Norfolk’s best lockdown garden winner revealed
PUBLISHED: 10:16 08 July 2020
A Norfolk couple have been crowned the winner of the county’s best lockdown garden, which they hope will help to sell their home.
Stephen and Jane Mackinder, from The Manor Farmhouse, in Downham Market, spent every day during lockdown tending to their one-acre garden.
And now their hard work has paid off, as they came out on top in the Eastern Daily Press’s gardening competition.
Mr Mackinder said he is “over the moon” that his garden, which he has worked on for 27 years, has finally got the recognition it deserves.
“We have lived at the house for 23 years and when we bought it the garden was one big patch of nettle and thistles,” he said.
“But everything in it now, is what we have done – without any outside help.
“I entered the competition because I thought the garden looked brilliant and I wanted others to see it as well.
“But our house is also on the market and we are in the process of viewings and thought it might encourage more people to come and have a look.”
Mr and Mrs Mackinder, who work mainly with shrubbery, said their focus was structure and colour, and praise the design as being very low maintenance.
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Now they hope another family will be able to enjoy this space, where both of their daughters got married.
Mr Mackinder, who is a consultant for agricultural company KWS, added: “Structure is the thing that will transform the way your garden looks.
“I am big on big shrubs and I like to use different colours, along with a few climbing roses.
“No garden is complete without roses.”
Mrs Mackinder said: “I am very proud of him. We never open the garden to anyone else.
“He gardens for his own pleasure and I am very pleased for him to have won this recognition.”
Enjoy Gardening More head gardener Peter McDermott said: ”I was so very impressed by all the fantastic garden entries that we received in our recent competition.
“From incredible imaginations to planting prowess, fabulous formals to intricate cottage gardens, we really saw it all! It was very difficult for me to choose the winners. In fact, it took me all afternoon pondering and enjoying seeing so many beautiful readers gardens. Congratulations to the winners!”
With the £200 prize money, Mr Mackinder, 62, said he is going to treat himself to a few new gardening tools or equipment.
Coming second in the EDP’s best lockdown garden competition was Ann Bell, from Holt, winning £100.And third place went to Judith Coombes, from Lowestoft, who won £50.
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