News  /  Sustainability

Urban Garden Awards Winners!

Published on 2 December 2021

Urban Garden Awards winners!

It’s no secret that we’re passionate about green space and biodiversity at Milton Park. From August to late October, we gave businesses on the Park with an urban garden patch the chance to secure green-fingered glory in our very first Urban Garden Awards. 

Our urban gardens are part of our commitment to sustainability – allowing people based on the Park the chance to grow vegetables, herbs and other plants while at work. The patches are also a great way to get some fresh air, meet other people on the Park and share top gardening tips.

Entries were judged by Anthony Stiff from ASA Landscape Architects, Jon Fraser from Nurture Landscapes, Milton Park’s Estate Manager, Peter King, and Richard Mathews Florists. There was stiff competition, with golden trowels and garden centre vouchers up for grabs, but we’re now delighted to say we have our winners! Read on to find out the lucky recipients as well as some top tips for an award winning garden…

Largest food item

This category was all about the largest food items grown, and both Eden and Oxford Immunotec certainly brought the goods! First place went to Eden with a 31.5cm long courgette, with Oxford Immunotec not far behind – thanks their 146cm rocket and 112cm long lettuce.

  • Eden Research’s courgette
  • Oxford Immunotec with their rocket and lettuce plants.

Biodiversity award

The gold award for biodiversity went to Biocleave. The use of love-in-a-mist (sometimes known as Nigella) and poppies made the patch look colourful, varied as well as a beautiful home for bees and other bugs. The poppies in particular looked absolutely stunning. Adaptimmune were our runners up. Insects flocked to the vibrant patch, which featured a wide range of flowers and veggies. Nice work!

  • Biocleave’s love-in-a-mist
  • Adaptimmune’s wildflowers

Most unusual food item

It was first place for Ipsen’s Patty Pans, which are perfect for hearty soups and stews at this time of year. There was a great selection of colours and sizes. Second place went to Biocleave’s cucamelons which had fun, exotic and attractive colours… and would also be perfect as a garnish in a gin and tonic!

  • Milton park urban gardensIpsen’s Patty Pans
  • Biocleve with their cucamelons.

Most inventive garden

We loved the creativity of both Replimune and Oxford Immunotec’s patches. Replimune planted a real variety of greenery which allowed them to go for gold- including plants, vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers. The range of plants and food means that the patch has looked beautiful no matter the time of year. Oxford Immunotec was a very close runner-up – once the growing season had gone, we saw over 100 spring bulbs bloom and even a few mini apple trees!

Oxford Immunotec planted apple trees and spring bulbs in their urban garden

Best use of colour

First place went to Adaptimmune, where the team re-created the logo in brightly coloured flowers… need we say more?! Second place went to Ashdown Phillips’ – who didn’t realise they’d planted some gorgeous sunflowers, which were definitely worth a prize.

  • Adaptimmune’s logo in flowers
  • Ashdown Philip’s sunflowers

Most overgrown

There was still prizes up for grabs for the patches which had been left to prosper on their own. South and Vale District Council took home the gold for their plot, which looked lovely during the summer and has since created a great habitat for bugs. Ashdown Philips also had an impressive hemlock display which scored them second place.

  • South and Vale Council wins most overgrown category
  • Ashdown Philip’s most overgrown

Community award

WaveOptics’ plot was tended to every day after school by one of its employees and her son, who loved to water the radishes. This commitment scored them first place for the community award.

Silver went to Taylor & Francis, in particular Production Editor, Bonita-Glanville Morris. Bonita tended to the plot throughout lockdown when restrictions allowed and in this time, the plot has seen kale, cabbage, radishes, rainbow carrots, rainbow beetroot, heaps of salad leaves, tomatoes, a few peas, and some flowers for the bees!

  • Strawberries grown in Milton Park's Urban GardensWaveOptics radish bed
  • Taylor & Francis

Best newcomer award

ASA Landscape Architects, who had an impressively large courgette and a wide variety of vegetables. A bottle of bubbly goes to the team!

  • Oxford Immunotec

Most productive plot

Sensium’s plot was the envy of other urban garden plots for the sheer amount of fruit and vegetables grown. We had to give them first place! Oxford Immunotec looked as if they’d opened a farm shop in their office which bagged them the runner-up prize.

Working on our raised beds in our urban gardens

Adaptimmune’s urban garden

Nurture Landscape Award

Nurture Landscapes were wowed by Adaptimmune’s impressive mix of fruit, vegetables and flowers, pretty arrangements, a professional submission and use of recycled materials meant that the team bagged a bottle of champers. Above is a picture of some of the team in action!

Strawberries grown in Milton Park's Urban Gardens


ASA Landscape Awards

ASA Landsape Architects were bowled over by the story behind WaveOptics’ patch. Their simple, effective and productive plot bagged them a bottle of bubbly and some garden vouchers. 

Oxford Immunotec

Richard Matthews Florists Outstanding Plot Award

Richard loved Oxford Immunotec’s ingenious idea of planting mini apple trees in two of their plots. This bagged the team a beautiful bouquet from Richard Mathews Florists and a bottle of something sparkly to celebrate. Congratulations! 

Fancy sprucing up your own garden? 

Our judges gave some top tips on growing some great plants at home, as well as in the urban garden patches. Here are our top five for green-fingered success!

  1. Foundations are key – make sure you have a great quality compost for your seeds and plants. – Jon, Nurture Landscapes
  2. Try growing chilli peppers and pop them in a jar of olive oil to produce a warming, delicious chilli oil. – Richard Mathews Florists
  3. Mix it up a little – try to get a variety of colours and textures of plants in your patch. – Anthony, ASA Landscape Architects
  4. Tomato varieties to try are Money Maker, Alicante and Gardeners Delight, all of which have great flavours. It’s also worthwhile trying to grow Pink Fir Apple potatoes for their great taste. – Richard Mathews Florists
  5. Think about our bee friends in the winter months and consider plants that will be beneficial for them… but make sure they’re organic and chemical-free. – Jon, Nurture Landscapes

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