Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Couple’s former jungle wins front garden award

THIS couple are behind Sonning Common’s most attractive front garden.

THIS couple are behind Sonning Common’s most attractive front garden.

Lynda Crocker and her partner Dennis Knox turned what was a mini jungle at their home in Crowsley Way into what a competition judge called “a riot of colour”.

Ms Crocker, 64, is partially disabled and was unable to water plants so when 60-year-old Mr Knox, a retired railway worker, moved in last year he installed an irrigation system and built wooden plant boxes.

He also planted dahlias, busy lizzies and geraniums to brighten up the garden as well as replacing brambles in the back garden with a pond.

Last year, the couple won the runners-up prize in the front garden competition run by the Chiltern Edge Horticultural Society and now they have gone one better.

After receiving their award at the society’s 54th autumn show on Saturday, Mr Knox said: “It’s absolutely great that all the hard work we’ve put in has been appreciated.

“We grew a lot of it from seed and it has been a drastic overhaul from what it used to look like.”

Mr Knox, a father-of-three, who lists gardening and rugby as his hobbies, said: “I won’t dare to think about how long I’ve put into it. It has been at least five or six hours a day.”

Ms Crocker, who planted all the seeds, said: “We are pleased to get the award but it’s not all about winning. It’s an extra bonus because we like gardening anyway.”

Mr Knox added: “A lot of people have suggested doing a back garden competition as well, which would be a good idea.”

The runners-up were previous winners Roger and Carol Parker, of Woodlands Road, while Chris and Geoff Mitson, of Westleigh Drive, came third.

More than 400 people attended the show at Chiltern Edge School, about twice as many as last year.

Show chairman Mark Richards praised the high standard of entries.

He said: “We had a very successful show with an exceptional number of entries for dahlias. The quality of blooms was impressive.” Mr Richards won the Sullivan Rose Trophy for the best specimen rose.

However, the most successful entrant was Martin Hedges, 42, of Spinney Close, Emmer Green, who won six cups, including best in show for his dahlia.

Pam Hobbes, who judged handicraft and photography classes for 10 years before her recent retirement, presented the photography cup to Bob Newnham, of Reades Lane.

Barbara Baxendale, 69, of Churchill Crescent, Sonning Common, won a cup with her busy lizzies and fuchsias after entering the show for the first time.

In the floral art section, there was a class to celebrate the recent twinning of Sonning Common with Luc and Guichainville in Normandy and members of the twinning society viewed the exhibits.

Jill Pound, a teacher at Sonning Common Primary School, held a competition in her class for children to grow the tallest sunflower. The contest was won by six-year-old Max Harting.

Rod Norman, a member of the society, said: “This year we were overwhelmed by the standards of hanging baskets in the village. Congratulations, too, to the Village Gardeners, who have helped to brighten up our community with their flowers throughout the village over the season.”

The society’s spring show will take place on April 5.

lGeoff Hawkins will give a talk about house plants at Peppard war memorial hall on October 15 at 7.30pm.

RHS Banksian Medal, for the winner of the largest money prizes in the horticultural classes, Martin Hedges.

George Shaw Cup, best vase of mixed dahlias, Martin Hedges.

Jim Knight Challenge Cup, most points in flower vegetables and fruit, Martin Hedges.

Certificate of merit for floral art, most points in floral art, Ilse Eve.

Sullivan Rose Trophy, best specimen rose, Mark Richards.

Owen Hammant Cup, best collection of vegetables, Wilma Crush.

Len Holloway Memorial Trophy, most points in pot plant classes, Barbara Baxendale.

Adrian Lindlaw Shield, master gardener for three kinds of vegetables, Martin Hedges.

Ray Williams Memorial Cup, best exhibit in show (flower, fruit and vegetable), Martin Hedges.

Geoff Mitton Cup, Sonning Common front garden competition, 1 Lynda Crocker and Dennis Knox; 2 Roger and Carol Parker; 3 Chris and Geoff Mitson.


