Hove gardeners are growing for gold in allotment contest

Gary Murdock and Pete Taylor

Gary Murdock and Pete Taylor

First published in News

Gardeners hope to dig their way to victory on new BBC show.

The Big Allotment Challenge will premiere next week on BBC2 and boasts some strong Sussex gardening talent as amateur horticulturalists pair up and compete to be named cream of the crop.

Two allotment-holders from Hove, Gary Murdock, 46, and Pete Taylor, 42, have joined together in the hope of becoming champions of the BBC’s new six-part gardening show.

Neither of them went in to the competition with any expectations and planned to “just have a laugh and go with the flow”.

Many people are sure to enjoy the pair’s relaxed attitude to gardening as they “do not feel the need to make sure there are no weeds left in the ground”.

The Hove pair enjoy the contrast between their job as IT consultants and their greener hobby. Gary and Pete have also been described as lazy gardeners and work under the ethos “just throw it, grow it and hopefully it will show it”.

Each week, nine pairs will plot, plant and prune their way to become Britain’s best srowers as they face a string of challenges judged by three experts.

Best in show accolades will be awarded in the ‘grow’, ‘make’ and ‘eat’ categories where contestants will be asked to present the perfect single rose, grow unblemished aubergines and create a summer floral wreath.

Judge Jim Buttress is one of the UK’s leading gardening experts and has a high-profile clientele that has included the Queen and the Queen Mother.

Jim earned himself the nickname, Judge Dread during his time as head judge of Britain in Bloom for 25 years.

The show’s floral expert is Jonathon Moseley, who won his first competition at the age of 12. He will be looking for innovative and creative designs that meet his high standards.

Founder of Aldeburgh Cookery School, Thane Prince, completes the trio of top judges and will share her expertise on preserves which earned her twelve years as a food writer for the Daily Telegraph.

Fern Britton, host of ITV’s This Morning for ten years, will oversee proceedings on the weekly hour-long show.

A walled off garden at Mapledurham House, Oxfordshire, will host the brand new series starts on BBC2 tomorrow |at 8pm.

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