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 Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:54
The Old White Bear pub in Hampstead

Developers who own the derelict Old White Bear pub in Hampstead have been ordered to take down scaffolding at the historic building by the end of the week or face enforcement action by Camden Council.

Tue, 17:41
Tributes have been paid to actor Burt Kwouk

Tributes have been paid to renowned Hampstead actor Burt Kwouk, famous for his role in the Pink Panther films.

Tue, 17:15
Tom Franklin, former chair of the Camden Green Party, pictured with Sian Berry and other supporters outside court

Eight protesters cleared of any wrongdoing for their part in an arms fair protest will not face a retrial after a judge refused an appeal lodged by the Crown.

Tue, 16:18
The Ratclliffe family when Gabriella was one week old

The husband of a West Hampstead mum who has been held for 50 days in Iran without charge has hit out at the government for not doing enough to secure her release.

Tue, 14:04
Heather Brett, with her mother, Nora

A daughter is urging hospitals to prioritise dementia care after her 90-year-old mother had a “traumatic” experience at the Whittington.

Mon, 17:50
Left to Right: Artist Dom Pattinson, Zebra One gallery owner Gabrielle du Plooy, actor  Phil Daniels and Blur's Dave Rowntree with artwork for auction at the Star Boot Sale

A fan has bid £6,500 on an outfit worn by former Spice girl Melanie Chisholm, which was among celebrity cast-offs being sold off at the Star Boot Sale on Sunday.

Mon, 14:44
Barnet and Camden's re-elected Assembly Member Andrew Dismore said the inquiry currently being undertaken by Barnet Councill into the polling day blunder is looking

Barnet and Camden Assembly Member Andrew Dismore has claimed the inquiry into the mayoral polling day debacle in Barnet is looking “increasingly like a whitewash”.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Mayor of Haringey Councillor Ali Ozbek. Photo: Polly Hancock

Haringey appointed its first mayor of Kurdish Alevi descent at a ceremony boosted with overseas family and the Turkish press on Monday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are no rules when it comes to buying studio pottery beyond choosing what you love

With The Great Pottery Throwdown captivating viewers across the nation, pottery courses at capacity, and hipsters snapping up vintage studio pieces to display their succulents in and post on Instagram, studio pottery and ceramics are definitely having a moment.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe