JUDGES in this year’s Tamworth in Bloom competition had a tough task on their hands, when a record number of gardeners entered the competition.
Ten gardens entered the competition this year – the highest number since the competition began.
The standard was so high that any of the 10 could have walked away with the top prize. In the end, the title of winner went to Barbara Sippetts of Glascote. Barbara and her husband Jack have been opening the garden of their bungalow in Clifford Street up to the public since 1993 – charging a small admission and selling plants to raise money for the charity Cancer Research.
In the past few years, Barbara and Jack have encouraged their neighbours to join them – and this year, six homes along Clifford Street opened up their gardens. This year, they raised a total of £1,512 for charity.
The glorious garden is made up of countless displays of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, a pond – and even a fairy garden.
Most of the planning work for the stunning garden is done by Barbara, who likes to keep the garden new and exciting by varying its plants and layout each year.
The Clifford Street garden has become famous in Tamworth and further afield – in 1996, it was named the best garden in Britain in a competition run by plant specialists Thompson & Morgan.
Barbara and Jack were presented with £100 worth of B&Q vouchers for taking the 2015 Tamworth in Bloom title – and Barbara already has plans for her winnings as she is redesigning the bottom of the garden.
Judges were so impressed with the high standard of entries that this year they were unable to separate them to award a second and third place – instead awarding highly commended certificates to all of the other nine entries.
The highly commended entries were Karen & Bob Buckler, Susan Cripps, Richmond Day, Jim & Nancy Hope, Owen & Margaret Lawrence, Julie Lloyd, Derek McGowan, Nerma Williams and Wilnecote Parish Hall.
Cllr Michelle Thurgood, Cabinet member for Housing & Waste Management, said: “It is lovely to see that there are so many people in Tamworth who take such pride in their gardens. This year attracted a record number of entries and I would like to thank everyone who entered the competition. The standard was extremely high, which was why we decided to award first place to Mrs Sippetts and highly commended certificates to the other nine entries.
“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 Heart of England in Bloom campaign for the past five 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.”