Gardens in Bloom at ExtraCare

12th October, 2011

Gardening expert Howard Drury joined residents and staff from every ExtraCare village and housing scheme yesterday to award the prizes for this year's Gardens in Bloom competition at Beacon Park Village in Lichfield.


Dwaine Wilson, a Resident Support Worker at Seagrave Court in Nottingham, won Howard's special award for his work at the scheme.

Dwaine was surprised but thrilled to win the prize. "I've worked here six years and it's a great place," he said.

Howard said that he also considered Broadway Gardens' new African gardens, Sunley Court's park theme, some of the amazing ladies at New Oscott Village and Lark Hill Village, Roger's efforts at James Beattie House, and the fantastic work at Brunel Court and Yates Court for his prize.

School Court in Hednesford, New Oscott Village, Lark Hill Village in Nottingham, and James Beattie House in Wolverhampton all gained the highest scores from their medals, with Broadway Gardens close behind.

Lynn Keatley, Administrator at School Court, said: "Well done everyone who won awards today. The competition gets more intense every year - long may it continue!"

Howard said that the judging this year was the hardest it has ever been. "It is just so difficult," he said. "There are so many little bits of effort that have developed into something huge. Everyone here is blooming marvellous!"

Future residents from Shenley Wood Village in Milton Keynes came along for the first time to size up the competition, and were able to hear some of the amazing stories of gardening at the ExtraCare retirement villages and schemes around the country.

Howard praised in particular Doreen from School Court, who continued with her displays even after breaking her hip, and the residents of Sunley Court in Kettering, who overrode the staff's idea of doing a canal-themed garden and instead recreated a park from their youth.

Yates Court resident Harry Kent, 91, was also singled out for working tirelessly on his garden by himself and rebuilding it after some local vandalism. He won a large gold medal for the Best Individual Plot.

Residents and staff enjoyed themselves on the day, and everyone's love of gardening was evident. Doris Ramsey, from Beacon Park, is 90 and said she still loves to take part when she can. "I can't do so much since my accident but you don't lose the interest, do you?"

Were you at Gardens in Bloom? Tell us what you thought on Facebook!

Pictures (clockwise from top)

Gardening expert Howard Drury with award-winner Dwaine Wilson of Seagrave Court

The Gardening Club from New Oscott Village

Yates Court resident Harry Kent, 91

flickrSee more pictures on Flickr!

For further information, please contact:

Lucy Henson, PR officer
0789 105 3062