Local podcaster, Sarah Wilson, who until recently co-owned Simply Garden in George Street Hastings, has won Podcast of the Year at the prestigious Garden Media Guild Awards, the so-called gardening ‘Oscars’; she was recognised for her weekly gardening show Roots and All. 

Held at the Savoy in London, the ceremony was attended by over 350 of gardening’s great and good. It is one of the biggest events of the horticultural calendar for those who tweet, write, blog, photograph and broadcast about one of the nation’s favourite pastimes.

Sarah was obviously delighted to have won the award only 18 months after launching her podcast, saying: “It’s wonderful to know that one person with a microphone, a recorder and a passion for independent broadcasting can achieve great things.”

Sarah started her podcasts because she felt the mainstream media had too narrow a focus, as well as being overdependent on corporate interests: by contrast Sarah is ‘fiercely independent’. She felt “things could be done better to introduce people to horticulture” and she wanted to “help make sure they were successful in their attempts at growing”. 

She realized that growing and cultivating things was a bit of a mystery to some and wanted to try and demystify everything, from the basics like digging the soil and sowing seeds, to creating an entirely new outdoor space from scratch. One of her early podcasts (Podcast 5) was with Louise Bell from Marina Allotments in West St Leonards. Since then she has also made podcasts with Hastings residents Geoff Dann (Podcast 34, Edible Mushrooms) and Sassie Yasamee (Podcast 36, Apples). Her next Podcast (42), due out on 21st January, is with another Hastings Resident, Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter for the last 25 years.

Amongst other things, Roots and All was judged to deliver previously unreported gardening knowledge to a new audience. Impressively, the small, independent podcast beat two BBC radio shows and one produced by industry association Garden Organic.

For more information visit www.rootsandall.co.uk, or follow on https://twitter.com/rootsandall

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