Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Amateur gardener gains a bronze at international

A SOUTH Lakes gardener has scooped a bronze medal in an international competition.

Jonathan Denby walked away with the prize for his Beatrix Potter-inspired cottage garden at the Gardening World Cup in Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki, Japan.

The event theme of world peace will see money raised from entry fees go towards tsunami relief charities, following March’s earthquake and tsunami disaster north-east of Tokyo.

Grange-based hotelier Mr Denby was the only amateur garden designer in the competition and faced numerous problems while preparing his entry.

A container holding Lake District artifacts set to feature in the garden was held up at customs when a stowaway snail was discovered inside.

The items arrived just before the judges viewed Mr Denby’s garden, but by then it was too late.

One of the judges, UK garden designer Andy Sturgeon, said if the artifacts had been in place, it could have meant a different outcome.

Mr Sturgeon, who won Best in Show in last year’s competition, said: “Doing a show garden is all about risk and you have to take some risks in the design, but you don’t want to take too many.

“If you start importing things then you’re introducing even more jeopardy and that’s the problem.

“It would have made a difference for sure, if all the items had been here.

“I know he has set out to create a crowd pleasing garden and the public will love this one.

“The problem is, it doesn’t tick all the right boxes for the judging process.”

The Georgian pump, wheelbarrow and show scraper are now on show in the garden, ready for the public viewing,

The gardens will be on show to the general public for one month in the grounds of Huis Ten Bosch palace.

Mr Denby is hoping visitors will be so enthralled by his Peter Rabbit creation, that they will nominate his entry for the People’s Award.

Mr Denby said: “It is wonderful to have even got a medal against such fantastic competitors.

“Maybe we could have done a little bit better if we had the stone walling and artifacts in place for judging but unfortunately it arrived too late.

“But it all looks good now and I’m sure the Japanese public will love the garden, so I am delighted.”

Mr Denby received a bronze medal at the show last year, for his Frank Taylor Memorial Peace Garden.

The judges’ comments for his entry this year said the garden seemed too neat and instead of pushing forwards with garden design, criticised Mr Denby for recreating something a century old.

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