Couple clean up at gardening awards

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Furzton couple Jackie and Derek Powers triumphed as overall winners of this year’s Milton Keynes Garden of the Year competition, winning four awards at the ceremony held at Frosts Garden Centre.

The competition, which is sponsored by the Citizen, Frosts and the council, forms part of the Milton Keynes in Bloom entry for the Thames and Chilterns in Bloom event, part of the national Royal Horticultural Society’s 2013 Britain in Bloom.

Entries are welcomed from residents, businesses and schools in the borough, and this year, from a total 42 entries, seven local schools entered into the Best School Garden category, and another 10 entries were received for the Best School Container award, new for this year.

Judges Maurice Rust of Frosts and Maurice Barnes from the council visited the entrants’ gardens in mid-July on two of the hottest days ever recorded in the month, with temperatures reaching 32.2 centigrade.

Both were amazed at the quality of the gardens they visited and the dedication of the entrants to create some stunning gardens under such trying weather conditions.

Jackie and Derek Powers (pictured) took the honours for best small front garden, best small back garden, best housing association garden and also the overall prize.

Councillor Peter Geary, cabinet member for communities and public realm, said: “The MK Garden of the Year competition highlights the hard work of local residents, community groups, schools and businesses in keeping MK green and in bloom.

“The categories cover all aspects of gardening, from planting and design, flowerbeds and vegetable patches, to allotments and hanging baskets, and recognise the importance of sustainability.

“Our congratulations go to all of the winners who will hopefully inspire others to enter next year.”