In This Issue
HTA Chairman calls on industry to celebrate efforts of 2020 and look toward 2021 from a position of preparedness
GCA Chairman's New Year message: "I am looking at 2021 with optimism"
New Year predictions from the "Bunker Booth"
HTA President says we must make sure we understand the modern gardeners needs
The GTN Xtra Top 100 Most Read Stories of 2020
No 1 Most Read Story 2020 - Garden Centres close their doors "We want to be part of stopping the spread of Coronavirus"
No 2 Most Read Story 2020 - Trading update from this weekend - UPDATED
No 3 Most Read Story 2020 - Garden centres in England and Scotland can stay open - now is the time to review Covid-19 safety
No 4 Most Read Story 2020 - Exeter garden centre stays open but cannot sell plants - Cherry Lane close all centres
No 5 Most Read Story 2020 - Dobbies remain open and social media gets heated
No.6 to No.10 Most Read Stories in 2020
Who will be the winners in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards? There's still time to enter before the New Years Eve closing date
GTN's Trevor Pfeiffer reviews 2020 with Peter Seabrook
The New Environmentalist - Nature will become ‘second nature’ to future generations
Over £7,000 worth of prizes to be won in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Stax emerges strong from a trying year
Gardenex, PetQuip and the CHA launch new initiative following Brexit trade deal
The best of last week's
Decision to close Scottish garden centres ‘disappointing’
Local community saves Thetford Garden Centre from flooding
Record entries to popular Illumination Street contest
Christmas decorations made from natural materials
Get set for Garden Re-Leaf Day 2021!
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Garden Centre Photo Tours
Barton Grange Christmas 2020 - Exclusive GTN Xtra Photo Tour
Squires Badshot Lea - Christmas 2020
Perrywood at Christmas 2020 - with correct photo gallery now...
British Garden Centres open their 58th centre at Thatcham
Haskins Snowhill re-opens after £15m re-vamp
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Sponsored by:

Record entries to popular Illumination Street contest


Illumination Street, sponsored by British Garden Centres Group, has broken all records this festive period with unprecedented media coverage in the Sunday Mirror, Sunday People, Daily Express, Grow Your Own magazine, ITV News and BBC Radio.


Coverage of the competition, highlighting the passion, flair and effort invested into front gardens around Britain in the build-up to Christmas, was also broadcast by 58 individual BBC and commercial radio stations, reaching an audience of 2.1 million listeners. 


Entries to Illumination Street, which had over £5,000 worth of British Garden Centres gift vouchers to be won, skyrocketed this year. 


As the British public took to their streets once again to deck their neighbourhoods with twinkling fairy lights and stunning spectacles, it was great to see so many festively festooned homes. 


This Christmas especially, the country needed some joy, so this has been the perfect opportunity to see families and communities come together to create visual delights full of snowmen, reindeers, polar bears, and nutcrackers.


From traditional wreaths to musically synchronised experiences, there was a huge variety in the competition this year, which made it hard for the judges to decide on the worthy winners. 


The winners were:


Large Outdoor Display 

Dan and Mark Warr-Extance of Yeovil, Somerset, were the judge’s top pick. Transforming their bungalow into the Disney Castle, they created a truly stunning display, whilst raising money for charity.

Second place was awarded to Sue and Graham Hawkes. Their annual display is the talk of Almondsbury in Bristol and this year was no different, as they added a touching tribute to the NHS to celebrate their hard work.

Natalie Price, Rotherham was awarded third place for her colourful display.


Small Outdoor Display 

In first place was Jonathan Burge, Weston-Super-Mare. He transformed his home into an old toy shop and its brilliance and originality blew the judges away.

Second place was awarded to Kavitha Kirby in Leeds. Her and her partner are both doctors and created a beautiful mythical inspired display to raise money for NHS charities. 

In third place was Mike Baldwin, of Portsmouth, with his synchronised light display.


Best Community Display 

The community winner was Hailey’s Christmas Walking Trail. The village of Hailey united and decided to create a cohesive community display. With current restrictions they knew it would have to be an outdoor show, so 46 houses took part in this walking trail, with each displaying a unique festive word.

In second place was Olde Hanwell Advent Window Project, London, for their amazing window advent calendar. With over 200 houses involved, each night a new house lit up their window, adding another window to the display, up until Christmas Eve. 

In joint third place was Bromberrow Way Christmas Lights and Helpston Village Advent. The judges couldn’t decide between the two, so decided to reward them.


Best Front Door Display 

In first place with her fully handmade, upcycled display was Mandy Calderon from Thatcham. Her candy land archway was a unique entry, that showed real originality and resourcefulness as it was made from upcycled carboard boxes!

In second place was Julie Murray in Woodbridge and her simply stunning doorway. The judges loved this entry because it showed warmth and really reminded them of Christmas time. 

In third place wass Emma Ross of Inverness with a frosty white display.


In the public vote for the Best Front Door Display, first place went to William Jenkinson in Craigavon with his gorgeous Red and White frost display. In second place was Bron Waters, Crowborough, for his traditional front door, and third was Donna Mitchell-Talbot in Wednesbury fopr her handmade Santa wreath and festive garland archway. 


Best Children’s Display 

In joint first place was Chewton Common Playgroup, Walkford, and William Law CE Primary School in Dundee.

The children at Chewton made their own snowmen and decided to bring their entire festive display outside because restrictions meant their parents couldn’t visit indoors.

William Law pupils were learning about medicine and the NHS so decided to combine their curriculum with Christmas and made snowmen out of tablet cups. This original and fitting display (right) caught the judges’ eyes.

In second place was Chaucer Junior School whose year 6 bubble made some amazing displays out of recycled materials, including reindeers out of coffee lids. 

In third place was Alice Coad, of Spalding. Inspired by her dad’s outdoor lighting display, Alice wanted to do her own so decorated her chest of drawers with a tree, tinsel and lots of amazing light-up goodies. 

Alice also came third in the public vote, which was won by St Francis Primary School, Dundee, for their Elf your Self wall (pictured below) Second place went to Chewton Common Playgroup.


For more information visit


See the gallery of second and third placed winners below...

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Large Outdoor Display 2nd Place - Sue and Graham Hawkes
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