Local residential and corporate gardens of all shapes and sizes will be in the spotlight over the next two months as the PE Express Garden of the Year competition kicks into gear from today.

The competition is held in conjunction with PE Express’ sister publication, Die Burger, and the Sherwood Garden Centre. Other sponsors include Re/Max Independent Walmer and Swabey Velthuysen Attorneys.

Local residential and corporate gardens of all shapes and sizes will be in the spotlight over the next two months as the PE Express Garden of the Year competition kicks into gear from today.

The competition is held in conjunction with PE Express’ sister publication, Die Burger, and the Sherwood Garden Centre. Other sponsors include Re/Max Independent Walmer and Swabey Velthuysen Attorneys.

Four category winners will be chosen (Small Garden of the Year, Large Garden of the Year, Water Wise Garden of the Year and Corporate Garden of the Year), with each receiving a R5 000 gift voucher courtesy of Sherwood Garden Centre. The overall winner will be selected from the four category winners.

This is not a new concept for Port Elizabeth, says Carmel Wolf, co-owner of Sherwood Garden Centre. “Our aim is to rekindle an old concept, which has fallen by the wayside in recent times.

“There are amazing gardens in this city of ours and we felt we wanted to create a platform from which we could showcase these to the public. It is also a way for us to connect with our clients and to give something back to the community that have supported us over the years.

“Depending on the response, we’re hoping to grow this into an annual event and something that PE can be proud of.”
 
According to Wolf, they have decided to keep the inaugural competition as simple as possible, therefore the broad categories. “We wanted to give every person and company a chance to enter the event.”

Although the judges will be looking at elements such as first-impression, focal points and special features, criteria such as passion, imagination, effort and uniqueness will also be taken into account, according to Wolf. “We wanted amateur gardeners to have as much a chance of entering and winning as people and companies with professionally landscaped gardens.”

The winning gardens will be featured in the PE Express and the Leefstyl supplement of Die Burger.

Wolf says the judges will be looking at actual size (square metres) as a guideline to distinguish between the small and large garden categories. Entrants will be assisted with their category choice during the first round of judging.

Apart from the elements mentioned above, the criterion for the water wise category is a garden that needs as little water as possible.

“Water wise plants will be mostly indigenous, but there are exotics that are as economic on water,” says Wolf. “Typical plants in this category will include your aloes, succulents, cycads, bougainvilleas and yuccas, to name but a few examples.

“In recent times, a lot of emphasis has been placed on creating gardens that are ‘environmentally friendly’ in terms of water usage. I believe this is a culture that has to be cultivated for the future and therefore it is included in the competition.”

Small, large or water wise company gardens can enter in the Corporate Garden of the Year category.

To enter, fax the entry form that appears on this page to 041 581 1552 or drop it off at Remax House, 171 Main Road, Walmer, or at Sherwood Garden Centre in Walker Drive. The deadline for entries is on March 14.

An organiser will contact you to set up a meeting for preliminary judging. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

For more information, contact Carmel Wolf at 041 398 4408.