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Cheshire Life Garden of the Year 2016 competition - the winners revealed

PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 November 2016

The charming  and winning garden of Sue Murray and Les Jones at Neston on the Wirral

The charming and winning garden of Sue Murray and Les Jones at Neston on the Wirral

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Schools and gardeners from all over the county entered our Garden of the Year 2016 competition. Now we reveal the winners.

The charming  and winning garden of Sue Murray and Les Jones at Neston on the WirralThe charming and winning garden of Sue Murray and Les Jones at Neston on the Wirral

A new generation of young people at Cranberry Academy are becoming enthusiastic gardeners of the future. And their enjoyment of their gardening project has been enhanced by the news that they are the winners of the school category of the Cheshire Life Garden of the Year 2016, run in conjunction with Olympian Garden Buildings in Sandbach.

The pupils’ gardening project at the school in Alsager – led by staff including teaching assistant Mrs Jane Sawdon – impressed all the judges.

Mrs Sawdon submitted a detailed account with photos and documentary evidence explaining how many children were involved in a ‘hands on’ role.

Barry Williams, who with his wife, Julie, owns Olympian Garden Buildings said: ‘You can see that the children have clearly been very involved. It’s impressive, there’s some really hard work gone on here. It seems the staff are dedicated and the children will have derived so much benefit from their own efforts.’ Both Mr and Mrs Williams used to be teachers.

The charming  and winning garden of Sue Murray and Les Jones at Neston on the WirralThe charming and winning garden of Sue Murray and Les Jones at Neston on the Wirral

Equally impressive, but in a very different style, is the winning garden at the Wirral home of Sue Murray and Les Jones. The couple work on the garden, a third of an acre, every day.

‘The garden contains interest for everyone at any age. 25 years ago the garden was a very sorry sight, overgrown with nettles and other invasive weeds. Over the years, despite us suffering bad backs and pulled muscles it has evolved into a sanctuary of structure and colour,’ said Sue.

Probably the garden’s main attraction is a miniature thatched cottage made of English green oak with a thatched roof. But the garden also has a stream, a small waterfall, a pond, visiting wildlife and rows of colourful flowers in Spring and Summer.

Sue and Les, along with Jane Sawdon and Cranberry Academy pupils, will visit Olympian Garden Buildings very soon to collect their prizes. They win a £1,000 voucher to spend at Olympian which specialises in beautiful and useful garden buildings.

Julie Williams said:‘We’re delighted by the standard of entries that we’ve seen and we are really impressed by both the school and the domestic garden. I’m looking forward to meeting the winners.’

We will feature the voucher presentation in the next issue of Cheshire Life.

Another part of the prize is a feature in the magazine. Senior photographer Kirsty Thompson and one of our writers will visit both winners in late Spring to create a feature which will demonstrate exactly why these gardens deserved to win.

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