This is typical of the sort of thing that a judge will look for when viewing a garden in the competition. It is not a definitive list of judging criteria.
It is intended to be a helpful guide to competitors when preparing their garden for entry.
A. Overall Impact
The “wow factor.” Once you have had a quick look around, these are those vital first impressions.
What is there of interest for the early part of the season?
In June and July this is easy!
Does the planting allow for colour after the summer “flush”?
Are there shrubs which will give shape and form and some colour? Will there be winter berries?
A bit of concrete outside the backdoor and a long straight path down the centre of the garden will only get 1 or 2 marks.
However, a curving path that disappears out of sight, thus leading you on into the garden (and made of a material to suit the garden), will get a much higher mark.
Water, arches, statues, pergolas or any “artificial” part of the garden. The score will reflect how well this feature has been integrated into the garden. Does it work?
How good does it look on the day? Is the grass cut and are the beds weed free?
Are there composting facilities? The disposal of garden waste can be a problem but composting is ideal and the plant nutrients are not lost from the garden.
G. Family Needs
How well is the garden adapted for family needs? This covers many things that you have to have in a garden but that you may not want!
Sheds, dustbins, washing lines and children’s play equipment – are they just plonked in a corner or are they hidden, or made into a feature?
Does the garden compliment the house and set it off?