Press Release: Tom Brown, Head Gardener, West Dean Gardens, wins Garden Media Guild's Journalist of the Year Award

West Dean Gardens (Chichester, West Sussex) are pleased to announce that Head Gardener Tom Brown has won the Garden Media Guild’s Journalist of the Year Award sponsored by Johnsons Lawn Seed. Beating off strong competition from four other journalists, this is the second GMG Award that Tom has won, the previous one being in 2019 when he won The Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award.  

Following the award ceremony, Tom commented: “I was bowled over to be shortlisted for this award and to be amongst such respected contemporaries. I’m really grateful to be given the opportunity to write for The Telegraph, Gardener’s World Magazine and Gardens Illustrated this year which allowed me to share my experience in a jargon free way, making gardening more accessible – particularly during such difficult times.” 

The Judges comments noted that: “Tom’s style is conversational and upbeat but doesn't dumb down the technical bits. He effortlessly passes on his gardening knowledge gained over the past 20-years as a hands-on gardener to make the features interesting to both those new to gardening and experienced gardeners seeking more advanced information. It’s clear that Tom knows his plants and subject matter inside out and his writing draws you into the feature. Snippets of information and handy hints and tips are dotted through the narrative, plus a sprinkling of humour!” 

They went on to say: “His features are bang up to date, especially his Bold and Beautiful article designed around combinations of exotic plants, illustrating a growing trend for container gardening. Bringing houseplants out during warmer climes is not new but Tom has put a modern twist on it using a range of popular tender plants grouped together to encourage and inspire people to get involved in growing.” 

Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, West Dean Gardens is one of the greatest restored gardens open to the public today. The Gardens are open between 10.30am to 4pm each day except December 24, 25 and 31.  Entry costs £7.50, children under 16 are free and last entry is 30 minutes before closing time. For those wanting a more relaxing visit, the restaurant is open to ticket holders only. 

West Dean Gardens is part of West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, which offers a wide variety of short courses – both in gardening and art and craft subjects, ranging from painting to photography and blacksmithing to millinery, including courses inspired by the award-winning gardens. Upcoming courses include Indoor gardening – make a kokedama, terrarium and living wreath with Alys Dobbie (26 January/ £203/ Suitable for all) and Eco-friendly contemporary painting with Melanie Rose (20-24 February/ £516/ Intermediate/Advanced).  For full details, please visit www.westdean.ac.uk  

West Dean Gardens, Near Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 ORX 

Editor’s Notes:  

West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.  

More information is available on www.westdean.org.uk or through social media:
https://www.facebook.com/westdeangardens 
https://www.instagram.com/westdeangardens/ 
https://twitter.com/westdeangardens 

For further information or high-resolution digital images, please contact Rachel Aked:
Email: rachel.aked@westdean.ac.uk
Tel: 07790 732448 

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