Alison Rogers.I was invited to be part of SIB when I was involved with Essex neighbourhood Gardener. I loved it so much that after Essex neighbourhood Gardener dissolved, I remained on the SIB Committee. I love working towards making the town a better place. I am a member of the RHS and am currently studying for a degree in Environmental Science with The Open University. My favourite bit of gardening is watching things grow and gardens develop.
Anna Ostler. I always had a love for gardens, having visited many as a child and have continued to take my own children. I didn't, however, take up a trowel until around ten years ago; once I started, I couldn't stop, I am hooked. I am now qualified to level 3 RHS and teach and assess various gardening courses at Southend Adult Community College, including the new Level 2 RHS certificate in 'Garden Planning and Maintenance'. I joined Southend in Bloom last year and am thoroughly enjoying being a member.
Anji Stratton I am delighted to join the SIB Team after working for several years at the award winning Growing Together Gardens as well as being a member of Southend Borough Council's Allotment Judging Team.
My passion for gardening started with buying my first home, some years later when my day job as a Project Manager became less attractive and a new career in gardening beckoned. My horticulture training at Capel Manor followed as did setting up my own gardening business.
I have also worked in educational and community gardens in the USA and here in the UK, this included working in an Urban Display Garden at The University of Washington in Seattle to show city dwellers how to make the most of their gardens.
Whilst in the USA I participated in the Washintgon State University Master Gardener Program which provides horticulture education in the community - this gave me the opportunity to run a Community Demonstration Garden - ornamental and native species gardens along with with fruit and vegetables.
I am very excited at the prospect of judging this year's competition where I know schools, businesses and home owners alike will put on a wonderful show in their gardens!