Judges examining the gardens for Midhurst Town Council’s 12th Midhurst in Bloom contest saw things they should not have been seeing!
The judges John Humphris, John Backshall and David Tunks accompanied by town councillors Wyn Passmore and Glyn Upjohn visited the gardens last week and selected Wendy Liddle as overall winner.
She explained: “It was all due to the exceptional weather experienced by gardeners this year.
“I am particularly pleased with my garden this year,” she said, “because we are seeing flowers now that shouldn’t be out. I have, for instance, got poppies which shouldn’t still be in flower, but because of the weather they have said ‘let’s have another flowering’ when normally they would finish at the beginning of June.”
Mrs Liddle, who won the top accolade in the Midhurst in Bloom contest for her Elmleigh garden for the first time, added: “It has never been so full of colour at this time of year – its absolutely beautiful.”
Among her other treasures are an eight-foot-high tree lily with 12 flowers out on one plant and bursting with perfume.
She has also added a new 25- foot-long alpine garden to the front of her home.
Mrs Liddle is a member of the National Garden Scheme and last month opened her garden to the public under the scheme, although she has opened for charity through the Midhurst Garden Club for the past five years.
Runners-up in this year’s contest were Brian Kitchener with his new garden at Downsview Drive and Marjorie Bishop with her garden at Hill Crest in South Street. Mr Kitchener won first prize last year in the newly-planted garden category.
He and his wife Margaret moved to the house early last year and he spent three months rebuilding the garden.
Gardeners who were commended were Wyn Gerred also at Downsview Drive, Marie and Den Merrit on The Fairway, Eunice Rickard at The Gatehouse, Edinburgh Square and Kate Fox at Railway Terrace.
Chairman of the council’s community care committee, Mr Upjohn, commented on the high standard of entries.
Mr Humphris also commented on the high standard of the winning gardens and said it was a pleasure to see some of the gardens entered regularly evolve and develop over time.