So, judgement day arrived in late October (after we had gone to print with the November issue, so excuse the tardy report). You may remember me reporting that we had been persuaded to enter our riverside garden into the Spelthorne in Bloom competition earlier this year.

Well, Mr C and I received an invitation to attend the awards evening at the Orangery at Shepperton Studios. “Ooh” I said to Mr C “I have never been officially invited before….so maybe there is a reason”. Well of course the only reason is that ALL entrants to the competition are invited to the awards evening, but those who would be getting a prize are told in advance that they have won something. And so it came to be that our “lucky” number 13 entry in the category of Best Waterside Garden was not in fact lucky, nor was our garden good enough.


The category was won by Barbara Barnard of Thames Meadow, Shepperton (pictured below with Colin Squire) and well deserved too! Of course our little garden was not going to win, but it had been fun taking part and making it beautiful this year. I discovered the joys of begonias and my garden did eventually look quite splendid whether or not it won!

Other local winners were Mr Leslie Grimes from Manor Lane, Sunbury whose front garden is always a marvel of colour. He won best hanging basket again, as well as a second in Best Front Garden.

Grange Farm, Shepperton once again featured wins in several categories with Sue Pollock winning best front garden as well as best in show and Shirley Faulkner’s garden also picking up a prize.

It was lovely to hear that St Nicholas School in Shepperton won in the best school grow your own.

The Harrow in Charlton Village and the Hare and Hounds in Sunbury both won prizes in the pub categories.

Spelthorne in Bloom is such a community initiative, making the borough a more pleasant environment to work and live. It would not happen without the support of sponsors and the immense work put in by volunteers. Ian Harvey, leader of the council made a point of spanking (or was that thanking?!) Nick Wood Dow who is chair of the in Bloom committee. Oh yes, we did laugh!

So, why not think about taking part next year. Whether or not you do, spend some time making your own garden brighter and enjoy seeing the colours and blooms throughout the summer. We will bring you more details about the launch of the 2017 competition in April or so next year.

Well done and thank you to all those who played a part, either as gardeners, judges, administrators or sponsors.