Search

Remarkable garden that refused to die bids for top spot in Camden in Bloom show

15:08 15 July 2014

Kate Spencer who lives in Cayford House and looks after the communal garden. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Kate Spencer who lives in Cayford House and looks after the communal garden. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

An award-winning garden with a remarkable history will return to the annual Camden in Bloom competition this month.

Camden in Bloom 2014

Camden in Bloom is now open for entries from businesses and residents who want to make the borough even more beautiful.

The competition’s theme this year is “greener together” and there are five categories:

* Best community project

* Best communal garden

* Best balcony

* Best business entrance

* Best environmental project

If you, your community or business are keen gardeners, now is your opportunity to enter.

All prize winners will receive a voucher from sponsors Camden Garden Centre.

The closing date for entries is Friday, August 1.

* For more information visit camden.gov.uk/camdeninbloom

The Cayford House garden, which lines Lawn Road in Belsize Park, has been devastated four times in the last 15 years by maintenance works at the housing block.

Since the garden finished in second place in the 1999 Camden in Bloom competition, Camden Council has had to install a central heating system, replace windows, attend to a gas leak, and install piping from the Royal Free Hospital at the estate.

Yet the garden has recovered on all four occasions, going on to win several prizes at the Gospel Oak Gardening and London in Bloom competitions as well as at the annual gardening awards run by the council.

Retired restaurant manager Kate Spencer, 80, a Cayford House resident who maintains the garden, puts this feat down to its “special energy”.

She said: “It gives so much pleasure to everyone. And the tenants, they appreciate it.

“We used to have a lady who lived somewhere near us and she had cancer, and she used to come and sit in our garden because she had a special feeling about it.

“Everybody thinks that in a high-rise nobody knows each other. In our block, we are a community and you get that feeling when you come.

“Vivienne [a neighbour] has a class on a Thursday. She brings her pupils and they’ll sit in the garden and do maths.

“Then the other children will come down and play.

“When the kids play in the garden, for me that’s the nicest time because you can see the garden is being used, and they all respect it.”

The latest round of works, which took nearly 18 months to complete, saw the lawn, for the most part, entirely dug up.

Yet two months later, the garden looks like it has not been tampered with in years.

“It’s always been my ambition for the garden to come first in Camden,” said Mrs Spencer.

“And I don’t think it will come first this year. But next year the garden will be something else!”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 16:54
BBC director general Tony Hall declared his support for votes at 16 at a talk at La Sainte Union school

The director general of the BBC declared his support for changing the voting age to 16 during a talk to school pupils in Camden today.

Yesterday, 12:26
Alan Cartwright, who was killed in Caledonian Road on Friday

A Camden man arrested over the murder of a 15-year-old boy in Islington has been released on bail.

Yesterday, 17:00
Cllr Theo Blackwell.

Council tax in Camden will rise by 40p a week from next month as the council signed off the first hike in the levy for six years.

Yesterday, 12:00
Lynne Featherstone. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

For better or for worse, the last five years are likely to go down as Lynne Featherstone’s most memorable in politics.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

MPs have warned that the police are storing pictures of suspects taken into custody, even if they’re totally innocent.

No one was hurt in the crash, and officials have started to investigate what caused it.

The dog was treated pretty well in the whole robbery situation.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder