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[Updated 20/05/2020]

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Tiny garden scoops top prize in gardening competition

A remarkable small garden, measuring no more than three metres by three metres and packed with flowering plants, herbs and fruits, has taken top prize in our gardening competition for customers, winning the Best Garden category.

Terry Engram in his garden Terry Engram, a Tewkesbury resident, began the garden a year ago and has turned a “patch of dirt” into a miniature oasis, with a range of unusual plants and a design completed by a water feature, solar lights and a sitting area for two.

The judging panel – two residents, Jean Bernhardt-Wilson and Daphne Hiest, and staff from our housing team Ryan Barkle and Julia Griffiths – was astonished by the variety of planting and the ingenuity of the design, which included recycling old pallets to make planters and decking.

One judge commented: “Every centimetre of this garden, that had the footprint of a postage stamp, was being utilised. It’s a beautiful little garden that leaves the viewer awed by the sheer skill of the fledgling gardener who continues to develop it.” Mr Engram’s garden was “a clear winner – extremely productive use of a very small space, inspiring!”.

Vera Taylor and Ryan Barkle standing under a sunflower
Resident Vera Taylor, who lives at Shipway Court in Bishops Cleeve, was awarded Runners Up with judges praising her enthusiasm and energy to develop a garden with wild flower planting, a range of bedding plants, herbs and a spectacular surround of sunflowers. With one sunflower measuring 2.95 metres, Mrs Taylor clinched the prize for tallest sunflower and was also awarded Best Wildlife-Friendly Garden. Judges commented on the variety of food available for wildlife, the bird bath and bee nesting box and the visiting bees and butterflies. One judge said: “If I was a mini-bug or any other species I would be pleased to live here and raise my family!”.

Mr Jordan, a resident at Rushworth Close, claimed the Runners Up prizes in both the sunflower and wild-life friendly categories. Judges noted the variety of different loose planting, range of insect-friendly flowers and lavender bushes full of bees, with birds able to nest in dense hedging with blackberries and a bird feeding station which included hanging dried sunflower heads.

The Best Container category drew a range of entries, with Clive Ramstedt, a resident at Barton Court, Tewkesbury, awarded first prize. More than 25 different planters and containers displayed a variety of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, including roses, hydrangeas, budliea and two palm trees. Judges commented on the variety of shapes, textures and leaf colours, praising Mr Ramstedt’s choice of planting and containers to set off the display which greets visits to the retirement living scheme.

A stunning display of mature bonsai trees, together with containers set off by petunias, geraniums, hydrangeas, camelia and lavender, gave Rushworth Close resident Mrs Christine Summerill the Runners Up prize. Judges said “the small space was well-used, with colour and variety, with a well-placed water well to attract thirsty birds”.

Mr & Mrs Harris, also of Rushworth Close, received Highly Commended with judges praising “a clearly loved little garden”, which used stands to create varying planting heights, attractive decorative ornaments and a water feature. The judges commended the garden layout which had different zones, including a ‘desert garden’.

Best Edible Garden went to Mr & Mrs Lander of Abbey Leys, Winchcombe, for a highly-productive vegetable garden including beans, potatoes and tomatoes, set within a well-maintained garden full of hanging baskets, bedding plants and feature ornaments.  Best Garden winner Terry Engram claimed Runners Up for the variety of herbs and unusual edibles which included sweetcorn.

Head of housing for Severn Vale, Ryan Barkle, commented: “We’ve had a fantastic time judging and our thanks go to all those customers who entered the competition. It’s great to showcase the amazing efforts of our customers, who are passionate about their gardens and the flowers, vegetables and fruits they can grow.“