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Resident holding certificate, with carer

The Fremantle Trust recognised green-fingered talent among its service users, staff and residents, in the organisation’s debut ‘Fremantle in Bloom’ competition, marked by a ‘high tea’ celebration at Aylesbury-based Lewin House nursing home.

Director of operations at The Fremantle Trust, Sue Green, presented winners with trophies and a selection of gardening goodies including bird baths, solar garden lights, outdoor clocks and herb pots.  

A special award was given to Ann Miller of Cherry Garth as Gardener of the Year, while Chalfont-St-Peter’s Mulberry Court scooped the Gardening Team of the Year accolade. 

Launched to celebrate the importance of a natural habitat, and to inspire people to get involved, the Trust hosted a series of regional heats across its older people and learning disability services. 

Entries were invited across five categories; Best Hanging Basket, Best Balcony Display, Best Vegetable Garden, Best Floral Garden and Best Windowsill Display. 

Overall winners in each category were:

Best Hanging Basket – Lent Rise, Burnham

Best Balcony Display – Apthorp Care Centre, Barnet, North London

Best Vegetable Garden- Henley Wing, Fremantle Court, Stoke Mandeville

Best Floral Garden – Lewin House, Aylesbury

Best Windowsill Display – Montserratt Tiffon, Meadowside, Barnet, North London

With an excellent standard of competition, the regional heats were judged by a combination of residents, local gardening experts and newly appointed Trustee at Fremantle, Alan Howard. 

Gardener of the Year, Ann Miller, said:

Winning this title was the biggest surprise of my life.  I love gardening and used to do it with my husband.  I enjoy gardening at Cherry Garth because I don’t have to worry about the hedges and weeds.  I enjoy the vegetable plot the most as everything we grow can be shared with the residents and staff.

Commenting on the initiative, Sue Green, added:

We were overwhelmed by the quality of submissions and the enthusiasm and thought put into each entry, be they quirky balcony displays or bountiful vegetable gardens. I’m not joking when I say Mr Titchmarsh could have some serious competition. “It really has been a spectacular initiative and reiterates the passion our residents, service users and staff have for horticulture. This translated from extensive floral gardens to the beautiful presentation of window boxes, showing how spaces can be transformed by nurturing them.