5 June 2017


The Inaugural Gardening Scotland ‘Gardener of the Year’ Award was announced over the weekend with the judges awarding joint winners in the hotly contested competition.

Entries came from all over Scotland and from gardeners with wide ranging levels of experience. The judging team, made up of Gardening Scotland Board Members, were impressed by not only the skill of some of the entrants but by the levels of passion and selflessness displayed by some nominees.

After a difficult judging session, the judges selected joint winners, being unable to separate two of the most impressive finalists.

The winners are:

Catriona (Kit) Ferris, amateur gardener from Fenwick in Ayrshire

Catriona, known as Kit, was nominated by two people who said:

“Kit is an inspirational lady and dedicated gardener. She has helped to spark interest in gardening and vegetable growing in a huge range of people. Her knowledge and support is invaluable and has helped many of us to successfully set up our own vegetable growing projects.

“For years, Kit has been inspiring would-be gardeners with her wit and incredible experience and wisdom.”

Kit runs a private Facebook page called ‘Veg Gardening for Enthusiastic Amateurs’ to help others to develop their own skills.

Kit said:

“I was blown away to even be nominated. They say it’s the taking part that counts and it’s true. I’m humbled just to be considered for this and delighted to win.”

Sallie Sillars, Head Gardener at Horatio’s Garden in Glasgow

Horatio’s Garden opened in 2016 at the Scottish National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow.

Sallie’s nomination said:

“The challenges of Sallie’s role cannot be underestimated – a brand new high maintenance, high profile garden, a team of new volunteers, working with a clinical team in a highly stressful hospital environment and delivering an incredible garden project for patients with life changing spinal cord injuries.

“Sallie is brilliant at the role and is the shining light of the project. She is managing the garden outstandingly – everything is immaculate and every part of this acre garden is carefully nurtured.”

Sallie herself said:

“I had no idea I had even been nominated and I’m delighted. It is an honour to work with the team at Horatio’s Garden.”

Bill Peebles, Gardening Scotland Board Member, said

“What really stood out to us in terms of entries for this new Award was the passion we could see within the applications. Some nominees were new to gardening and learning as they went along whilst others had years of experience. But what they all shared was dedication and that’s where we focused our attention.

“In the end, joint winners were selected as we simply couldn’t separate Catriona and Sallie. I should like to congratulate them both and to thank all our nominees. They are a credit to themselves and to gardening!  I look forward to seeing even more people entering or being nominated next year.”


Gardening Scotland took place from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 June 2017 – it is Scotland’s national gardening and outdoor living show.

It hosts the biggest plant fair in Scotland, with hundreds of exhibitors, trade stands, gardening ideas and expertise.

Please follow us on Twitter @GardenScotland, Facebook – Gardening Scotland, Pinterest – Gardening Scotland and Instagram – gardeningscot, and look out for a host of competitions as well as key news and information.

For more information about Gardening Scotland visit

Photographs of Catriona (Kit) and Sallie are attached. Kit is seen being presented with her certificate by Gardening Scotland Board Member Bill Peebles. Images can be supplied in high res format by emailing

Please contact if you are interested in learning more about, or featuring, either of the two winners.






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