Open gardens competion – winners announced

Open gardens competion – winners announced

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Event Date
Date(s) - 14/09/2020 to 30/09/2020
All Day


We are delighted to announce the joint winners of the Saltaire Festival 2020, Open Gardens competition, sponsored by architects, Rance Booth Smith.

Open Gardens took place online this year but we were delighted by the quality of the entries, both in terms of the photos and the accompanying descriptions. The importance of gardening in lockdown as a therapeutic and creative pastime came over strongly, We also loved the variety of different approaches to gardening in small spaces.

Judging was a joint activity with Rance Booth Smith Architects.  We chose two joint winners and the RBS judge commented:

The ‘Yarden’ designed by Claire Glover

This novice gardener has used a lovely colour theme with the repetitive use of plants to create a recurring theme.  Repurposing of an old ladder creates interest on the vertical wall, and the cast iron stove is noted as being reminiscent of a previous fireplace.  The boundary wall has been transformed by the trailing planting, and black pots complement the house paintwork and tie the composition together.

The ‘Therapeutic Escape’ designed by Stephanie Willan

This garden is brimming with colour and does indeed reflect a jungle providing height and delight as the plants clammer for attention.  The vertical planting transforms the red brick wall into a beautiful composition, and we love the use of upcycled materials.  A great balance of food and flowers.

Congratulations to the winners.  We also selected four highly commended gardens and a photo from each of these is also featured.

 Claire Glover, “The Yarden”

I’m a novice gardener who’s created an oasis of colour, fragrance, bees and butterflies. Tiny bedding plants, hebes and salvia have flourished to overflowing in window-boxes and wall planters. Lavender and lobelia frame the view of Shipley Glen and I’ve learnt about soil types to re-pot hydrangea and a flowering cherry tree. A re-purposed ladder, adorned with plants creates interest near the home-grown tomatoes and herbs which flank our back door. A cast-iron fireplace, bursting with flames of petunia, stands in the original fireplace of the former corner dwelling. Our yard is now a “Yarden” – I’m hooked on yardening!

Flowers Herbs and Tomatoes

Pots of colour

Yard and Shipley Glen

Stephanie Willan, “The Therapeutic Escape”  

Our yard has been both a therapeutic escape and a creative outlet. Almost everything is made from discarded wood, rope and stone. Our yard is something to look forward to, to reflect on, and to care about. It is somewhere to rest, to make plans, and of course, to have a cup of tea. This year, we’ve increased the amount of fruit, veg and flowers we are growing for food, aesthetics and wildlife. It’s a wonder we fit it all in to such a small space but getting lost in our little jungle is a great way to get away.

Food and flowers

Upcycled planters and supports

View from the backdoor

The winners will “share” the cup

Claire Glover

Stephanie Willan




Highly commended

Back yard with tobacco plants
Brigid Kelsey


Pots and more pots
Linda Broadley

Formal water feature
Phil Anthill and Carole Snow

flowery steps
Lisa Connelly


Home grown Dahlias
Neil Holland


Flowers afloat!
Briony and Richard
The Floating Gift Shop


To view all the gardens together please go Saltaire Open Gardens 2020