Gardens that welcome and support our wildlife from insects to birds and mammals
  • Considered use of plants – pollen rich plants and shrubs and trees providing habitat and food such as berries
  • Overall impact - The big picture

Inspiration