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Ventnor Botanic Garden hosted the 2015 Wight In Bloom Awards Ceremony, which this year was sponsored by Red Funnel for the first time.
Finalists and guests were welcomed by Simon Dabell, Chair, Visit Isle of Wight which organised the competition.

P1060017 - CopyKevin George & Alan Titchmarsh. (Pictured)
Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH said that gardening had been his life for 51 years. He said the Island was so blessed and in a reference to the weather pointed out that without the rain we would not have the flowers.
With 109 entries this represented an increase of 40%. Alan maintained that gardening is all about sharing and he encouraged the audience to be evangelical and spread the word about the virtues of gardening.
Kevin George CEO of Red Funnel said his ferry company brings people to see the Island’s marvellous gardens. Therefore Red Funnel was delighted to step in and give financial support to Wight In Bloom. With the new Red Jet 6 now being constructed at East Cowes more passengers will be able to enjoy the Island’s blooms.
For the Awards there was a total of nine categories, with Tourist Attractions split into two groups-large and small.
Simon Dabell read out the citations for highly commended and runners-up awards whilst Alan Titchmarsh read out the citations for class winners and handed out the prizes and quips.
Ventnor Botanic Garden’s giant water lily ‘Victoria Longwood Hybrid’ was recently the star of a TV programme hosted by Carol Klein. During the night, before the awards ceremony, it had once again performed its act of blooming to an invited few guests who viewed it with the aid of a few lamps and whilst drinking hot chocolate.
Category 1 – Best Small Front Garden
Sponsored by Care in the Garden, Wootton
1st David Mansfield, Binstead
Category 2 – Best Large Front Garden
Sponsored by Thompson Plant & Garden Centre
1st Hilary Wellsted, Bembridge
Category 3 – Best Public House Garden
Sponsored by Medina Garden Centre
1st The Buddle Inn, Niton
Category 4 – Best Accommodation Garden
Sponsored by Busy Bee Garden Centre
1st The Havelock, Shanklin
Category 5 – Best Senior Citizen Complex, Nursing Home, Care Home
Sponsored by Jubilee Garden Centre
1st Chemotherapy Garden, NHS Trust, St Marys Hospital(Guy Eades)

Category 6 – Best Young People Initiative
Sponsored by Honnor & Jeffrey Garden Centre
1st Bembridge C of E Primary School
Category 7 – Best Community Floral Project
Sponsored by Ager Farm Nursery
1st Aspire, Trinity Building, Ryde
Category 8 – Best Tourist Attraction Garden – Large
Sponsored by Forest View Nursery
1st Mottistone Manor Gardens – National Trust
Best Tourist Attraction Garden – Small
Sponsored by Forest View Nursery
1st Rylstone Crazy Golf & Tea Gardens, Shanklin

Overall Winner
Sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction
Aspire, Trinity Building, Ryde
Aspire is a community project based in Ryde. Lunches and other refreshments are available with some of the ingredients being grown in the garden so as well as flowers growing, vegetables are as well. They received the trophy which featured Needles Glass. (Pictured above)

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