Media & Awards

Walsall in Bloom

In 2003 we started entering the local annual Walsall in Bloom competition, and for three years came tantalisingly close to winning.  We won on our fourth attempt!

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Daily Mail National Garden Competition

We were flabbergasted to find that we had won, beating 2000 entrants!  
One judge described ‘Four Seasons’ as a “garden like no other”.

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Gardeners' World filming

A researcher for BBC2 Gardeners’ World discovered our garden through our flickr website:

Filming took place over nine months, resulting in a half-hour special programme about our 'Four Seasons' garden that was broadcast on 14 February 2010, during one of our garden open days. 

Realising that our garden was just as interesting in winter as in other seasons, we decided to call our garden ‘Four Seasons’. 
Eight days of filming started in April and went through to December.  For the time-lapse shots, it was quite a challenge to place the tripod feet in the exact position each time to show the same views changing through the seasons.
One of our sons was suitably impressed when he called by to find both  a BBC film crew and a Radio WM crew in the garden at the same time!

With an overnight temperature of -4C, on 29 October we awoke to one inch of snow!  The film crew recorded us removing the containers of begonias from the borders.  Fortunately, we avoided any major catastrophe as we teetered precariously on the icy ground carrying heavy pots of frozen, slimy plants!

Garden News 
'Overall Gardeners of the Year'

Three years after winning our first national competition, in 2010 we were delighted to win our second: Garden News 'Overall Gardeners of the Year' 

It was a busy summer and our youngest daughter's wedding reception was being held in our garden.  Fortunately, the lawn withstood the hammering of 200 guests and the judges came just two days after the marquee was removed.

The prize of £100 worth of seeds every year for the rest of our lives poses its own challenges!

Gardeners Question Time

TV and radio garden presenter, Anne Swithinbank, brought three members of the gardening club to see our garden on 28th November 2011 and record their comments. 

The sky was overcast but luckily there was no rain. With four days notice Gardeners' Question Time had requested to visit our garden and Marie and Tony had just enough time to tidy up the recently fallen leaves. Anne said she was impressed with very many of the plants and how healthy there were. She suggested that this was due to the careful pruning. Anne said that her visit had challenged her to think about her way of pruning plants. The visitors said there was much of interest in the garden despite it being nearly winter. 

The question and answer session later in the day was chaired by Eric Robson, with panelists Anne Swithinbank, Bob Flowerdew and Matthew Wilson. Marie said: "The question time session was lively and good humoured. The topical subject of pruning came up several times. Anne Swithinbank said that her visit to Marie and Tony's garden earlier in the day had challenged her to think about her way of pruning plants."

Presenter Anne Swithinbank said she was going to review her attitude to pruning since our plants were so healthy!

2013 Great British Garden Revival

We were filmed for Series 1, Episode 4 'Trees' 

Foreign magazines and websites

Four Seasons garden has featured in numerous magazines around the globe.  

It has also been the subject of several blogs and on websites - one describing it as "The most beautiful home gardens in the world!"

2015 Britain's Best Back Gardens

We were stunned when we were ranked the winner in Alan Titchmarsh’s ‘The Impossible Garden’ category of ITV ‘Britain’s Best Back Gardens’ for having achieved showcase standard throughout the year! 

Alan said that we had: 

“Achieved a garden that looks dazzling 365 days of the year 
“All looks so natural and artless, and yet it is high art
“I haven’t seen such a leaf perfect garden 

“Key to this garden’s four seasons success: 
  • Deft use of evergreens, mixing their shades for maximum effect 
  • Creating gardens within gardens – each with their own moment to shine 
  • Secret weapon - daily dedication

  • “To have a back yard looking show garden ready, no matter what the weather or season, is truly the definition of impossible, …… and I take my hat off to them!”