A beautiful cottage-style garden in Milehouse hailed as an “outstanding example to us all” has been declared the best residential garden in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Susan Maydew was crowned the winner of the ultimate accolade in the Newcastle in Bloom and Community Awards after impressing judges with her excellent use of
space and great attention to detail such as the grouping of pots and similar plants.

Susan and other green-fingered residents gathered at the New Vic Theatre with the
Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Simon White, to find out the results of the Council’s
summer gardening competitions which played a significant part in this year’s Heart of
England in Bloom campaign.

Last year’s overall winners – Graham and Vera Tagg from Porthill – were praised for their
“immaculate” and “harmonious” entry but it was their amazing baskets, in peak condition,
that stole the show this time round in the hanging baskets section.

Good soil structure helped Colin and Faye Allbutt to come out on top in the allotments
category for the second year in a row. Judges described their “gem of a plot” at The Acre in Silverdale as “outstanding with colour in abundance” and were particularly impressed with the well maintained areas of grass, pathways and structures as well as the healthy crops.

The best vegetable plot title was presented to Ian and Emily Wilson. Their well-planned plot at Basford allotments, featuring perfect beds, bark mulched access path, poly tunnel houses and excellent labelling, has resulted in outstanding crops. Meanwhile, the “thriving” wildlife garden at Basford gained the community gardens accolade for the fabulous wildflower meadow, pond and planting which has created a peaceful place to sit and relax.

Not only did Newcastle-under-Lyme win an eighteenth consecutive gold award in Heart of England in Bloom this year, it gained a discretionary environmental award for work to boost biodiversity, wildlife and habitat creation at Silverdale Country Park.

Cllr Mark Holland, Cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, said: “I’d like to
thank everyone who took the time and effort to enter the Council’s competitions – they play an important part in the borough’s bloom campaign by bringing communities together, through their shared love of horticulture, to help make Newcastle look absolutely wonderful. It’s great to celebrate the fantastic achievements of our talented winners in this way following a brilliant summer which saw us scoop an 18th consecutive gold award. Thanks also go to our sponsors as we couldn’t have done this without their support. Now we look forward to planning next year’s campaign marking 30 years in Britain in Bloom.”

A 15th century garden in Madeley was victorious in the licensed premises/businesses
contest. The Old Hall is described as a delight to visit with a variety of mature trees, shrubs and perennials along with a splendid garden room containing hydrangeas and lovely features including arbours, a vegetable patch and a pond filled with carp.

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Academy in Kidsgrove won the community projects
(schools) category following a delightful garden tour carried out by children, volunteers and staff. Judges remarked that the achievements of the gardening club are clearly evident. Various other accolades were also handed out including discretionary and community champion awards. The Lisbon Place retirement complex in the Westlands was announced the community champion for residents’ outstanding commitment to transforming their environment. Not only that, it won best community group and manager Amanda Stevenson was given the best project leader award.

St John the Evangelist Catholic Academy

The ceremony was sponsored by Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District,
Asda, Wolstanton; the New Vic Theatre, The Acre Allotment Association, Silverdale;
Pinkstones Toyota, Alton Towers, Garners Garden Centre, Silverdale; Sainsbury’s,
Newcastle; Tesco, Kidsgrove; the Trentham Estate, Jacksons Nurseries and Tea Room,
Bagnall; the Dorothy Clive Garden, Willoughbridge and the Riverway Nursery, Stafford.