Castle Gardens in Sherborne has fought off stiff competition from garden centres across the Country to win the top prize in a national Christmas display competition, awarded by the Garden Centre Association.
Castle Gardens was given first prize for its spectacular themed displays. Meanwhile Brimsmore Gardens was awarded first place in the Wales and West area Competition, with Poundbury Gardens coming a very close second in the South Thames Competition, just a few points behind Castle Gardens. All three garden centres are members of The Gardens Group, and have each received prizes in the top three places of the Garden Centre Association Awards for five consecutive years.
"October is a very exciting month for all the staff at Castle, Brimsmore and Poundbury Gardens as we all team up to plan, build, move, dress and finally switch on the festive displays. It is amazing when it all comes together and we were thrilled that all the Centres received awards and glowing reports from the judges. We had just started celebrating our two firsts and one second place awards when I got the call to say that Castle Gardens had gone on to win the national final! We have had thousands of visitors to our displays and seeing the children's and even adult's reactions makes all the hard work really worth while," commented Louise Burks Director and Christmas Co-ordinator of The Gardens Group.
The Garden Centre Association stamp is a quality mark for garden centres around the UK and its criteria for membership is rigorously upheld to ensure quality and service from all members. Each Centre is judged on the presentation, product range and merchandising of the display, and also on the range of fresh Christmas trees, Christmas indoor plants and the Christmas menus in each of the restaurants. Garden Centre Association judge Jeanette Cheetham comments; "I love this time of year as I get to see so many dazzling displays. I was absolutely blown away by the standard of the displays this year and must admit that the results were very close. Congratulations to Castle Gardens who went on to become the overall winner of the small to medium sized garden centre category."