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Green fingered Nottingham residents blooming at annual awards

Green-fingered Nottingham residents blooming at annual awards

9 November 2017

For nearly nine decades, Nottingham residents have competed in the city’s Best Garden Competition. Still as popular today as it ever was, the competition has this afternoon named its winning residents and groups for 2017.

Now run by Nottingham City Homes, the awards began in the early thirties to encourage the city’s residents to create fantastic gardens, enhance their neighbourhood, and build a real sense community spirit - not to mention a bit of healthy competition.

This year’s categories were judged by a team from Nottingham City Homes, tenant estate inspectors and BBC Radio Nottingham’s gardening expert, John Stirland. John has supported the competition for many years, judging the winner of the ‘champion of champions’ Special Cup - the competition’s most prestigious award.

This year’s winners of area and specialist categories include:

Aspley, Strelley, Broxtowe, Beechdale - Diane Strickson

Bilborough - Michael Philip Ryan

Lenton, The Meadows, Wollaton – Tracey Wotton

Bulwell, Highbury Vale, Stockhill, Basford - Sue Allen

Radford, Hyson Green - Kevin Draper

Clifton - Stephen Mason and Anita Topley (joint winners)

Bestwood, Sherwood - Ivor Beasley

Mapperley, St Ann’s, Colwick, Sneinton – Ethel Anderson

Best Container display - Kenneth Knight

Best Horticultural Enterprise - Nyasha and Davidson Msengezi and Lamyai Holt (joint winners)

Best Community Garden - Frinton Road Pocket Park

Ethel Anderson from St Ann’s, said: “I don’t enter my garden to win. I enter it to try and enhance my local area. St Ann’s can sometimes, unfairly, get a bit of bad press. I want St Ann’s to get recognition for the right reasons and I hope that through the care I take with my garden that I’m helping to do that in a small way.”

Kevin Draper from Hyson Green, added: “I’m shocked and stunned to win this award. The main reason I look after my garden is for my wife, who is severely disabled. Having a nice and tranquil garden where she can sit and enjoy is great therapy for her.”

Kenneth Knight from Snape Wood, winner of the city-wide Best Container Display category said: “It’s a great feeling to have my baskets and containers recognised. I grow all my plants from cuttings in my greenhouse and it’s a joint effort with myself and my wife to get them looking great. I hope that other people living in my neighbourhood get inspired to grow things where they live. It’s amazing what you can do in even the smallest of spaces.”

The Special Cup finalists and winners are 

Winner: Danita Allen

2nd place: Nigel Fleming

3rd place: Daphne Marlow-Nobes

Gardening expert and BBC Radio Nottingham presenter, John Stirland, said of Danita Allen’s garden: “This is a little paradise in the middle of Radford and just shows the potential for any garden anywhere. I walked into this garden and was completely taken back by the superb quality of every plant. All types have been used for the lovely display including ferns and grasses to add extra form. Not just this but the garden has a cosiness that you don’t often see and along with this was a great sense of fun seen through the fairy tale ornaments.

It was also wonderful to see that the garden is constantly used for relaxation with a fabulous shed that just looks home from home and a gazebo that any Bedouin traveller would envy”.

Nick Murphy, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Homes, said: “Every year it’s a privilege to be a part of the Best Garden Competition. It has historically inspired residents of the city to improve their homes and neighbourhoods, and continues to do so nearly 90 years on. 

“It’s fantastic to see the huge effort that goes into each of these gardens, and to see the wide range of people taking part, from the very young to the young at heart. Congratulations to all this year’s winners, keep up the hard work.”