A SHOCKED Margaret Beever can’t believe her stunning garden is a winner.
There can be few more modest gardeners than 69-year-old Margaret who has created a picture perfect garden in a quiet valley on the outskirts of Holmfirth.
The stone house with its riverside garden has been home to Margaret and husband Philip for 47 years. But it was only after the death of her mother who she had cared for throughout her illness that Margaret turned to gardening.
“I was feeling a bit lost and I needed something to do,’’ she said. “I found the garden therapeutic. When you are gardening, you forget everything else.
“The garden gives me great pleasure. I love it. People tell me it’s a nice garden, but I never thought that I had any chance of winning.”
William Armitage from sponsors Armitages Garden Centres was not surprised the judges, including the Examiner’s gardening writer Graham Porter, had singled out Margaret’s garden.
“It’s in an idyllic spot and has all the atmosphere that you would expect,’’ he said. “Margaret has planted beautifully and taken huge advantage of the surrounding environment which she has cleverly used as a backdrop to the garden.
“It is immaculately kept, but still manages to look relaxed and inviting. It really is a beautiful garden.”
His words were echoed by Examiner Editor Roy Wright who presented Margaret with her prizes.
He said: “Once again Huddersfield gardeners have surprised us with some hidden gems – and Margaret’s garden is the real treasure.
“We are delighted we continue to have such a high standard of entries and this year we have had more new entries than ever before.”
Margaret’s husband, Philip, is a retired joiner and just the man to build pathways plus an immaculate summer house.
His passion for cricket gave Margaret time to indulge her love of gardening in early days, but today the two enjoy visiting other people’s gardens under the National Open Gardens Scheme.
“We like to visit other gardens and pick up ideas,” said Margaret.
And then there are the plants. “We can’t go anywhere without buying a plant,” she added
Astrantias are a particular favourite with their delicate colouring appealing to Margaret’s sense of what a country garden should look like.
“But I do like plants that have interesting foliage and form and I try to match shapes and structure as well as colour,” she said.
Her borders tell their own success story. They are packed with English garden favourites including camellias, acanthus mollis, honeysuckle, roses, hostas, hebes, salvias, penstemons and lilies.
And the colours are as soft as the flow of the planting ranging from white through the pastel shades of pink, lilac, mauves and blue with occasional hotter tones to change the mood.
This is, above all, a garden to linger in, to appreciate again what true gardening talent we have on our doorstep.Related content