Huge congratulations to Bill and Milly Shewan, of 4 Richmond Gardens in Rhynie, for their garden has been selected, from dozens and dozens of entries, to be our Garden of the Year overall winner.
They now have a winning plaque for their garden and will receive £500 National Garden Gift Vouchers and can look forward to enjoying a trip next year to the Chelsea Flower Show.
The couthy couple were overwhelmed when we broke the good news to them. Milly, 78, said: “Oh me, I’m absolutely stunned. Having seen all those bonnie gardens in the P&J we didn’t think we had a chance.
“I don’t know what to say because looking after the garden is just our hobby and something we absolutely love doing, but thank you very much.”
Once he got over the surprise, Bill, 80, said: “That’s a right shock but I’m fair chuffed about that. It was great being able to meet Jim and show him around our garden as he spiks our ain language.”
Their garden is a mini oasis bursting with colour, jam-packed with huge hanging baskets, colourful bedding plants, immaculate lawns and trees and shrubs in a huge variety of shapes and shades taking up every inch of space. Milly designed all the arches, seating areas and summerhouses while Bill built them all from scratch.
“It’s like Inverewe Gardens but in miniature,” said our judge, Jim McColl.
“The design and layout is all the work of the couple, with a summerhouse and covered picnic area linked with paths and perennial planting. The outstanding features being a wide range of dwarf conifers and Japanese maples. With sweet peas and tall herbaceous also adding to the background, the annual bedding displays are stunning. Many of the ‘usual subjects’ like petunias are in evidence, but once again the range of begonias is sublime.
“I thought long and hard about the result of this competition and have been fantastically impressed by the entries, but I have to say the Shewans’ garden in Rhynie is the best overall. Done by themselves, as indeed were all of them, they have achieved a very pleasant blend of hard landscape features, permanent planting and summer flowers.”
Also getting a special pat on the back from the P&J is 10-year-old Charley Reid, a young friend of Mr and Mrs Shewan. Charley’s mum Amanda said: “As soon as Charley saw the article about the competition in the paper on return from our summer holiday she said Bill and Milly should enter. That was it. She was on a ‘mission’ to persuade them to take part and it was quite a struggle for her to convince them.”
Having finally managed to persuade them, Charley spent hours in the garden, taking more than 100 photographs before selecting six for the competition entry form.
When told the Shewans’ garden had been named overall winner, Amanda said: “Their garden is so beautiful and all their own work which makes it even more special. I am absolutely thrilled that they won and so glad Charley managed to persuade them to enter.”