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30 September 2023 All things bright and beautiful

They work under the cover of darkness, sprucing up dilapidated and overgrown gardens and green spaces in need of tender loving care. But for one night only, head guerilla gardener Richard Reynolds, raised his head above the parapet to celebrate the work of Lambeth’s award winning green fingered tenants, hosting Lambeth’s annual Estates In Bloom competition.

More than 100 tenants and leaseholders entered the annual competition which is now in its 8th year. Tenants the length and breadth of the borough entered the gardening jamboree to cultivate and tend their individual or communal gardens in preparation for judging.

With seven categories for entry there was a specialist area to cover most interests and abilities.

A team of independent judges peered over hedges, fences and walls before deciding which gardens in each category, put on the best display. Category finalists were rewarded with a goody bag containing ‘green’ gifts including seeds,, recycled stationery and a water saving ‘hippo’ for domestic toilets. Award winners also received a certificate and cash voucher from the National Gardening Centre.

Category winners were:

  • Best paved garden - Miss Suzanne Watkins
  • Best domestic balcony or container display - Mrs Sonia Cooper
  • Best community garden - Arlington Lodge
  • Best sheldomestic grassed garden - Mrs May Horscroft
  • Best domestic tered housing scheme garden - Norwood Road
  • Best kept estate - Arlington Lodge
  • Best young gardener - Lilford Daycare Centre
  • Overall winner – joint winners - Miss Suzanne Watkins and Arlington Lodge.

Lambeth London Living interim Chief Executive Officer Pete Redman commented, “The level of gardening expertise is astounding and the displays were amazing – particularly when you consider the dreadful weather we’ve had this summer. The gardens in full bloom transformed a rain sodden borough into a lush and fragrant urban rainforest.“

Host of this year’s event, Richard Reynolds commented, “I was delighted to be asked by Lambeth London Living to present the Estates in Bloom awards. It is clear they are making great efforts to encourage people to take horticultural pride in their communities.”