Gardening news from across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire - February 2014

PUBLISHED: 12:09 07 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:09 07 March 2014

Delighted Fran Wakefield with the award for her garden

Delighted Fran Wakefield with the award for her garden


With Naomi Slade

Britain’s best private garden found in Berkshire

Congratulations to Fran Wakefield who has won the accolade of Britain’s very best private garden for her beautiful plot near Pangbourne. Tucked behind a former tithe barn in Tidmarsh, and enclosed by an ancient brick wall, the lawns are formally edged with neatly clipped evergreens and punctuated by sculptural box shapes, while the borders are brightly and imaginatively planted.

Peter Chaloner, managing director of Henton and Chattell, the company that owns the UK brand of sponsor Gardencare, said: “There are something like 17 million private gardens in the UK. Our aim is to develop this award into something as prestigious as a Chelsea Gold and the judges and I have been stunned by the quality of the entries. We will be launching our 2014 competition at Easter and hope to attract hundreds of entries.”

Meanwhile, Fran is delighted: “I’ve never won anything like this in my life and am so thrilled that the judges liked it so much. It is an honour to be the inaugural winner of The Gardeners’ Garden.”

Fran’s Garden opens for the NGS on Sunday, 8 June 2014,


Top Tips for Tree Planting

Now is a great time to plant trees. Rob Jones, founder of The Tree and Garden Gift Company offers his expert tips.

Bare rooted trees are most economical because they have grown naturally in nursery fields, watered by nature, rather than in expensive plastic pots, filled with peat based composts and irrigated artificially.

Bare rooted trees are available from early November until the end of March. Keep the roots well-wrapped until you are ready to plant.

Plant your tree to the depth it was growing before. Make sure roots are back filled well with soil before being watered in.

Stake your tree securely and leave stake in place for at least two years. Water regularly during the first two growing seasons.

Keep at least 60cm radius around the trunk free of weeds and grass.

Don’t forget rabbit and deer guards: young saplings make for a delicious snack!

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