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Sky Gardening Challenge 2024

Pink blossom in the foreground with silver-grey urban buildings in the background in Manchester
Sky Gardening Challenge 2024 | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Give it a grow and join in with the National Trust’s Sky Gardening competition for a chance win £200 of gardening vouchers and much more.

Nature is your most important neighbour. It’s great for your mental and physical health and we need more of it in our cities to improve the environment. That’s why we’re helping you to bring nature home by supporting you to green your balcony or window box.

Sign up today to receive free seeds and compost and learn new skills or brush up on old ones on our free gardening workshops led by our friendly balcony gardening experts.

To be in with a chance of winning, give greening your balcony or window a go, then share your journey with us through written word, photograph, video or audio recording (whichever suits you) by Sunday 30 June. Finalists’ gardens will be visited by a special panel of judges including Cloud Gardener Jason Williams and National Trust’s own balcony gardener, Robyn Booth.

Winners will be revealed in July at a Garden Party at Castlefield Viaduct, where prizes will be awarded for your greenery efforts.

The prizes

  • Prizes do not include any extras apart from those listed below.
  • No cash alternative will be made. Prizes are non-transferable.
  • All prizes must be claimed by 31 Dec 2024.

The First Prize(s)

For the categories Celebrating Cultural Heritage; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Urban Farmer; and In the Shade, the first-place winners will each receive a pair of secateurs and gardening gloves and a £150 voucher for Blue Diamond Garden Centre which can be redeemed online.

For the category Supporting Wildlife, the first-place winner will receive a £200 voucher for CJ Wildlife which can be redeemed online, and the opportunity to take advice from CJ Wildlife on which products would be suitable for their space

First-place winners for all categories will also win free entry and lunch at one of the following National Trust Properties: Dunham Massey, Lyme, Quarry Bank. Winners may bring one adult and up to 4 children under 18 with them. National Trust will pay for taxi from the entrant’s home address to the property and back.

The Runners-up Prizes

Second and third-place runners up prizes for all categories will receive a free signed copy of GROW by Robyn Booth.

Second and third-place runners up prizes for all categories will also receive free entry and lunch at one of the following National Trust Properties: Dunham Massey, Lyme, Quarry Bank.

Winners may bring one adult and up to 4 children under 18 with them. National Trust will pay for taxi from the entrant’s home address to the property and back.

The details

When signing up to the contest you will have selected what type of garden you will grow:

  • Celebrate cultural heritage: Tell your story through your green space. What colours, smells, shapes and species in nature signify something to you?
  • In the shade: Does your balcony or window face north and not get much sun? Help nature thrive, even in the shade. What can you grow in abundance? Think ferns, mosses and fuchsias!
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Greening your balcony or window box doesn’t need to cost the Earth. Whether it’s recycling plant pots or becoming a propagation guru, what sustainable ways can you use to bring nature home?
  • Wild about Wildlife: Create a high-rise hangout for urban wildlife such as bees, birds and more. Who could you meet at your window?
  • Urban Farming: Whether it’s vertical veg or high-rise herbs, grow an edible garden to tingle the tastebuds. How much bounty can you produce?

How to submit your entry

You have to be in it to win it! We ask that you share your story with us by Sunday 30 June by writing or emailing to us for a chance win National Trust nature goodies. Remember – it’s not about being a gardener, it’s about giving it a go.
In your story and garden tell or show us how:

  • Your garden reflects the category you signed up to
  • Creativity: How have you used your imagination? What’s the most beautiful part to you?
  • Uniqueness: What makes your garden different? What little touches are special to you?
  • Trowel and Error: What have you learnt while growing? What works? What went wrong?

Your entry can be in one of the following formats:

  • Written – as a statement, poem or story - max of 400 words
  • Photograph and a short caption (50 words max) – maximum 4 photos
  • Video – maximum 2 minutes and up to 2GB
  • Artistic – painting, drawing, collage, sculpture – please take a photo of your artwork with a short caption (50 words max) and send this to us

Please send your entries to:
skygardeningchallenge@nationaltrust.org.uk include your full name and category
or National Trust, Sky Gardening Challenge, Grasmere Hub, Cumbria, LA22 9QB.

Meet the judges

Judge

Cloud Gardener Jason Williams

“I’m wanting to see the mistakes and attempts, the trowel and error". 

A pink blossom tree with a yellow tram going over a bridge in the background
Blossom in Manchester | © ©National Trust Images, Annapurna Mellor