From glorious gardens to blooming balconies, the winners of bpha’s Best Kept Gardens 2017 competition have been announced!

For the third year in a row, bpha ran the competition that sees residents nominated for making the most of their outside space. The winners were picked by a panel of judges, after being marked in a number of categories.

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The overall winners in Bedford were Mr and Mrs Cole of Cranbourne Close. Nominated by their Home Agent, Gerry Quigley, they were put forward because of the array of beautiful plants and finishing touches they’ve added to their space to make it so inviting. Dotted with different blooms including lilies, roses and poppies, the garden really is a place to relax and enjoy being outdoors. There’s even a pond, and a very ornate bird bath!

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Explaining why he chose to nominate Mr and Mrs Cole, Gerry said: “They are wonderful residents, and a really lovely couple. Whenever I manage to pop in and see them, I always love to have a look in the garden to see what new ornaments or plants they’ve added. It looks beautiful all year round and they are a credit to bpha.”

Outside of Bedford, the Best Kept Counties Garden prize went to Albert and Joan Grooby of Dumble Close in Corby. They were also nominated by their Home Agent, Rose Khan. “I nominated them because they have done so much with the space they have got,” explains Rose. They’ve got loads of flower beds, plus a lovely little shed and even some space to grow vegetables. They’re really deserving winners, they keep their garden looking beautiful and I’m really pleased for them.”

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Other categories included Best Neighbourhood Garden Champion, with the prize going to Mrs Hollis of Chieftain Way, Cambridge. Mrs Hollis was nominated by one of bpha’s Community Development Officers, Kathryn Beck, who also presented Mrs Hollis with her award. “I was so pleased to see Mrs Hollis win,” says. Kathryn. “I nominated her because she has transformed her modest ground-floor balcony into a miniature paradise – it looks like a little oasis.  She even supports her neighbours by helping them with their gardens, another reason why I nominated her in the Neighbourhood Garden category.”

Mrs Caron Hollis said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to win this award – especially with such a small garden!”

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Golden Gardens in Goldington, Bedford and Jill Jenkins Court Communal Garden in Luton were named Best Community Garden and Best Communal Garden, respectively.

Linds Owen a resident at Jill Jenkins Court said: “Before my husband Ivor passed away he spent many hours working and planning this garden. Although an amputee he put many of us to shame. All our residents wanted to submit this garden in his memory, and it’s so lovely to have won.”

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Commendations were also given to residents in Leighfield Close, Cranborne Road and Reddall Close and Sir William Harpur House for their work in the communal garden.