Not for Profit

Dig this! Virtual gardens contest opens today with star name judges ready to pick winners

Christine Walkden, TV presenter and gardener.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: June 1, 2020 | Updated: 1st June 2020

Entries open today, June 1, for the great Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s Virtual Glorious Gardens competition with the names of the impressive judging panel also revealed.

They include:

  • Jay Blades from BBC One’s The Repair Shop.
  • Andy Sturgeon, internationally renowned garden designer and multiple award winner at the Chelsea Flower Show.
  • Christine Walkden, TV presenter and gardener.
  • David Hurrion, gardening journalist and horticultural consultant.

Entries are open from June 1 to 30 with the following categories:

  • Best allotment or vegetable patch.
  • Best general garden.
  • Best small creative space.
  • Best children’s garden picture or artwork (drawing, painting, collage etc.).

The contest to find Dorset’s hidden treasures is open to everyone, from Bournemouth to Bloxworth, Sherborne to Swanage.

The entry cost is £5 per category for adults, or £2.50 for a child (under 12), and can be made online via the campaign page

Then email [email protected] with your garden photo or picture and what category you would like your photo to be entered into.

You may submit up to two photos per category, in colour or black and white, and can enter all four categories.

You’ll need to include your name, location, for example ‘Wimborne’, email address, plus a daytime contact number.

Image file names must be saved with your full name and location.

The charity’s green-fingered supporters will be featured in the Bournemouth Daily Echo throughout the month of July.

The judging panel will make the final decisions on the worthy winners.

Winners will be featured in the Echo and receive a prize.

More details can be found here.

Comments from the judges include:

Andy Sturgeon. Picture: Chaz Oldham.

  • Andy Sturgeon: “Dorset is the most beautiful county in England and our family goes camping there every year. We also have several interesting garden projects overlooking Poole Harbour and we use Purbeck stone in many of our gardens.  I have used it in two of my ‘Best in Show gardens’ at Chelsea Flower Show and have it in my own garden. I am delighted to be judging this competition as gardens are so important to health and well-being at all stages in life.  And there are bound to be a few surprises in the entries.”

Jay Blades. Picture: Amy Braithwaite.

  • Jay Blades: “I think the work that Lewis-Manning do is incredible and I do feel very strongly about supporting hospices, especially with the Covid-19 crisis. I am really looking forward to seeing all the brilliant works of art!”

David Hurrion.

  • David Hurrion: “As a proud Dorset gardener myself I am delighted to take part in Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s Virtual Glorious Gardens competition. There is even a category for the best children’s drawing of a garden, so the whole family can get involved. If you’re proud of your patch or bonkers about your balcony, I can think of no better way to raise funds to support Lewis-Manning’s work than through gardening, one of the nation’s favourite hobbies.”
  • Christine Walkden: “I am delighted to join the judging panel as it will give me the opportunity of viewing some great images of subjects that reflect the passion of the gardeners involved. It will be rewarding to see what the gardeners of Dorset are growing.”

If you don’t wish to take part in the Virtual Glorious Dorset Gardens competition you can visit Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s JustGiving page and make a one-off donation or set up a regular monthly gift at Text DORSETCARE to 70470 to give a gift of just £5 per month.

Terms and conditions can be found  at


Praise for “wonderful” Lewis-Manning Hospice Care volunteers

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is paying tribute to its volunteers.

June 1 to 7 is Volunteers’ Week 2020, an annual celebration of the contribution made by millions of people across the UK.

Clare Gallie, CEO at Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, pictured left, said: “During this week we want to make sure, more than ever, that the wonderful people who offer our local charity their continued help and time through volunteering, understand that we are all so very thankful for their support.

“I want to say on behalf of everyone at our hospice, thank you.

“Without our volunteers we simply would not be able to help the local people that we are here to care for.”

Angus Campbell, Lewis-Manning Hospice Care Patron and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, added: “I wish to express my huge appreciation and admiration for your dedication to the care and wellbeing of the vulnerable individuals that you serve through your work for this splendid organisation.

“I know that Her Majesty would also wish me to you thank you for all that you have done and are doing in these difficult times.”

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