Garden of the Year is blooming marvellous!

Milton Keynes Garden of the year winners at Frosts garden centre
Milton Keynes Garden of the year winners at Frosts garden centre

AFTER laying the seeds of success keen gardeners were rewarded for the fruits of their labour at the annual Garden of the Year Competition awards night.

Green-fingered gardeners from across the city have been busy all year tending their herbaceous borders, pruning their roses and growing vegetables in time for the judging panel’s visit.

Scores of entries were received in the hotly contested competition sponsored by Frosts Garden Centre, Milton Keynes Council and the Citizen newspaper.

The competition was originally run for council tenants but has expanded over the years and is now open to all residents of the borough of Milton Keynes. The competition offers entrants a wide range of categories to find the best front and back garden, as well as best community and school garden along with a Gardener of the Year award– a new category introduced for 2011.

Dozens of people entered the competition with a total of 86 entries judged by Maurice Barnes of Milton Keynes Council and Maurice Rust of Frosts Garden Centre over a three-day period in July.

Their conclusion on the high standard of entries was that the harsh winter may have killed off some of the plants but it had not detracted from the gardeners’ efforts. The judges said they enjoyed touring some “stunning gardens” and were “overwhelmed” by the quality and presentation they found across the city.

The following is a list of the award winners and categories with the judges comments.

> Best Large Front Garden – Winner: Mr and Mrs Dorrill of Newport Pagnell: This garden was described as having a very beautiful, large courtyard garden full of very full and colourful hanging baskets and containers.

> Best Large Back Garden – Winner: Kerry Lee Lintot of Shenley Church End: Described as a stunning garden created in just four years with much of the work done by Kerry herself. There is a garden of round circular beds, lawns, three water gardens with plants arranged in set colour themes.

> Best Small Front Garden – Winner: Mrs Randall of Eaglestone: Judges said this was a beautiful, small garden around a wooden arbour, flowering climbers, herbaceous plants and flowering bedding plants together with two cucumber and tomato plants.

> Best Small Back Garden – Winner: Mr and Mrs Walker of Oldbrook: A wooden decking patio leads to a landscaped garden with a water garden in the centre. Either side of the pool are small alpine beds, above the pool are two beautiful, green Acer palmatum Viridis plants.

> Best Community Garden – The People’s Allotment in Bletchley: Led by Mrs Sandra Hammet a group of six residents have got together to create a wonderful site that had previously fallen into disuse. It is divided into four plots with stone pathways and timber edging.

> Best Housing Association Garden – Winner: Mrs Barbara Glynn of Emerson Valley: Described as a small back garden planted with cottage style borders full of flowering shrubs, flowering herbaceous plants together with herbs and vegetable plants.

> Best Council Tenant Garden – Winner: Miss Jackie Tyler of Peartree Bridge: Described as a very narrow garden divided into rooms with different colours and styles of planting.

> Best Hanging Basket or Container – Winner: Miss Chloe Tyler of Peartree Bridge: A wooden container planted with very bushy and trailing blue lobelia and red flowering geraniums.

> Best Floral Frontage – Winner: Masons the Funeral Directors, Fenny Stratford: The roadside borders are stunningly planted with beautiful flowering begonias with large baskets fitted to the railing behind which are filled with flowering impatiens.

> Best School Garden – Winner: Green Park School, Newport Pagnell: A garden in two parts with a foundation stage garden for the four and five-year-olds with a flower garden and wildlife garden with two small pools.

The older children have a much bigger space with wooden edged beds where vegetables and flowers are planted.

> Best Allotment – Winner: Mrs Patterson Jefkins of Emerson Valley: A plot divided into several individual plots with wooden surrounds.

> Best Newcomer – Winner: Kerry Lee Lintot: Judges were impressed with her garden which took her just four years to create.

Gardener of the Year – Winner: Mr Clifford Ugochukwh of Bletchley: He is a very busy man with not only his own allotment but he helps with the People’s Allotment.

Recycling Award – Winner: Mr Allan Ainsworth of Downhead Park: Judges were impressed with what must be the largest water butt in Milton Keynes.

Overall Winner’s Prize – Kerry Lee Lintot.