From left to right: Mrs Pat Benton receiving her award from Mrs Kimber and Cllr Jill Elson

East Devon’s popular annual tenants’ gardening competition reveals many green fingers across district

The results of the annual East Devon Tenants Garden Competition 2018 were celebrated at a prize giving tea in the Stowford Community Centre, Sidmouth on 7 August. East Devon District Councillors Jill Elson and Pauline Stott attended the event along with the sponsors (who presented prizes and certificates), including Ronnie Hughes and Lee Annunziata of MD Group, William Morrison of Thistle Insurance and Sarah Walton of Skinner Construction, as well as Housing Service officers and prize winners. Unfortunately, the competition’s judge, horticultural consultant, Kieron Bewes, was not able to attend.

The Tenants Garden Competition is an increasingly popular event, which is organised each year by Bev Anderson, the Tenant Participation Assistant for East Devon District Council’s Housing Service.

Kieron Bewes used the Royal Horticultural Society’s judging method to decide which contestants merited awards. Against this criteria 20 entrants obtained Gold level, which is an exceptionally high standard to reach, while 15 obtained Silver prizes and two received Bronze prizes. There were 37 entries in total.

Mrs Pat Benton won Gold in the Overall Garden category and was Best in Show competition winner for 2018.

Sadly absent from this year’s competition, was Tom Kimber of Newton Poppleford, who passed away recently. Mr Kimber regularly entered the competition and won Gold every time for his garden. So in his honour, Sue Bewes, East Devon’s Landlord Services Manager, created a special award called the Kimber Cup, which will serve as an enduring reminder of both the spirit of the gardening competition and Tom. His wife Margaret Kimber entered the competition for the first time this year and following in her husband’s footsteps, she, too, won Gold.

Mrs Kimber said: “My husband always entered and I wanted to keep up his memory.”

Mrs Kimber presented the Kimber Cup to Mrs Benton at the prize giving event.

Commenting on this year’s tenants’ gardening competition Cllr Jill Elson, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for Sustainable Homes and Communities, said:

It was good to meet our tenants who work hard all year round to ensure they have excellent gardens and hanging baskets, as well as using recyclable material to bring colour and who create peaceful areas to sit in. It has been a very difficult year with rain in early spring and now a very dry and hot time with lack of water.

Cllr Pauline Stott, Lead Councillor for Council Housing & Customer Service, Housing Review Board Chairman, said:

It was lovely to see the amazing gardens that our tenants have achieved. The display of flowers was wonderful despite the very dry weather. Our thanks to all those who entered and who spent many hours making their gardens look so beautiful - they are a credit to all of you.

The sponsors for the 2018 East Devon Tenants Garden Competition were: 

•            Thistle Insurance

•            Kings Garden Centre, Exmouth

•            Kieron Bewes - Horticultural Consultant

•            MD Group

•            Skinner Construction

•            Tenant Participation

Full results - East Devon Tenants Garden Competition 2018

Mrs Beasley, Exmouth, Gold award - Back Garden; Miss L Packer and Mr Chalmers, Exmouth, Gold award- Front Garden & Category Winner;  Mr  and Mrs Collins, Newton Poppleford, Gold award - Overall Garden & Category Winner; Mr and Mrs Cranch,  Exmouth, Gold award - Back Garden; Mr Donnelly, Colyton, Gold award - Vegetable Garden & Category Winner; Mr Elliott & Miss D Cooper & Mrs D Abele, Seaton, Gold award - First Time Entry & Category Winner;  Mr Fowler, Sidmouth, Gold award - Containers & Hanging Baskets & Category Winner.

Mr & Mrs Fowler, Honiton, Gold award - Overall Garden; Mrs Higham, Exmouth, Gold award - Recycled Garden & Category Winner; Manor Close Tenant Association, Seaton, Gold award -Communal Garden & Category Winner; Mr Howard & Mrs A Weedon, East Budleigh, Gold award -Back Garden; Mr Hughes, Exmouth, Gold award - Disabled Garden & Category Winner.

Mrs Kimber, Newton Poppleford, Gold award - First Time Entry;  Ms Lustrum, Woodbury, Gold award -  Back Garden; Mrs Ward, Kilmington, Gold award - Back Garden; Mrs Wood, Ottery St Mary, Gold award - Containers & Hanging Baskets; Harepath Tenant Association, Seaton, Gold award -Communal Garden;  Mrs Anderton, Axminster, Gold award - Overall Garden; Mr Glanville,Talaton, Gold   award - Overall Garden.

Arcot Park Friends, Sidmouth, Silver - Communal Garden; Mrs Beer, Broadclyst, Silver award -Containers & Hanging Baskets; Mrs Bunker, Budleigh Salterton, Silver award - First Time Entry; Miss Davey, Axminster, Silver award - Overall Garden; Mr D Purrington & Mrs S Denning, Seaton, Silver award - Front Garden.

Mr Gallagher, Woodbury, Silver award - Back Garden; Mr Meekings, Sidmouth, Silver award -Disabled Garden; Mr Miller, Exmouth, Silver award - Containers & Hanging Baskets; Mrs Randall, Sidmouth,  Silver award - Front Garden; Mrs Smaldon, Exmouth, Silver award - Overall Garden; Mrs Sullivan, Sidmouth, Silver award - Disabled Garden.

H Sutton, Clyst Honiton, Silver award-First Time Entry; Mrs Travers, Sidmouth, Silver award - Disabled Garden; Ms Whittet-Evens, Exmouth, Silver award - Disabled Garden;  Mrs Wood, Exmouth, Silver award -Back Garden; Mr Cross, Sidmouth, Bronze award - Disabled Garden; Mrs Le Sueur & Friends of Lymebourne Park, Sidmouth, Bronze award - Communal Garden.