Keen gardeners triumph in Best In Bloom competition

Tuesday, 26th August 2014

Three Tamworth gardeners have been awarded prizes in this year’s Tamworth In Bloom garden competition.

Earlier this year, Tamworth Borough Council challenged gardeners across the borough to do their bit for Tamworth In Bloom by digging for victory in their own gardens.

Whether it was a huge garden with a rolling lawn and endless flower beds or just a small square of grass, a hanging basket or a window box, gardeners were urged to make the effort to help Tamworth again scoop gold in the Heart of England In Bloom campaign.

The competition attracted a large number of entries, and the standard was extremely high this year. Now, three gardeners have been selected as the best in Tamworth and have walked away with the top honours in this year’s competition.

The stakes were even higher this year, as Tamworth was representing the Heart of England region in the Small City category of the national Britain In Bloom competition. The results will be known in October.

Bob & Karen Buckler of Stationfields receiving their certificate from John Garner

Bob & Karen Buckler of Stationfields receiving their certificate from John Garner

Bob and Karen Buckler of Stationfields took the top prize in the garden competition this year for their multi-level garden, which runs all the way down to the river and features numerous levels, waterfalls, beds, bridges and pergolas.

The garden has trees, shrubs, flowers, fruit and vegetables and uses water pumped up from the river to keep it irrigated. The garden is a stunning example of environmental sustainability in action, which has taken many years of hard work to achieve. The couple grow enough fruit and vegetables on their land to keep themselves supplied for nine months of the year.

Bob and Karen were delighted to win the competition, after coming second last year. Bob said: “We’re over the moon, as we didn’t expect to win. We are really pleased, as we have put a lot of hard work and effort into our garden.”

The standard was so high this year that it was impossible to separate the other two shortlisted gardens – so a joint second place has been awarded.

Owen and Margaret Lawrence moved into their home in Watling Street in Wilnecote 34 years ago and created their garden from nothing. They have spent the past 34 years improving the garden with a wide range of plants and features, including an old urn salvaged from Drayton Manor and some pieces from an old chapel which was demolished. The judges described the garden as ‘an extremely well-maintained garden with some unique features. The display of Tamworth’s heritage was most impressive.’

Philip and Fran Briggs shared the second place for their beautiful garden at their home in Prospect Street, The Leys. The garden has been planted to ensure biodiversity. No pesticides are used in the garden, which is a haven for bees and butterflies. This year, the couple have placed mementoes in the garden to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, including two tin helmets – singled out for special mention by the judges – a gasmask and Union Flag bunting.

Chairman of Tamworth in Bloom, John Garner, presented Bob and Karen with their prize – £100 worth of Wilkinson’s vouchers. He said: “It is lovely to see that there are so many people in Tamworth who take such pride in their gardens and we thank everyone who entered the competition, whether they were shortlisted or not.

“The most important part of Tamworth In Bloom isn’t the flowers, it’s the people of Tamworth and their involvement. We could not have won gold in the regional hearty of England in Bloom campaign for the past four years without the hard work and support of the Tamworth community, who put so much time and effort into making the areas where they live look superb.”

 Images from the winning garden – and the runners up

The winning garden by Bob & Karen Buckler of Stationfields

The winning garden by Bob & Karen Buckler of Stationfields

The joint runner-up garden belonging to Owen and Margaret Lawrence of Watling Street.

The joint runner-up garden belonging to Owen and Margaret Lawrence of Watling Street.

The joint runner-up garden belonging to Owen and Margaret Lawrence of Watling Street.

The joint runner-up garden belonging to Owen and Margaret Lawrence of Watling Street.

The joint runner-up garden belonging to Owen and Margaret Lawrence of Watling Street.

The joint runner-up garden belonging to Owen and Margaret Lawrence of Watling Street.

The joint runner-up garden of Phil and Fran Briggs from Prospect Street.

The joint runner-up garden of Phil and Fran Briggs from Prospect Street.

The joint runner-up garden of Phil and Fran Briggs from Prospect Street.

The joint runner-up garden of Phil and Fran Briggs from Prospect Street.

The joint runner-up garden of Phil and Fran Briggs from Prospect Street.

The joint runner-up garden of Phil and Fran Briggs from Prospect Street.