B&Q Gardener of the Year runner-up ‘thrilled’ after winning £1k prize

The B&Q Gardener of the Year competition has revealed its winners and runners-up.

Emese Peter, 38, of Ladywell Fields in Lewisham, won in the Best Nature Loving Garden category, the category that received the most entries, and was runner-up overall.

Ms Peter, who works in marketing, began working on her garden during lockdown in 2020. She said that her willow tree in the centre of her garden brings a very special atmosphere and “secret garden” feel to her outdoor space.

Ms Peter’s Bug Hotel (Picture: Daniel Herendi)

She told the South London Press: “It was really thrilling to be chosen, especially knowing that most entries were submitted in the category.

“It’s great to have the category introduced for the first time this year, too. It gives confidence to gardeners who are appreciating this approach, as opposed to the formal, traditional approach.

“It’s a sort of validation that this gardening is appreciated professionally.

“We saw it at the Chelsea Flower Show too this year, which featured what was previously considered weeds, to support biodiversity and wildlife.

“It is great to see this picked up on more platforms.

“It’s important to find the beauty in these things and understand how it supports the bigger ecology.”

Using her garden as a creative outlet, Ms Peter enjoys how much nature thrives in her garden, and it helps her switch off and relax.

She plans to use her £1,000 prize money to visit gardens for inspiration for her own outdoor space, including Beth Chatto’s Garden and Hilldrop in Essex, and invest in more nature-loving products for her garden.

Wildlife in Ms Peter’s garden including a tree trunk decorated with plant pots and a mini pond (Picture: Daniel Herendi)

Steve Guy, B&Q outdoor category director, said: “The Best Nature Loving Garden category was the category which received the most entries, and there were so many wonderful gardens, but Ms Peter’s was so beautiful it really stood out.

“We loved how she created a natural looking haven for wildlife within an urban area of London.

Under the Willow in Ms Peter’s garden (Picture: Daniel Herendi)

“Her use of plants and the gorgeous willow tree, as well as her natural approach to gardening allowed for us judges to agree that this was an easy win for this category!”

Pictured top: Emese Peter (Picture: Daniel Herendi)

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