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July 10th - Judging Day

July 10th was a blooming big day for Marlborough in Bloom and its organisers.  With Marlborough looking blooming great, a blazing hot day set the scene for the visit by the SW Britain in Bloom judges who were guided around various parts of the town all day, often accompanied by the film crew filming for the BBC programme Britain in Bloom , to be shown next April. The round of judjing ended with an event in the the Town Hall at which the results of the local Garden Competition were also announced.

We have to wait patiently until October for the Town's result but the report and results of the local Garden Competiion are below:




This was the second year of the competition, which is sponsored by Henry George, Estate Agents. Kena and Sean Magee were the independent judges to support Anne Crawley who had organised the competition. Judging took place on 13 June.

There were four categories: Best Garden, Best Courtyard Garden, Best Commercial Display Garden and Community Garden, which was introduced to replace the Best Containers and /or Hanging Baskets, with an overall winner.

There were 14 gardens this year up from 10 last year. Standards were high and in the Courtyard Garden category there were several excellent gardens making it was hard to pick the winner. Gardens were judged for design, planting, cultivation and maintenance, colour coordination and environmental awareness. It was a pleasure to judge these gardens; contestants were very welcoming and there was an excellent community spirit.


Chandlers – Back Lane

A larger garden, which has been established and maintained by the owners for some time. Conventionally laid out with hedges and small areas of lawn, with roses, delphiniums, acer palmatum, indigofera “Silk Road” etc. Very well maintained with crisp edges and paving slabs. Category winner.

42 St Margaret’s Mead

Also entered last year. It is a quirky garden, full of interest, developed over forty years. It is densely planted with emphasis on being wildlife friendly and on the environment. The small garden welcomes grass snakes, hedgehogs, bugs, toads and birds; wrens, robins and blackbirds nest in the garden and a heron frequently visits to inspect the fishpond. Recycled materials are used where possible. The garden impressed the judges horticulturally; it is also an environmentally aware garden.


10/11 The Green

Although this garden was entered in the Container Garden/ Hanging Basket category it was decided that it should be in a new category: Community Garden. The gardens are part of the Housing Association estate at The Green and the gardens are brilliantly organised by Alan Owen.

The gardens comprise the communal areas as well individual gardens adjacent to the owners’ properties. There are densely planted island beds with roses, cornus, astrantias, marigolds etc. and allotments with an impressive range of vegetables grown for residents’ consumption. Very well maintained and a wonderful community spirit. Category winner.

Coombe End Court

This garden is an important part of a care home, well established and much used. It is well maintained but could have a greater variety of plants to fulfil its potential. Improvements are planned. Commended.


22 Ironmonger Lane

A tiny garden using gravel, pots and an area of astro turf. Planted with cottage garden plants: annuals, foxgloves, erigerons and geraniums. Well maintained with an imaginative design, Highly commended.

10 Kingsbury Terrace

Another tiny garden on a difficult site with different levels. Densely planted with hostas, delphiniums, roses, box balls, clematis, jasmine and some annuals. Enlivened with a pair of wire geese. Well maintained and because the best was made of a difficult site in an imaginative way the garden was made Category winner in a very close contest.

Easton House

Entered last year. Another difficult site surrounded by trees. It isa small densely planted garden with a prunus cerasifera and other flowering cherries planted to flower in succession, on judgement day they were over. Plants included rambling rector and other roses, welsh poppies, ivy, clematis and a variety of plants in pots. Good use of a small space and recycled wine bottles used as planters. Highly commended.

9 London Road

This garden also entered last year. It is a surprisingly sunny small courtyard garden at the back of a B&B .It has limited flower beds, with a wider range of plants compared with last; colourful flowers in pots and other containers. A well maintained garden, which is commended by the judges.

13 Alma Place

On entering the door from the street the impact of the garden in considerable. It has an area of gravel, shrubs, rock garden, begonias, clematis, eunonymous and plants in pots. Immaculately maintained and highly commended.

7 Kennet Place

Small garden only 3x 4 sq. m. The owner has also established and maintains community gardens on the bank of the River Kennet opposite, with attractive planters and beds. This area is well maintained but is disrupted by maintenance work on the infrastructure, which precluded its entry in the community garden category.

The back garden is densely planted with a rich variety of plants including the striking Japanese Toad Lily Tricyrtis Hirta The garden theme is a dry river bed with roses and clematis on the surrounding walls, very well designed and maintained. Wild life is encouraged. The owner, Val Compton is an energetic and knowledgeable garden. She is an impressive environmentalist, using recycled materials and distributing plant cuttings. Category winner and the best environmentally sensitive garden.

2 Wellington Place

A small garden part of a charming row of gardens opposite the owners’ houses. It stands out as a colourful and elegant feature in a harmonious whole. The is an elegant pergola surmounted by roses with an actinidea, weeping pear etc. The entrance to the house is flanked by two olive trees in large urns, a touch of grandeur in a row of cottages. Very highly commended.


The Polly Tearooms

The entry was a group of rooftop containers fronting the High Street. Planted largely with begonias and petunias with a repeated pattern making a colourful display with impact. Highly commended.

The Green Dragon

This is a pub in the High Street with has an attractive long garden in the rear with shrubs and trees. Hanging baskets decorate the façade; these had been newly planted and the plants not fully open. An oasis in a busy High Street and commended.

Bow Belles

This restaurant garden is on several levels with box cubes, a pergola, containers, herbs, roses and a vine. Varied planting, well maintained which is delight.

Winner of the category.


Best Courtyard Garden: 10 Kingsbury Terrace

Best Garden: Chandlers

Best Commercial Display: Bow Belles

Best Community Garden and Best Overall: 10/11 The Green. An impressive garden with a sense of purpose, providing inclusivity and a community spirit. Chandlers also scored highly but was marked down by the former vegetable garden, which has been replaced with grass.

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