Hever Castle and Gardens was awarded a prestigious Gold medal for its gardens this year but was equally thrilled to see two of its employees presented with special discretionary awards.
Head gardener, Neil Miller, was awarded the South East in Bloom ‘Horticulture Achievement Award’ while Hever gardener Josh Fen was announced ‘Young Gardener’ for 2017.
The South East in Bloom judges said of Hever: “There are probably only a handful of locations of this calibre in the South East or beyond and it is almost impossible to suggest any improvements.”
There was praise for the formal gardens and for the team itself, especially head gardener Neil Miller: “The site is very professionally managed by a head gardener and a team of gardeners, several of who have come through the work experience route. Neil Miller is to be congratulated for his efforts to encourage and support young people to enter horticulture as a career and that is clearly to be seen when meeting and talking to members of his team. There are probably only a handful of locations of this calibre in the South East or beyond and it is almost impossible to suggest any improvements.”
Sarah Cole, marketing manager at Hever Castle and Gardens, attended the awards and collected Neil Miller’s award for him. She said: “Congratulations must go to the gardening team for once again demonstrating that Hever Castle has one of the finest gardens in the region. It was fantastic that both Josh and Neil received special mentions with their discretionary awards alongside high praise from the judges at the ceremony.”
The South & South East in Bloom campaign is the largest horticultural campaign in the region involving hundreds of communities each year. Participating communities create lasting improvements to their local environment for the benefit of those that live, work and visit.
Jim Buttress, RHS judge, popular television gardener and former Royal Parks gardener presented the awards at the Gatwick hotel on Wednesday 20 September. Gatwick Airport was headline sponsor at this year’s South and South East in Bloom.