Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Best front garden in village is only tended once a year

A MAN judged to have the best front garden in Sonning Common says he only tends to it once a year.

A MAN judged to have the best front garden in Sonning Common says he only tends to it once a year.

Roy Seccombe, 93, of Kennylands Road, won the Geoff Mitton Cup at the Chiltern Edge Horticultural Society’s 57th spring show on Saturday.

He and his wife Renee, 92, moved to the village in 1985 and renovated their front garden soon afterwards. It includes periwinkle, magnolia, penstemon and heather.

Mr Seccombe, a retired engineer, said: “Me and my wife worked out how we wanted to do it together.

“We went round all the garden centres to find the right type of plants to grow in the soil because it’s quite acidic.

“You won’t believe me but I just clip it back once a year after it has flowered, that’s all I do. I give it a drink if the weather is dry.

“We like the way it looks and we’ve never thought about changing it. It’s self-maintaining. Me and my wife have always done our garden together even when we were overseas.

“I was attached to the army as an engineer and we lived in Gibraltar, Cyprus and Bahrain.

“We got married in 1946, so it’ll 70 years in December.”

A total of 16 gardens in the village were judged after being nominated by friends or neighbours.

Pamela Franklin, of Woodlands Road, was second and Alan and Janice Davis, of Sedgefield Close, were third.

Maureen Stevens, of Inglewood Close, who was one of the five judges, said Mr Seccombe’s garden was “magical” and “a hidden gem”.

About 200 people attended the show at the village hall in Wood Lane, where there were 37 classes with exhibits.

Martin Hedges, from Emmer Green, won the Avern Trophy for best exhibit in the daffodil and narcissus classes. David Brewer, of Woodlands Road, who stood down as society treasurer last year after 33 years, won the Village Cup for best exhibit in flower classes. 

Show chairman Mike Wheeler said: “The quality of the entries was very high. They are very talented people who put entries in. It’s quite amazing what they produce as amateurs.

“Last year’s show was down on flower entries because spring came later but this year we did well.

“It was nice social event as well as a show. We do it so people can get to know their neighbours and other people in the village.

“We’re always open to new members, especially as in the last few years we have lost a number of our older members.”

The society’s autumn show will be held at Chiltern Edge School on September 3.

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