To judge and be judged

What a inspirational month September has been! I was lucky enough to attend a fascinating conference at Painshill Park to learn about the Italian influence on the English landscape. The speakers discussed how historic garden designs were inspired to change in the 18th Century after the aristocracy returned from the Grand Tour and also from art of that period. Naturally Chiswick House and Gardens featured as the Grand Tour was where Lord Burlington drew his inspiration when designing the estate with William Kent.

As I walk Lord Burlington’s avenue of urns and Cupressus. I think to myself if this was his interpretation of a journey to Elysium the feeling I had on Friday at the 50th London in Bloom Awards felt like we had reached it. From Kentino to Kingtino!

The title of the blog comes from the fact that I am a RHS Britain in Bloom Judge (for which I am incredibly honoured). This means I know the very high standard across the country this year and so when the awards took place on Friday 22nd September I was nervous and gosh, so delighted by the results we received from the judging panel!

It is an incredible achievement to win Heritage Park of the year and Gold for the Kitchen Garden for the second time. You can read more about the awards we won by clicking here.  Once again I need to thank the team at the Trust, our very dedicated volunteers and the outstanding Jaimie Cook and her team from Gavin Jones.

The Kitchen Garden volunteers picked up a third Gold with The Our Community Award jointly winning the category with Charlton community Garden in Greenwich. They also deservedly picked up a RHS It”s your Neighbourhood Award at the top level – Outstanding. From our Goosefoots, Richard and his work on the lake, our volunteer Rangers, to the Kitchen Garden volunteers your support to the garden team come rain or shine has truly been rewarded.

It’s important to point out that it is not all about horticulture. On the day we were judged on the House, the conservation of our historic camellias, green waste management, our education programme and we had the Little Forest Folk and Queensmill School on the day too. The work of the events and marketing team raise essential funds from weddings, corporate summer parties, filming and our partner events including Luna, Giffords Circus, the Magical Lantern Festival and the Dog Show are all considered too.

Finally a heartfelt thank you has to go out to you our visitors. We were voted London in Bloom People’s Park Choice! This is an award voted for not by judges but by the members of the public that visit parks and gardens (that’s you!). It means so much to be recognised by our visitors in this way.

What a community team and what an estate!

Have Fun and enjoy this award winning heritage garden.

A very happy Estate Garden Manager.