Welcome to our winners and happy birthday, Ivy!

We were delighted to welcome the winners of our VIP shopping experience with Katie Rushworth to Tong last Saturday.

For one of our winners, Ivy Dobson from Leeds, the personal shopping experience was extra special as it coincided with her 90th birthday and she was presented with a surprise birthday cake and a planter bursting with summer colour.

A delighted Ivy said: “I love to come to Tong and this was a special experience on my birthday! I didn’t want any fuss to celebrate but I’ve had a lovely day meeting Katie and choosing plants for my garden.”

Ivy’s daughter, Coral Wheatley, was equally enchanted with the experience: “I’m writing on behalf of both my mum and myself to ask if you could pass on our thanks to all involved in the VIP Shopping Experience. It really made my mum’s 90th birthday very special.

“Everyone at Tong was so nice to her and I know she thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The cake and Laura Ashley planter were a lovely and unexpected surprise – so thoughtful of you all. Thank you!”

The VIP Shopping Experience formed part of the ongoing partnership between the television presenter and Tong Garden Centre.  Tong’s Marketing Manager, Jo Dales, commented: “Katie loves inspiring people and sharing her plant knowledge and garden design expertise, so we devised a competition to give people the chance to spend some time with Katie for a personalised shopping experience!

“It was a fabulous, family friendly day that has created some lovely memories, and ironic that Katie, known as the Queen of Spades, treated our winners to a wonderful experience on the Queen’s official birthday!”

Ivy was one of ten winners ranging from five to 91 years of age who enjoyed Katie’s company and benefited from her gardening expertise. Other winners included five year old Olivia who watches Love your Garden on repeat and chose plants to decorate the front of her Wendy House; foster carer Janey who was looking for plants to create a miniature fairyland garden; community gardener, Paul who helps people struggling with mental health and was looking for grow your own edible plants and Lynne, who entered on behalf of her father to find an evergreen tree for a semi shaded spot.