In pictures: Record numbers enter Stansted in Bloom
- Credit: Stansted in Bloom
A record number of people have entered this year's Stansted in Bloom.
Almost 50 households competed, and judges created sub categories and introduced highly commended to acknowledge the incredible efforts they spotted during a full day of judging.
Photos of the winning gardens and open spaces, as well as pictures of some of Stansted’s prettiest open spaces, will be submitted for the virtual judging in the regional Anglia in Bloom contest.
Parish councillor Paul Davies, who will be joining the judging team next year, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many members of our community get involved in this competition and share the pride they have in their open spaces with others.
"The Stansted in Bloom committee have done an incredible job this year, utilising social media to create a buzz and are now harnessing the new interest from all corners of the village to make Stansted in Bloom much more visible in the community not just for next year, but through other flower-filled initiatives.”
Judges included Sally Lewis of independent garden centre Folies of Stansted, Sworders site Cambridge Road, and Paris Legore the Florists on Lower Street. The sponsors were Sworders Auctioneers and InterCounty estate agents.
All entrants were invited to an outdoor ceremony at Crafton Green to hear who had won and to collect their trophies.
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Winners received £20 in gardening vouchers and a shield to display for the year. All prize winners received an individual framed certificate.
The winners of Stansted in Bloom 2021:
Winner - Mike Prince (Elms Farm). Runner up - Eric and Barbara Fidell (Pennington Lane). Highly Commended - Madge Chambers (Elms Farm).
Mike was one of the first holders to take on an allotment at Elms Farm in January 2019, and said winning was a nice surprise.
He said: “This year the strawberries and raspberries have been particularly good but the slugs seem to have had a great year!”
His top tip is to garden little and often, with a few hours each week.
Winner - Jillian Park, Bentfield Gardens. Runner up - Christine Daley, Recreation Ground.
Jillian has lived in Bentfield Gardens for 21 years and in Stansted for 29 years.
She is particularly pleased with her giant sunflowers in the front garden and the small rockery/fairy/alpine garden in the back - which is also home to a lonesome frog in the tiny water feature!
She said: “My only advice is to do little and often to keep weeds under control and plant wildlife friendly plants as much as possible as birds and bugs bring a garden to life.”
Winner - Gloria and John Overy, Burton End. Runner up - Patricia Larby, Bentfield Green.
Highly Commended - Jamie and Gale Hogg, Bentfield Green.
Gloria and John have lived in Burton End since 2002. They said: “We honestly were not expecting to win.”
Due to Covid restrictions and garden centres being closed for a good while during lockdowns, they grew their garden including bedding plants and vegetables from cuttings and seed.
They are especially pleased with their hostas and margaritas which have all come from one plant.
As far as tips are concerned, they say there is nothing like getting out there little and often. Cutting the grass one level above what they have normally done in the past has resulted in a healthier lawn.
“Top tip would be get out there when it’s dark with a torch and capture all those slugs and snails that you never knew existed during the day!
"This is a better method than slug pellets and still leaves plenty for the hedgehogs to munch on.”
Winner - Burcu Munyas Ghadially, Walson Way. Runner up - Keiran Oliver, Bayford Way
Front Garden winner Burcu Munyas Ghadially describes her Walson Way cottage garden as colourful and a bit crazy.
She has tried to create structure with drought resistant, easy to care and evergreen plants and shrubs that are generous with flowers and colour.
“I have a few favourite annuals that I can't do without such as cornflower, cosmos, californian poppy and love in a mist.
"I put those in from seed to give colour and interest and watch it go wild! Bees love it too, which is wonderful. Each year I also put in a couple of new plants that I admire and want to experiment with.”
Burcu’s top tip is “put in what you adore, and let it give you hundred fold joy, and teach you! Gardening is a wonderful school."
Burcu wants to encourage her Forest Hall Park neighbours to enter Stansted in Bloom next year.
Tubs and Hanging Baskets:
Winner - Terry and Beryl Potter, Chapel Hill. Runner up - Lois Prior, Stoney Common. Highly Commended - Christine Daley, Recreation Ground
Terry and Beryl have lived in Chapel Hill for 13 years and are most proud of all the hostas, ferns and acers that fill the tubs and borders in their garden, and, to quote the Elvis Costello song, it’s been a good year for the roses!
Top tip from Terry is simple: feed, feed and feed your baskets! They’ll reward you if you do.
Winner - Mountfitchet Care Home, Coltsfield. Runner up - Human Roots Community, Elms Farm.
Commended - Five Residents, Burton End Barns.
Peter Birsan is in charge of maintenance at Mountfitchet Care Home in Coltsfoot.
He said: “The flower beds, patio arrangements and all the garden color and maintenance is my passion, my hobby. We have a gardening club led by our residents and they help me a lot with tips, ideas, seeding and planting.
“But their most important help is when they praise my work in the garden and I can see the happiness on their faces when they admire the flowers, walking through the garden. That makes me feel so proud of myself and makes me want to go further, from good to better!”