Class 1: 1 Frank Williams; Class 2: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Keith Hedges, 3 David Smith; Class 3: 1 David Smith, 2 Keith Hedges, 3 Martin Hedges; Class 4: 1 Keith Hedges, 2 David Smith, 3 Martin Hedges; Class 5: 1 David Smith, 2 Martin Hedges, 3 Keith Hedges; Class 6: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Keith Hedges, 3 David Smith; Class 7: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Keith Hedges, 3 David Smith; Class 8: 1 Mark Richards; Class 10: 1 Mark Richards; Class 17: 1 Lynda Crocker, 2 Wilma Crush; Class 18: 1 Maureen Stevens; Class 19: 1 Margaret Crush, 2 Lynda Crocker, 3 David Brewer; Class 20: 1 Wilma Crush, 2 Lynda Crocker; Class 21: 1 Val Mundy, 2 Claire Crook; Class 23: 1 Sheila Walker, 2 Rod Norman, 3 Maureen Stevens; Class 24: 1 Barbara Baxendale, 2 Bernard Winnington, 3 Rod Norman; Class 25: 1 Lynda Crocker, 2 Maureen Stevens, 3 Barbara Baxendale; Class 26: 1 David Brewer, 2 Claire Crook, 3 Maureen Stevens; Class 28: 1 Barbara Baxendale, 2 Maureen Stevens, 3 Mark Richards; Class 29: 1 Rod Norman, 2 David Brewer


Class 30: 1 Frank Williams, 2 Martin Hedges, 3 David Brewer; Class 31: 1 Martin Hedges; Class 32: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams; Class 33: 1 Frank Williams, 2 Martin Hedges; Class 34: 1 Martin Hedges; Class 35: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams, 3 Margaret Crush; Class 36: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams, 3 Louise Fooks; Class 37: 1 Frank Williams, 2 Margaret Crush, 3 Martin Hedges; Class 38: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams; Class 39: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 David Brewer; Class 40: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams, 3 David Brewer; Class 41: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams; Class 42: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams; Class 43: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Margaret Crush; Class 44: 1 Frank Williams, 2 Martin Hedges; Class 45: 1 Martin Hedges; Class 46: 1 Martin Hedges; Class 47: 1 Mark Richards, 2 Lynda Crocker, 3 Martin Hedges; Class 48: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Sheila Walker; Class 49: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams; Class 50: 1 Martin Hedges; Class 51: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Louise Fooks, 3 Wilma Crush; Class 52: 1 Martin Hedges; Class 53: 1 Wilma Crush; Class 54: 1 Martin Hedges


Class 60: 1 Margaret Crush, 2 Frank Williams, 3 Martin Hedges; Class 61: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Margaret Crush, 3 Frank Williams; Class 62: 1 Frank Williams; Class 63: 1 Frank Williams; Class 65: 1 Martin Hedges, 2 Frank Williams, 3 Bernard Winnington; Class 66: 1 Frank Williams

Floral art

Class 70: 1 Ilse Eve, 2 Sue Hedges, 3 Maureen Stevens; Class 71: 1 Sheila Walker, 2 Ilse Eve, 3 Sue Hedges; Class 72: 1 Maureen Stevens, 2 Ilse Eve, 3 Sue Hedges

Domestic cookery

Class 80: 1 Jean Mason, 2 Pauline Burling; Class 82: 1 Pauline Burling, 2 Margaret Crush, 3 Jean Mason; Class 83: 1 Jean Mason, 2 Pauline Burling, 3 Sue Hedges; Class 84: 1 Jean Mason; Class 85: 1 Margaret Crush, 2 Jean Mason; Class 86: 1 Jo Stoves, 2 Jean Mason; Class 88: 1 Betty Peet, 2 Jean Mason, 3 Pauline Burling

Children over five

Class 90: 1 Esme Crook; Class 91: 1 Esme Crook; Class 92: 1 Esme Crook; Class 93: 1 Max Miller

Children under five

Class 90: 1 Temperence Hunter; Class 91: 1 Joel Crook; Class 92: 1 Temperence Hunter; Class 93: 1 Temperence Hunter


Class 100: 1 Bob Newnham, 2 Sheila Walker, 3 Barbara Pilbrow; Class 101: 1 Colin Mather, 2 Bob Newnham; Class 102: 1 Colin Mather, 2 David Seymour, 3 Bob Newnham; Class 103: 1 Bob Newnham, 2 Sara Batting, 3 Colin Mather; Class 104: 1 Bob Newnham, 2 Sara Batting, 3 Colin Mather


Class 110: 1 Ann Holt; Class 111: 1 Ann Holt, 2 Sylvia Dickins, 3 Margaret Crush; Class 112: 1 Maureen Stevens, 2 Claire Crook, 3 Barbara Chambers

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