Front Gardens ‘from understated elegance’ to inspirational

Local Bearwoodian Jane Taylor managed to get round all of the gardens in the Front Gardens Competition last Friday – and ended up being mightily impressed.  Below is her lovely account of the beautiful greenery and colour that surrounds us – sometimes in unexpected or previously unnoticed places.  If you can’t get round them all, check out the video of them all thanks to the tireless efforts of Jamie and Jack at Bearwood’s BCM Media. 

More info on the competition and how YOU can vote for your favourite here.

Here’s what Jane had to say:

My friend and I followed the trail round Bearwood and managed to see nearly all the gardens on Friday. What a fantastic set of gardens, from understated elegance to smack in the eye colour, productive to purely decorative, low maintenance to fertilizer guzzlers. We finished full of admiration for the skills, plantsmanship and ingenuity on display as well as inspired (and slightly ashamed in my case) for our own front gardens.

We found it really hard to decide and judge the ‘best’ garden for the ‘Bearwood Vote’ but narrowed it down to 5 we thought were special.

We are both experienced gardeners and a bit ‘plantswomany’ so we didn’t just use ‘it looks really nice’  but took into account what the garden might look like at other times of the year, the kinds of plants grown, unusualness and difficulty of care, and ingenuity the gardeners were using on their little bit of paradise.

Obviously some gardeners have more disposable income than others, and some neighbourhoods are more difficult than others, not everyone can afford the wonderful tiles and gates we saw on Barclay Rd, or masses of petunias, or are interested in veg – like the tomato plants in Richmond Rd, or are planting for bees like a garden in Park Road.

There were pleasant surprises – I think I have walked past Church House on Maurice Rd at least a thousand times taking the kids to school but never really noticed the little gem of a front garden, helped by the lovely stonework round the windows and doors.

Having visited Japan recently I loved the collection of Japanese maples at Alexander Rd, and I loved the nasturtiums on Galton Rd. There were some good ways of disguising the wheelie bins too. We took photos of the gardens we thought were among the best then argued over a coffee!

On top of the pleasure in seeing the gardens I got to talk to people in the different areas as well. I hope you can run the competition again, and if you have a back garden competition or open garden fundraising day next year then I will enter.

Thank you!

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