JUDGE Graham Porter praised winner Margaret Beever’s garden for its exemplary use of colour, foliage and flower.
“It’s a perfect balance in which Margaret uses intelligent combinations of form and colour against diffuse background planting.
“Margaret uses texture well too mixing fine and coarse foliage with a subtlety which is also seen in her use of both hot and cool colours.”
This garden treasure, tucked away down a leafy lane on the hills above Holmfirth is a real haven for Margaret and her husband Philip. Both are rooted in the valley community. Margaret spent her working life first in a local mill before moving on to cook school meals for almost 30 years.
This former Wooldale Junior School cook can rustle up a delights in the garden too backed by the woodworking skills of Philip who is a retired joiner.
His immaculately built and maintained garden structures are perfectly in tune with the skills demonstrated by Margaret in the garden and both their talents are in harmony with the stone-built riverside house where they have lived for more than 40 years.
Freezing temperatures may have temporarily floored much loved palm trees, mementoes of holidays 30 years ago in Torquay, but green-fingered Margaret has managed to coax new life from the soggy remains and new shoots are offering hope for their return.
“Like everyone else, we have had the worst weather that we have seen in years,” said Margaret. “I’ve never shovelled as much snow,” says Philip.
“Yes we lost some things such as penstemons which are not particularly hardy,” said Margaret. “But it does open up opportunities to plant new things.”
As for gardening in general? Margaret has this to say: It’s a great solace to me to come out here and in summer, it can be 10.30pm when I go indoors and I still feel disappointed at having to leave it.”