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Dazzling Stansted gardens in full bloom for annual competition

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The results of the annual Stansted in Bloom competition have been announced – with two of last year’s winners retaining their crowns.

Alison Browne, of Brewery Yard, came first in the tubs and baskets category while Penny Reeves, of Gilbey Crescent, claimed the best rear garden title again.

A new category of best front garden was won by Sue Cohen, of Carters Drive.

Organiser Trevor Lloyd said: “The front garden is a new category this year, created as a result of a suggestion from the judges who were particularly impressed with the impact the front gardens had on the local environment.”

Indeed all eight entrants had impressed the judges who toured the village in glorious sunshine last week and were wowed by beautiful planting schemes, colourful pots of blooms and imaginative layouts.

Following a meeting to decide the winners, the panel of judges – Paris Legore and Susannah Davies from Lower Street florist Paris Legore and landscape gardener Tin Tin Azure-Marxen, of Liz Lake Associates in Station Road – announced the top three on Monday (July 20).

They had to consider the ‘wow’ factor, how well the plants were looked after and the variety, along with thought given to the environment and how eco-friendly the gardeners were.

But with social distancing restrictions, any awards ceremony plans were to be abandoned for this year, said Mr Lloyd.

“Unfortunately I don’t think we will be able to have a formal presentation this year so I will probably end up delivering the trophies and certificates.”

Eight gardens spread throughout the village had entered and Mr Lloyd said he was delighted to see Forest Hall Park residents taking part. "The day went really well and we had fantastic weather so the gardens looked at their very best, especially with a bit of rain the week before.

Stansted In Bloom - Judging..Jacqui Kinnison with her garden.. (38380692)
Stansted In Bloom - Judging..Jacqui Kinnison with her garden.. (38380692)

"We had lots of enthusiastic people who made a big effort and had spent a lot of time on their gardens so they looked very impressive. Many residents were community orientated and said they liked to do it as people walking past often stopped and looked and it made the neighbourhood more attractive.

"We also had three entrants from Forest Hall Park - estates on the edge of a village are often difficult to integrate so it was lovely to see that they had entered this year."

Stansted In Bloom - Judging..Gail and James Hogg with their garden.. (38380516)
Stansted In Bloom - Judging..Gail and James Hogg with their garden.. (38380516)

Next year the village will be entering Anglia in Bloom where the whole village, including public spaces, will be judged on its appearance so Mr Lloyd said he hoped this competition had inspired people to start gardening in preparation.

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