This year, we’ve collaborated with the Sunday Express to create our Wilko Amateur Gardener of the Year competition. With up to £350 worth of Wilko vouchers up for grabs, this is something you won’t want to miss out on. That’s why, we’re going to be bringing you inspiration for each category.

The focus this week is on the Best Junior Gardener category. So, if you’re under 18 and you’ve got green fingers that are always itching to get creative, now’s your chance to shine! Below we’ve put together some ideas as to what types of gardens may be entered, but if you have a different one, we can’t wait to see it either!

A rise in young gardeners

Those born between the 80s and early 00s, also known as Millennials, have been brought up in a world where technology and the Internet are expanding at an alarming rate. This means they’ve been surrounded by devices, where everything and everyone is connected. At times, this can be overwhelming, and in a bid to escape, many turn to the wilderness, enjoying the serenity of being in the great outdoors. Ditching their tablets and smartphones in favour of gardening tools, they’re getting stuck into the garden, creating natural spaces that are the perfect retreat.

Does this sound like you? Then you could be the young gardener we’re looking for!


Cottage gardens

Cottage gardens can come in a range of designs. They will often have a chaotic edge but one that, behind the scenes, has been very carefully planned to create layers of texture and complementing colours. Many of these gardens will have a mysterious air, meaning those who behold it feel as though they’re entering a secret garden that’s full of new discoveries. They’ll also boast a sensory experience with strongly scented plants, such as lavender, placed near to paths and border edges, so their beautiful fragrance is released as people pass by them or touch them.

Plants you’ll need:

Foxglove a classic flower for cottage gardens, these stunning spires boast striking colours and add height to borders.

Lavender perfect for edging pathways or filling out borders, lavender shrubs also add a relaxing fragrance to your garden.

Rosewith their beautiful perfume and classic look, these are a must in any cottage garden, especially when you opt for the vintage styles.

Delphinium another flower that adds height to a cottage garden, these spikes of purple-blue flowers will bring an impressive touch.

Contemporary gardens

A garden that evokes a contemporary edge will contain many clean lines, minimalistic spaces and bold finishing touches. Low planting schemes are often favoured, as they allow the garden’s features to stand out, whether these are modern water features or large steel structures. Seating will also play an important role in a contemporary garden, with this being incorporated amongst square pots of large plants, vertical and repetitive planting.

Plants you’ll need:

Grasses – ideal for creating texture, movement and structure to a contemporary garden, a variety of grasses in late summer and autumn will add to the modern look as their vibrant greens turn to more serene bronze colours.

Bamboo – these plants come in a variety of colours and sizes, and are perfect for bringing another texture to a garden, rustling gently in the breeze.

Echinacea adding a riot of colour to a garden, these flowers love dry conditions, and work well when they’re placed alongside grasses.

watering your garden

Small gardens

Gardens where your limited with space can be incredibly challenging, which is why the best small gardens often have a number of details that help to add to the impression of space. For example, different heights can create an exciting touch, while garden ornaments and sculptures help to keep the space looking vibrant all year round. When it comes to plants, less is definitely more, but only in the quantity – not the variety! Using different textures and colours helps to develop a varied look that draws the eye to different levels, creating the impression of space, while also creating a calming, relaxing area.

Plants you’ll need:

Ferns – these are ideal for any corners of the garden that don’t get much sunlight, bringing a beautiful texture and focal point to the space.

Acer – perfect for adding a vibrant, red colour to your garden, and can be grown in pots where flowerbeds are at a premium.

Trachelospermum maximising space in a small garden means you need to go vertical as well as horizontal, and this climber is perfect for doing that. Furthermore, their foliage remains glossy and attractive throughout winter.

caring for wooden furniture

Fruit and vegetable gardens

These gardens boast a bountiful display that’s sure to get your mouth watering. With household varieties situated next to some more unusual ones, these gardens aren’t just a treat for the stomach but for the eyes too. From traditional walled gardens to gardens that use pots, raised beds and greenhouses, these gardens evoke all the personality of the gardeners who’ve created them. And the best bit is – you get to taste the fruits of your labour!

Plants you’ll need:

Tomatoes no veggie patch would be complete without a tomato plant or two, but you can make things interesting by opting for some Tumbling Toms, which can be grown in hanging baskets.

Strawberries a British favourite, these are a delicious treat during the warmer summer months. The Baron Solemacher variety is perfect for growing in containers, so is ideal for adding to a smaller vegetable garden.

Squash available in a variety of different types, squashes are sure to add a quirky touch to a vegetable garden – especially if you opt for the colourful Turks Turban fruits!

planting seeds

Get digging!

The above are just a few of the exciting varieties of gardens available, but with no garden ever being the same, we can’t wait to see what you’ve created! Will it be something bold and contemporary with tropical plants from all over the world? Or will it be a wild garden that’s full of traditional plants, intertwined with edible flowers, fruits and veg?

For full details on our competition, including how to enter, click here.

Print this page