Show off your gardening greatness in estates' competition

A gardening cup which was revived during the pandemic for the first time in 30 years will be returning to Shropshire again this year.

The Bradford Estates’ Garden Challenge Cup sat on the shelves at the estate office from 1992 until June 2020 when, following the resurgence in gardening efforts during the first national lockdown, it was brought back - and this year it is up for grabs again.

“We’re delighted to be bringing back our popular gardening challenge again this year,” said Bradford Estates managing director, Alexander Newport.

“There is gardening greatness all over the estates, from Blymhill to Weston-under-Lizard to Tong Norton and we want to celebrate all the hard work tenants here do to keep their lovely gardens looking their best.”

The cup was originally awarded by Alexander's grandfather, the 6th Earl of Bradford, in 1952 to employees on the estate.

It was highly competitive with winners being invited to the Earl’s office and receiving a cheque.

Engraved on the 70-year-old cup are all the former winners including last year’s winner, Vince Derry from Burlington, who will judge this year’s competition.

“It’s an honour to be asked to judge this year’s competition,” Vince, who is now employed by the estates, said.

“As part of my new job as a groundsman on the estates, I come across beautiful gardens and fantastic ideas all the time and I hope to see these keen amateur gardeners enter the cup.”

The first prize winner will be awarded the cup for 12 months and a cheque for £200, while second and third prize will receive a cheque for £100 and £50 respectively.

“This year the main things we’re looking for is colour, efforts to incorporate sustainability and overall aesthetics,” Alexander added.

Any tenants wishing to enter should notify the estate office before the closing date of Friday, June 18.

Gardens will be judged by Vince Derry on Monday, June 21, with a presentation by Alexander Newport the following day.

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