Kent Life Garden of the Year Competition Winners

PUBLISHED: 14:23 20 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:50 20 February 2013

Kent Life Garden of the Year Competition Winners

Kent Life Garden of the Year Competition Winners

Meet the two winners in the Kent Life Amateur Garden of the Year and Best Primary School Garden of Year Competition

Kent Life Garden of the Year Competition Winners

Meet the two winners in the Kent Life Amateur Garden of the Year and Best Primary School Garden of Year Competition

Amateur Garden of the Year

With its creative design, sensitivity to its surroundings and attention to detail, Cherith and Richard Bournes garden at Wickham Lodge in Aylesford is a worthy winner of Kent Lifes inaugural amateur Garden of the Year Competition

Cherith and Richard Bourne have transformed the half-acre around their ancient house into a series of rooms that include a knot garden, organic fruit and vegetable gardens, Japanese-ishi garden and a rose walk.

The Georgian house with Tudor origins offers two aspects. At the front facing the river there is a lawn edged in massed lavender and vines framing lovely riparian views, while to the rear a restored walled garden is now terraced to make the best use of the sloping space.

There was no grand plan everything just evolved into the 14 gardens we now have. What we have tried to do, and hopefully succeeded, is to keep in sympathy with this historic place while adding a touch of humour and quirkiness, explains Cherith.

The garden is lovely to stroll through and has more than an echo of a Tudor flowery mead as you brush past scented blooms or admire the prolific beans scrambling over their supports, mirroring the rooftops of the houses beyond the wall in the historic village of Aylesford.

There is a real sense of place, great plantmanship with a balance of ornamental and productive use, focal points to draw the eye and areas to sit and relax in.

Cherith and Richard believe that it is important to work with the garden. When asked who is the gardener here? or who owns this garden? the question is easily answered. This garden belongs to itself with a little help from its friends! smiles Cherith.


Wickham Lodge

The Quay, High Street

Aylesford ME20 7AY

Tel symbol: 01622 717267

Email symbol:

Opens one day each spring for the NGS

Offers B&B, Five-stargold, ideal for garden lovers

Best Primary School Garden

Shoreham Village School edged to the front of the competition with its highly diverse gardening programme, integrating learning and enjoyment, that includes containers and borders through to an allotment and an environmental outside classroom

Teaching and administrative assistant, Sharon Desmond, runs the gardening club at Shoreham Village School and children across the school are actively involved with a strong green ethos.

There is an abundant allotment cared for by the Reception class, small and large borders around the classrooms, hanging baskets and tubs with a mix of ornamental and edible plants, a Mediterranean garden and a quarter acre wooded area called Spellers Wood that is developing into an exceptional outdoor learning area.

The allotment plays a large part in outside learning for the Reception class. They grow radishes, lettuce, peas, potatoes, strawberries, raspberries, currants, loganberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, blueberries, herbs and nasturtiums, explains Sharon.

With such a variety the children are able to use lots of different senses as well as different growing cycles and most exciting of all they are able to cook and eat their own lunch using some of the produce they have planted, nurtured and harvested. They are also made aware of the importance of composting and making use of rain water from the water butts to water the growing plants.

The areas around the school are cared for by the garden club and this encourages the children to have a real sense of pride in their surroundings while learning about all facets of gardening.

Spellers Wood, an area of woodland originally planted from funds raised at a spelling bee, is being developed for a range of activities. There is a quiet area, wildlife habitats that include bird boxes (one even has a camera), bat boxes, a mini beast hotel, beetle stacks, ladybird houses, a tree house and den building area, a newly planted willow hide and plans in place to encourage cross-curricular work.


Shoreham Village School

Church Street


Nr Sevenoaks TN14 7SN

Tel symbol: 01959 522228

Email symbol:

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