Kathy Brown’s Garden at the Manor House in Stevington has been crowned the Nation’s Favourite Garden in the East Region.
Kathy and Simon Brown found out they were the winners at an awards ceremony at the Garden History Museum in London last night (Tuesday).
The awards are organised by by English Garden Magazine and the National Garden Scheme – something that Kathy has been participating in for 25 years.
“We are thrilled and humbled to be given this award for the Nations Favourite Garden in the East of England,” said Kathy.
“The Great Ouse Valley is a very special place and we are privileged to live and work in Stevington.
“Very many thanks for all those who have supported us in so many ways and who voted for us in this competition.”
The beautiful garden has been a labour of love for Kathy and Simon since the early 1990s. “It’s been on-going ever since,” joked Kathy.
It is open to the public every Tuesday between April and September and group parties can book tours.
There is something to see whatever the season, but Kathy confides that her favourite time of year is May into Summer.
“In mid to end May the wisteria walk can be breath taking with its veil of flowers, in June I just love all the roses cascading through the trees and pergolas, then in late summer I love all the naturalistic plantings with the grasses and sunny echinaceas.
“Oh I almost forgot, the wild flower meadow in July is bursting with pretty blue scabious and I just love the freedom of the meandering paths.
“Each season has its own beauty, but if I was forced to choose then May would be the highlight, so many different colours in the leaves, so many blooms, so much promise.”
The garden is now closed to visitors, but there are some treats in store for anyone planning a visit in 2020.
“Sadly we have been forced to remove the large beech tree as you come up the drive but it has opened up a large sunny space and a glorious view over the Great Ouse Valley.
“We may add another peony bed, I am not sure yet. Now we see the ‘Dragon hedge’ by the gazebo much better and Simon has been busy reshaping its ‘tail’. It will start to green up sometime next summer I hope and we measured the full length which is 100 feet, that’s quite long for a dragon!
“Yesterday we replanted one of the beds in the cottage garden using some beautiful asters which I purchased on a recent visit to Great Dixter. Other plants included three items which visitors have unexpectedly and very kindly brought for us this year including a variegated buddleja, a variegated brunnera and masses of dainty white summer snowflakes (actually flower in April). I have always loved them and hope they coincide with a white daffodil which has a pale pink trumpet called Salome. We will see! They might be out for Easter.”
Kathy Brown’s Garden, The Manor House, Church Road, Stevington, Nr Bedford MK43 7QB
Tel. 01234 822064 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org