Bumper crop of garden success

Belmore Lodge, winner of our annual in-house gardening competition
Belmore Lodge, winner of our annual in-house gardening competition

Belmore Lodge has won the title of Best Overall Garden for the first time at our annual gardening awards.

Announcing the judges’ decision, our Head Gardener Charles Hubberstey praised the work of Belmore gardener David Aylieff-Sansom and the residents’ garden club.

Charles said: “Since he joined late last year, and with the support and enthusiasm of resident gardeners Bill, Mary and others at the home, David has ensured the garden is a colourful and vibrant place that is loved and nurtured by all who use it. As well as a new herbaceous border, there is a new vegetable patch fulfilling some of the demands of chef Nigel for fresh produce. Up to a dozen residents regularly participate in the garden club, growing many of the plants, flowers and vegetables. Weather permitting, staff also have their morning meetings in the garden and, increasingly, many residents now enjoy the garden walk that has been opened up right around the home.”

Through the seasons: Belmore Lodge’s gardens have been a riot of colour, from the spring snowdops (far right) to the summer poppies (left)

Through the seasons: Belmore Lodge’s gardens have been a riot of colour, from the spring snowdops (far right) to the summer poppies (left).

Runner-up for Best Garden was Brook View in West Moors which, explained Charles, “has been transformed by Pete Burns the gardener. His tireless efforts have brought wonderful colour, interest and taste over many years. Among the practical challenges faced at Brook View are the regular visits by deer who like a varied diet of all garden plants!”

Belmore Lodge staff and residents celebrate winning this year’s garden competition. The home has an active residents’ garden club and even staff meetings are held outdoors whenever possible.

Belmore Lodge staff and residents celebrate winning this year’s garden competition. The home has an active residents’ garden club and even staff meetings are held outdoors whenever possible.

The award for Best Floral Entrance went to the courtyard garden at Whitecliffe in Blandford. Charles said: “Joan Batchelor, the gardener, has created a colourful display of pots, troughs and baskets, and completely involved the residents. They wanted to grow more veg so that’s what she’s done. With trips to the garden centre to buy seed and compost, and propagating trays placed strategically around every available window ledge, the garden now hosts sweetcorn, beetroot, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries and herbs. There’s even an apple tree fan-trained against the laundry wall.”

Thanking all the residents, staff and volunteers at our homes who took part in the competition, Charles added: “This year’s judging was harder than ever which is a tribute to the whole team of gardeners who without exception have made our gardens into beautiful, stimulating and increasingly well-used living spaces. Our gardens are also becoming better known in the wider communities we serve with involvement in ‘open garden’ community days such as Pennington Open Gardens and Blandford Hidden Gardens.”

The Belmore Lodge gardens are a riot of colour, whatever the weather a British summer can throw at it!

The Belmore Lodge gardens are a riot of colour, whatever the weather a British summer can throw at it!

• Aside from our in-house competition, Braemar Lodge in Salisbury is a contender once again in the Salisbury City Council Gardening Awards. The home won the top award last year and the year before. We’ll report on how this year’s entry does in our next edition.

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