Cheshire Life Garden of the Year 2013 - the winners revealed

PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 December 2013

John Lea (seated) and wife, Celia (right), with Jill Kerr (left) and Peter Shirley of Fryers Garden Centre and Cheshire Life Editor, Louise Taylor

John Lea (seated) and wife, Celia (right), with Jill Kerr (left) and Peter Shirley of Fryers Garden Centre and Cheshire Life Editor, Louise Taylor

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Schools and amateur gardeners from all over the county entered our Garden of the Year 2013 competition. Now we reveal the winners

Adults (from the left); Jill Kerr and Peter Shirley of Fryers Garden Centre,  Alison Scott (Head teacher) and Julie Adams (Teaching assistant) and Cheshire Life Editor, Louise Taylor, with children from Chelford CE Primary School; (from the left); Millie Whitaker, Ruby Munday, Jonathan Massey,  Ella Egerton, and Natasha ShepleyAdults (from the left); Jill Kerr and Peter Shirley of Fryers Garden Centre, Alison Scott (Head teacher) and Julie Adams (Teaching assistant) and Cheshire Life Editor, Louise Taylor, with children from Chelford CE Primary School; (from the left); Millie Whitaker, Ruby Munday, Jonathan Massey, Ella Egerton, and Natasha Shepley

A new generation of young people at Chelford Primary School are becoming enthusiastic gardeners of the future.

And now their enjoyment of their school 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 2013, run in conjunction with Fryer’s Roses and the Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester.

The pupils’ gardening project at the school near Knutsford - led by staff including teaching assistant Julie Adams - impressed all the judges.

Julie Adams submitted a detailed account with photographic and documentary evidence explaining how many children were involved in a ‘hands on’ role. Highlights included their sensory garden, the harvest and sale of produce from the market garden, the bug hunt and the emphasis on sustainability.

Nick Jones, general manager at Fryer’s Garden Centre, said: ‘I love the fact that the children have clearly been so involved in every aspect of it. The market gardening is impressive, there’s been some really hard work there. It’s a very attractive project and there is attention to the ornamental side as well as involvement with wildlife and bees. Clearly the staff are dedicated but the children, will have derived so much benefit from their own efforts.’

Jill Kerr, Nursery Export/Trade Business Manager at Fryer’s, said: ‘Chelford Primary pupils have incorporated all sorts of work into the garden. They must have learned so much about related topics like growing your own food. The insect hotel is amazing!’

Julie Adams said: ‘The children are thrilled to be declared the winners. They love the garden and it’s a very satisfying project for them. We haven’t decided what we’ll spend our prize gift voucher on but it will be of enormous use to us.’

Equally impressive, but in a very different style was the garden at the home of Celia and John Lea at North Rode, Congleton. When the couple moved into the house in 1993 the fairly small garden was full of ground elder and it took two years to clear it.

John explained: ‘We both have physical disabilities so we had some help to create an easily managed garden. We are country people so the view out from the garden is as important as the garden itself.’

To that end, the couple removed a huge fence which blocked their view of fields and set about transforming the garden. Now they have a delightful garden with a pond, and a huge wildflower meadow which in the summer is a riot of colour and attracts a wide range of insects and butterflies in the summer.

Mr and Mrs Lea, along with some Chelford Primary pupils attended Fryer’s garden centre to collect their prizes. They won a voucher to spend on £1,000 of products at Fryer’s or the Grosvenor Garden Centre.

John said: ‘We’re absolutely thrilled to be chosen as winners and we’ll spend the voucher wisely on the garden in some way. Our garden gives us a lot of pleasure and this is just the icing on the cake for us.’

Cheshire Life Picture Editor John Cocks will photograph the winning gardens next Spring and they will be featured in the magazine.

Cheshire Life and Grosvenor and Fryer’s Roses garden centres would like to thank all school and domestic gardeners who submitted entries. We were impressed by the gardens and the stories behind the finished results. We will be in touch with some entrants to feature their gardens in the magazine next year.

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