Mansfield couple turn green fingers to gold

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June and Tony Harvey have turned their green fingers to gold, after scooping Mansfield’s “coveted” Best Kept Garden award.

Mansfield District Council said their stunning garden on the Grange Farm Estate caught the eye of the judges, who were impressed with the couple’s colourful floral displays, range of planting, manicured lawn and environmentally friendly approach to gardening.

Competition judge and council parks development officer Andy Chambers congratulated the couple on their success.

He added: “This was a fantastic, well maintained and loved garden at its very best. From the topiary at the front of the house, through to the wonderful planting, pond and arbour at the back, this garden created colour and interest in every nook and cranny.”

The couple, who also received a gold award, will now go forward to the East Midlands in Bloom Best Kept Garden competition in 2017, which will be judged as part of Mansfield’s entry in the City Category next July.

Tony, who first started growing plants when he was a young boy, said: “We started work on this garden 42 years ago when we were first married. We are both passionate about gardening and love experimenting with plants. June loves fuchsias and at one time we had 40 varieties.”

In second place were Avril and John Marshall, whose garden in Mansfield Woodhouse also received a gold award. The couple have been gardening since they were first married almost 60 years ago and have always found time for gardening, despite running a bakery before retiring at the age of 68.

“Our garden is a labour of love,” said Avril, “and I have to admit it’s a never-ending job, as we’re always planning what we will do next. We look at what’s worked this year and plan for the next year. I find gardening therapeutic.”

Third place was won by Jean Goodall, who along with Sean George Batho also won a silver gilt award. Janette Whitechurch and Colin Toon won a silver award and the bronze award went to Ena Whitehurst and Gary Gammond.

Council leader for the environment, Councillor Andrew Tristram, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in this competition and shared their beautiful gardens with us.”