HTA launches virtual New Plant Awards

The HTA (Horticultural Trades Association) has announced that it will be hosting its New Plant Awards as a ‘virtual’ event this year.

The New Plant Awards are usually one of the highlights of the National Plant Show, held by the HTA in June each year. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the plant show was cancelled, but the HTA has decided to run the New Plant Awards as an independent online event in 2020.

HTA President, Boyd Douglas-Davies said: “We are so excited to be able to launch a virtual version of the New Plant Awards. The Awards are an important and eagerly anticipated event within the horticulture calendar, and they allow our UK growers and plant suppliers to showcase the wonderful new plants they have been cultivating. We hope that running the event, despite the current circumstances, will provide a much-needed boost for the industry, and provide a positive focus for the horticulture community.”

The Awards will include both a professionally judged and an online visitor vote award. In each category the judges will be deciding Bronze, Silver and Gold winners. Best in Category winners will be put forward for Best Overall Winner.

Exhibitors can enter plants into the following categories:

  • Herbaceous Perennials
  • Annuals
  • Houseplants
  • Shrubs & Climbers
  • Trees & Conifers

‘Virtual visitors’ will be able to vote on their favourite plants via a link which will be publicised on Monday 15 June. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 17 June.

The HTA has also announced its judges for this year’s Awards:

  • Matthew Biggs - TV & radio gardening personality, garden writer
  • Tamsin Westhorpe - Horticultural journalist & gardener, Joint Chair, Garden Media Guild
  • Ian Hodgson - Garden writer, editor, consumer magazines
  • Jonathan Savage - General Manager, Scotsdales Garden Centres
  • Lesley Watson - Director of New Hopetoun Gardens

Head Judge, Matthew Biggs commented: “Undeterred by the current crisis, the HTA’s Virtual New Plant Awards are going ahead. It is a wonderful opportunity for our talented British nurseries to promote some of the fantastic new plants they are breeding, and I am honoured to be part of the judging team for these highly prestigious Awards.”

There is still time for virtual exhibitors to register their interest by emailing events@hta.org.uk, but entries must be submitted by the deadline of Friday 29 May.

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