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Tuesday, 29 February, 2000, 12:28 GMT
Geoff tops garden gurus
Geoff Hamilton'
Geoff Hamilton: Calm and measured style
BBC TV's Geoff Hamilton has been voted the nation's all-time favourite gardener.

Readers of Amateur Gardening magazine nominated the legendary presenter, who died in 1996, Gardener of the Millennium.

Gardening Top 10
Geoff Hamilton
Alan Titchmarsh
Percy Thrower
DG Hessayon
Charlie Dimmock
Bloom Family
Gertrude Jekyll
Prince Charles
Mr Middleton
Dr Ernest Henry Wilson
Carol Klein joint with Clay Jones
He took 70% of the 1,200-plus votes cast in a phone and magazine poll.

The results showed that the magazine's readers favoured Hamilton five times more than Ground Force star Alan Titchmarsh - who came in second.

Former Gardeners' World presenter Hamilton collapsed and died on a charity bike ride. He had fronted the BBC Two programme with his quiet, green-fingered authority for more than 17 years.

In recognition of his crowning as the most popular gardener among many members of the public, his wife Linda was presented with a commemorative silver salver.

The magazine's editor Adrian Bishop said: "We are thrilled that the poll attracted so many voters.

Percy Thrower
Percy Thrower: Awarded an MBE
"Geoff Hamilton, though sadly not with us anymore, still has a great influence over so many gardeners."

Titchmarsh, who has also presented BBC Gardeners' World since Hamilton's death, was a strong contender for first place. His appeal is broad, having presented programmes as diverse as Pebble Mill and Songs of Praise before moving into gardening shows and writing.

Also featuring strongly in the voting was the first BBC Gardeners' World presenter, Percy Thrower, who died in 1988.

Thrower - who was also known and loved for his heavy-knit cardigans and regular appearances on Blue Peter - came in third.

He outranked the potting-shed princess Charlie Dimmock, also of Ground Force.

Charlie Dimmock
Charlie Dimmock: Fifth place
The endlessly enthusiastic Dimmock has been a huge hit - among both gardeners and non-gardeners - since her appearance on the garden makeover programme.

However, readers of Amateur Gardening did not rate her that highly, granting her only fifth place.

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