THERE were tears of joy from Margaret Beever when she was told that her show-stopper of a garden is a winner – for a second year in a row.
Modest Margaret was barely able to speak when Graham Porter, the Examiner’s garden writer, praised the lovely riverside garden that she has created in a quiet corner of the Holme Valley.
“Out of all the gardens I have seen over the eight years that we have been running the Examiner Garden of the Year, yours is as close to the perfect balance as I have ever seen,” he told her.
“Whether it is by instinct or whether you have been trained to do it, the result is the same, a garden that is truly stunning.”
Examiner editor Roy Wright, who presented Margaret with her prizes, said the garden was idyllic and in complete harmony with its surroundings.
“Despite a tough winter and unsettled weather all year, Huddersfield gardeners have come up trumps again,” he said.
“We have had more entries this year than last and I know the judges have found it quite a challenge as the standard has been so high.”
Andrew Harper, centre manager at Pennine for Armitage’s garden centres, said: “I think Margaret’s garden is beautiful.
“It is nicely planted, the quintessential English garden. It has that atmosphere.
“It is a very peaceful place that she has created. I could imagine coming into this garden and just sitting down and relaxing.”
Ever modest, Margaret’s response to her win was to repeat the words her father had used when she was a child.
“When we were children, if my brother and I were bragging about anything, he would say that self-praise had no recommendation and to let others be the judge.”
But she was clearly thrilled to have retained the Examiner crystal rosebowl that she won for the first time last year.
Margaret and her husband, Philip, a retired joiner, have been living in their stone cottage for 47 years and brought up their daughter, Sadie there who now visits with their grandchildren.
Philip’s skills have built pathways, pergolas and an immaculate summer house but it is Margaret who is the plantswoman.
She has borders packed with classic English garden favourites. There are astrantias, salvias, penstemons, peonies, euphorbias, acanthus mollis, roses, hebes, hostas and verbascums many many more.
The colour palette is largely pastel to create an informal, flowing effect. But just when you are lulled into a state of complete relaxation, Margaret hits the eye with sizzling lime green and burgundy foliage combinations which give the garden real zest even on the greyest of days.
This weekend, Margaret will be opening her garden at Dover Cottages, Underbank, to the public for the first time. She has finally been persuaded that this is a cracker of a garden that others would love to see.
You can do just that on Sunday, July 25 from 1pm to 5pm when Margaret will be using the garden to raise money for the Forget-Me-Not Trust and Choppards Mission.