Hemingford Abbots Garden Wins National Fine & Country Gardening Competition and a Trip to the Chelsea Flower Show
1 June 2012
Fine & Country is pleased to announce the winner of the Fine & Country Gardening competition as Lindy Ruston, of Lane End Cottage, Hemingford Abbots in Cambridgeshire, whose beautiful landscaped garden with an array of colourful plants has claimed her the accolade of having the best garden for sale in the UK. The competition was part of a national campaign to seek out the best garden on sale in the UK and highlight the importance of garden presentation when selling your home. The competition was open to all vendors with homes currently on the market but coordinated and run by Fine & Country (www.fineandcountry.com)
The lucky green fingered winner won two VIP hospitality tickets to The RHS Chelsea Flower Show on Thursday 24th May, presented to her at the renowned event by guest judge Martyn Cox, Gardening Columnist at the Mail On Sunday.
The gardening competition ran on the Fine & Country Facebook page which showcased entries from all over the nation and split into five different price categories. One finalist from each category was voted for by Facebook users, as well as judged by Bill McClintock, Head of The Ombudsman Scheme of Estate Agents and gardening enthusiast. The winning garden from each category was then further judged by gardening guru, Martyn Cox, who decided on the overall winner as Lane End Cottage - which featured in the over £1.5m category. The garden is due to feature in the next edition of ‘Finer’ magazine – Fine & Country’s regional publication distributed throughout the UK to selected Fine & Country offices.
Commenting on the winning garden, Martyn Cox says: “I thought this garden showed inventive use of planting, combining traditional plants with a funky, modern palette. I found the garden very inviting which consisted of hidden areas and different rooms. It felt like it was loved by the owners and was very well maintained.”
Winner, Lindy Ruston comments: “I believe that a beautiful garden is a valuable asset to a home which gives enjoyment on a daily basis. I am honoured to be recognised as the Fine & Country Gardening competition winner. It is very rewarding that all my hard work over the years has been recognised. I regularly get passers-by stopping at the end of the lane to admire the house and garden and also the comments received when I bi-annually open the garden to the public. They love the magical surprises around every corner, and have inspired me to continue to improve the garden. I hope that the next owner will get as much pleasure out of it as I have.”
The gardens at Lane End Cottage are bi-annually opened to the public and aside from the breath taking views, the mature specimen trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders make this garden the central feature of the property. An abundant full width rockery links the double entranced house and immediately to the rear of the house is a semi-circular raised patio area encased by brick walling and raised beds. Beyond this is the formal garden which is mainly lawned with three large raised flowerbeds. The gardens are exceptionally well stocked with a large number of specimen trees with the largest of the cedar trees having a circular patio and seat encircling it. There is a large shrubbery and woodland area running along the length of the garden to the eastern side and directly behind the property on the western side is a herb garden enclosed by box hedging. Richard Carpenter of Fine & Country Cambridgeshire says: “The competition was a great opportunity for us to celebrate and share with others the exceptional homes with fantastic gardens currently on the market throughout the UK. It highlighted the importance of carefully preparing your garden for sale and how a well maintained garden can add value to your home. We look forward to seeking future gardens from vendors in our local area for the competition next year. ”
The winners from each category who narrowly missed out on the overall title include:
Under £500,000: The Old Lodge, Cambridgeshire –Fine & Country Cambridgeshire
The main garden at The Old Lodge is very prolific with soft fruit and vegetable areas as well as plum, cherry, apple, pear and hazel trees. This naturally attracts a lot of wildlife, especially birds as the flowers blossom ready for spring, creating a truly idyllic pastoral haven.
Formal rose beds frame the house, colourfully structuring the garden especially alongside the lime trees bordering the beds at the front of the house. There is a courtyard to the rear of the property featuring an ornamental fish pond, loggia with grape vine, a fig tree and wisteria. Slightly away from the main garden features an open lawned play area, creating a soft juxtaposition of garden beauty, vast practical space as well as the self grown kitchen area, all meticulously separated by lawns and hedging. The impact is stunning, made sweeter by the taste of fresh garden fruit everyday.
£500,001 - £750,000: Greenfields, Wales – Fine & Country Abergavenny
The gardens are a particular feature of the property and incorporate water lily ponds, lawns and flower beds together with specimen trees. There is a paved patio adjoining the property and the garden area closest to the house has been designed to create a cottage garden feel although the garden in total is circa 3 acres. There is a Wisteria Walk and Rose Garden together with a terraced garden based on the English Knot Garden design and including water lily ponds. The main water lily pond houses a variety of water lilies within it and has associated waterside planting.
£750,001 - £1m: The Limes, Cambridgeshire – Fine & Country Cambridgeshire
The rear garden extends to approximately 1.5 acres and offers a high degree of privacy. To the rear of the house there is a large patio opening onto extensive formal lawn areas. There is also a large rockery with two ponds (one deep fish pond and one shallow wildlife pond). Well stocked and mature herbaceous borders. There is a variety of specimen trees throughout the grounds including a selection of fruit trees.
"The garden is one of our main loves" says the current vendor. "We both have a keen interest in plants and conservation, and we have planned the garden to meet these interests. The area nearest the house is a formal garden, filled with unusual herbaceous plants and shrubs, with two ponds and a large rockery. A gate leads into an old orchard which we have developed a heaven for wildlife by planting wildflowers and trees, many of which we have grown from seed. This area has been a special place for our children, as they grew, and now is a delight for our grandchildren, especially when we added a solar powered swimming pool."
£1m - £1.5m: Manor Barn, Cambridgeshire – Fine & Country Cambridgeshire
Set in landscaped grounds of approximately three quarters of an acre with open field views to the rear, this seven bedroom former threshing barn has been carefully converted into a substantial village residence with immaculately presented accommodation approaching 6,500 sq ft. The rear garden has been sympathetically landscaped to include patio areas, manicured lawns, terraced herbaceous borders and a sheltered walled garden.
To the side of the property there is a garden mainly laid to lawn with a block paved patio and paths. Feature fountain. Bordered by mature hedges, shrubs and walls with a gated arches. The attractive rear gardens are fully landscaped with several stepped tiers and brick defined beds. To the rear of the property there is an extensive Indian stone patio with flood lighting, external speakers and mature flower beds. Large manicured lawn areas with brick path ways and further shaped flower beds.
High-res imagery and full details of all the gardens entered into the competition, as well as full vendor interviews are available on request.
-Photo 1: Martyn Cox (Gardening Columnist, Mail on Sunday) & Lindy Ruston (competition winner) at The Plankbridge Shepherds Gardens, RHS Chelsea Flower Show
-Photo 2: Lane End Cottage – winning garden in the over £1.5m category
Fine & Country specialise in selling homes in the upper quartile of the market (above £450,000) and is one of the leaders in this sector. Its licensees’ properties are distinguished in their individual character and/or their country location. The company has offices in 300 locations throughout the UK and in 13 countries internationally (Portugal, Bahamas, South Africa, Egypt, Isle of Man, Qatar, Spain, Dubai, Channel Islands, West Africa, Mauritius, Malta, Namibia). Fine & Country won Best Estate Agency Marketing and Best International Estate Agency Marketing 2011 at the International Property Awards, sponsored by Bloomberg TV.
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