Past be-leaf_ Magherafelt man Phillip Stewart wins indoor gardening gong

Judges laud artistic use of houseplants

Phillip Stewart dug deep to land the ‘artistic indoor gardener’ accolade on the Not Your Common Gardener Awards, run by Dobbies backyard centres.

The digital studying guide by day — and houseplant mother or father by evening — impressed Dobbies’ houseplant purchaser and inventive indoor gardener decide, Claire Bishop, together with his houseplant haven.

The Not Your Common Gardener Awards recognise the eagerness, dedication and revolutionary sustainable gardening strategies inside communities.

“I’ve all the time naturally gravitated in the direction of crops, I even like crops greater than individuals generally,” admits Phillip (29).

“I believe ‘backyard individuals’ perceive when you’re hooked it’s troublesome to cease, you all the time need extra crops in your life. It’s like Pokémon, you gotta have all of them.”

For a lot of, Covid prompted new hobbies and actions, one in all which is gardening.

“I believe the explanation gardening took off is as a result of individuals slowed down,” says Phillip.

“All of us grew to become extra conscious of nature and what was occurring round us.

“There was the possibility to attempt new issues like sowing seeds, propagation or simply appreciating an out of doors area, or making a inexperienced area indoors.”

Number of Phillip’s houseplants

The houseplant mother or father — “I’m additionally a canine mother or father to a really spoilt pug referred to as Niska. She is jealous that extra individuals know me for crops and houseplants than her” — says his family members’ curiosity in his pastime is solely blooming.

“Each my mom and my auntie assume my bed room filled with houseplants is messy, however my buddies assume it’s cool, they’ve comparable style to me and are actually proud. My mom has now developed a newfound love for the houseplants.

“I all the time inform individuals an indoor plant is an out of doors plant someplace, simply not appropriate for our UK local weather to stay fortunately out of doors all-year-around.

“I really like the very fact I deal with my crops as inside design props whereas additionally mimicking their pure necessities from the wild in a pot and having that in the home.”

Phillip acquired a £1,000 giftcard to spend in his native Dobbies retailer in addition to recommendation from the in-store horticultural specialists on how he can take his inside gardening mission to the following stage. So on which plant-based produce will he spend his voucher?

“Everyone seems to be asking me this! I wish to be smart with it and get important issues like compost; some new terracotta pots, perlite and soaker trays however I do know the second I get by means of the doorways at Dobbies and see crops and houseplants, my smart mind can be out the window and I’ll make some impulsive purchases.”

Award-winner Phillip Stewart

For these tempted so as to add color and life to their house, even in a small area, Phillip has this recommendation: “Small areas might be troublesome since you should be so strict with your self — it’s good to take into consideration what you need from the area.

“Take onboard the facet of the situation and analysis what crops will do nicely there.

“Set a theme, so you might have earth tones, Caribbean vibes, gothic or no matter you fancy, after which begin linking your plant checklist to the theme/transient/location. Pots and different decorations are a great way to deliver your theme collectively.”

He additionally suggests to think about seasons, significantly winter, to make sure the looks of evergreens.

“Typically the most important mistake individuals could make is just desirous about their favorite time of the yr after which they don’t have anything for the opposite seasons. Analysis, make an inventory, follow your theme and purchase accordingly.”

Claire Bishop explains the judging panel had a troublesome time whittling the entries right down to 4 winners, although she was “exceptionally impressed” with Phillip’s entry.

“He had a extremely attention-grabbing choice of crops and had proven actual consideration into what crops had been proper for his setting,” she provides.

“Every year we’re amazed with the standard of expertise getting into our Not Your Common Gardener Awards and may’t consider that is our fourth yr.

“It’s nice to see novice gardeners to lovers pouring ardour into their inexperienced areas by utilizing sustainable merchandise and practices to assist affect the planet in a optimistic method.”

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