National gardening contest announces Swindon resident as runner up

By Caradoc Gayer - 25 July 2023

Home and Garden

The B&Q Gardener of the Year Competition has announced Swindon's Elizabeth Winiarksi as a runner up.

Elizabeth is one of the competition's three runners up. She has been awarded £1000, having won the 'Best Showstopping Garden' category.

Elizabeth stood out with her classic British garden, which contains a breadth of colourful plants and flowers and provides a space for diverse wildlife, such as dragonflies and birds.

Elizabeth said: "I was so shocked to hear that I'd won my category, I didn't expect to be shortlisted, let alone win! After working tirelesslessly on my garden for seven years, it's reassuring to hear that the B&Q judges have recognised my hard work and passion.

"Our garden is an extension for our home and is our own secret haven where we can be at one with nature, and we're excited to use the prize money to continue to invest in our haven."

This year's competition judges included celebrity maitre d' Fred Sirieix, B&Q Outdoor Category Director Steve Guy and award winning-garden designers Matt Childs and Humaira Akram. 

Mr Guy said: "The Best Showstopping Garden category is one that I was looking forward to, as I love to see the eclectic British styles.

"Elizabeth's garden stood out, as not only was there so much beautiful colour in her garden, but the way that the garden encourages nature in a new estate, as well as her wide range of plants, made it an easy choice for us."

"We love to see how our customers use colour and bring their own unique stamp on gardening - we're excited to see what Elizabeth does next!"

The competition's overall winner, Bristol resident Matthew Symonds, took the top prize of £10,000 after entering the 'Best Versatile Garden' category.

His split-level urban garden is comprised of two entertaining areas, a greenhouse, a pond with a waterfall, a waterbutt and a place to store his bike, ensuring that every space is used. 

Alongisde Elizabeth and Matthew, other runners up were chosen from the remaining categories: Liena Legzdina ('Best Foodie Garden') and Emese Peter ('Best Nature Loving Garden').

In this third year of the competition, gardeners were encouraged to follow more sustainable practices and allow nature to thrive, while demonstrating how ingenuity outranks investment and the best gardens don't have to cost the world.

Also back in 2023 was the B&Q Community Garden of the Year Award. For this competition the team behind the Walled Garden in Perth, Scotland were awarded £2,500 B&Q gift card.

The award celebrates community-created outdoor spaces, devised with the aim of improving the life and wellbeing of those in the surrounding area. These qualities were seen in The Walled Garden, which offers gardening opportunities for those struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. 

For people wantng to create their own award-winning outdoor space, B&Q has a wide range of products available for every garden size and budget, in over 300 stores nationwide and on

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