Resident receiving an RHS certificate

A blooming good show for Sovereign’s Carnarvon Place!

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has awarded Sovereign Housing Association’s - housing for older people scheme, Carnarvon Place, Newbury with a Certificate of Recognition for their Community Garden.

RHS Britain in Bloom issued a special award for this year as the judges couldn’t go out due to the pandemic. The Sovereign residents’ group along with Newbury in Bloom were the only two recipients of this prestigious award in the town.

Carnarvon Place are regular entrants in the Town Council’s Newbury in Bloom competition, winning their category in 2019 and they were an integral part of Newbury’s Britain in Bloom campaign last year too.  Although both competitions were unable to take place this year, the RHS were impressed by Carnarvon Place and their sense of community spirit during this time. The RHS recognises how important the ‘In Bloom’ campaigns are across the country, including the great efforts that Newbury residents and community groups have made this year.

Mr Steve Clark, a resident at Carnarvon Place, started the Community Garden six years ago. A Landscape Gardener of 20 years, he wanted to create a colourful space for the residents to relax in.  Mr Clark said, “We started with a small area and we now have two summer houses, a greenhouse, a vegetable patch and we are planning a sensory garden for next year. There’s around eight of us who meet up every week.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that this year but we are so pleased that the Royal Horticultural Society have recognised what we have done as a community. Our residents can enjoy sitting in the garden areas and can join in or just make use of the fresh vegetables we grow.  We put up hanging baskets every year too.”

Kay Clark, RHS Community Development Manager said, “Even those groups who have not been able to carry out activities this year are still an important part of a wider movement to make all our communities stronger, greener and happier. We want to recognise how important you all are and how valuable your work is with this certificate for 2020”.

Martin Colston, Leader of the Council said, “I had the pleasure to meet Steve Clark for a tour of Carnarvon Place and it’s certainly very impressive. They have made the garden areas into beautiful spaces where residents can join in, or just enjoy the area. With the vegetable patch, which has raised beds so that wheelchair uses can get involved and the greenhouse where they grow everything from seed, it’s inspirational.”   

First published by Newbury Town Council, 27 November 2020.