Gardening: Get snapping to be in with a chance of winning a trip to the Netherlands

Sunflowers growing amongst vegetables on an alloment. Picture by Mark Bolton/IGPOTY
Sunflowers growing amongst vegetables on an alloment. Picture by Mark Bolton/IGPOTY

Fancy yourself as a garden photographer? Now everyone can enter one of the world’s most prestigious competitions to win a trip to Holland.

Seedsman Thompson & Morgan has joined forces with the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) to sponsor a new award, the Joy of Gardening.

Sunflower Solar Flash seen through pale lavender. Picture by Mandy Watson

Sunflower Solar Flash seen through pale lavender. Picture by Mandy Watson

You can enter images of Thompson & Morgan products that you’ve grown and winners will appear at the launch event at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and have their photograph published in the annual IGPOTY book.

The winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Keukenhof Gardens, Holland with IGPOTY managing director, Tyrone McGlinchey.

Judges will be looking for inspirational photographs that connect people and plants through the joy of growing, and that encourage others to get involved with gardening.

IGPOTY’s manager Curtis McGlinchey said: “We hope to introduce more people to the rewards of gardening, highlight the attainability of sustainable living, increase awareness of the natural world and champion the accessibility and effectiveness of photography as an art form.”

An artichoke. Picture by Jason Ingram/IGPOTY

An artichoke. Picture by Jason Ingram/IGPOTY

Clare Dixey, Thompson & Morgan’s marketing services manager, said: “We’re excited to offer this new special award in collaboration with IGPOTY.

“To be able to see fabulous photographs of our plants flourishing in people’s gardens will be a proud moment for us.”

To view the winners gallery from last year’s competition, go to https://igpoty.com/igpoty-competition-10/

To enter, go to https://igpoty.com/competitions/thompson-morgan-joy-of-gardening-2017/

Spring colour from a Wallflower Cloth of Gold.

Spring colour from a Wallflower Cloth of Gold.

The closing date for the IGPOTY Thompson & Morgan special award is October 31.

l For more, plus cook what you grow, recipes, environmental news and more, log on to www.mandycanudigit.com (now smartphone friendly), www.sunderlandecho.com/gardening, follow me on Twitter @MandyCanUDigIt or you can like me on Facebook at Mandycanudigit


If you want to grow spring bedding for next year, wallflowers, pansies, and Bellis perennis need to be sown from now until next month in order to flower next spring.

Winter bedding plants can also be sown, including ornamental cabbages, kales and winter pansies.

Pinch out the leading shoots on Chrysanthemum and Helianthus to encourage bushy plants.

Vine weevil larvae can be a serious pest of container plants, and are active now. There are various biological controls available.

Twining climbers (such as honeysuckle and clematis) need regular tying in and twining around supports.

Take softwood cuttings of many deciduous shrubs, including Fuchsia, Hydrangea macrophylla, Philadelphus and Spiraea.

Ensure newly-planted trees and shrubs do not dry out. Water with rain, grey or recycled water.

Loosen any tree ties that are digging into the bark.

Shorten newly-planted raspberry canes for new shoots.

Change the feed for pot-grown fruit to a high potassium liquid one, such as tomato fertiliser.

Water blueberries, cranberries and lingonberries regularly with rainwater. Only use tapwater when butts run dry.

Peas need staking with pea sticks, netting or pruned garden twigs.