Top award for Unity Community Association vegetable garden

16th July


Wealden District Council have announced the winners of its annual Garden Competition for residents living in Council owned Housing Estates and Retirement Living Courts across the District. Entrants were invited to showcase their wonderful gardens, patios and balconies to the judges across two gloriously sunny days in June. This year’s judges were Wealden Cabinet Member for Housing and Benefits, Cllr Ray Cade, and Jean Holland, a resident from Helen Court in Hailsham. She’s also a keen gardener and a member of Wealden’s Resident’s Action Group. Categories for entry included, best hanging baskets, best English country garden, best communal vegetable garden, and overall winner.

The entrants this year were of a particularly high standard making the judges final decision in each category extremely hard. Cllr Ray Cade said:

“I was delighted to be asked to visit our tenants and judge this year’s garden competition. Over the two days, Jean and I met some wonderful people doing some outstanding work in the Wealden community. One thing that stood out amongst them all was the pure joy they took from spending time in their garden.

“Everyone who entered can be very proud of their hard work and dedication to the upkeep of their gardens, for not only themselves but also others to enjoy. We are very lucky to have them as tenants, and wish them many congratulations. I would encourage all our tenants to enter next year’s competition which we hope will be just as spectacular.”

Diane Brenham from Unity Community Association commented:

” It was with great delight that I received a letter from WDC to inform me that the Judges had judged Unity Community Garden as the best Communal Vegetable Garden  in the Competition.  I, and all the Plot Holders, were absolutely thrilled that all our hard work has helped us to win this lovely award. The judges said all the standards were incredibly high in all the category, and they were impressed by all the entries. I will shortly be receiving a letter,  photo and certificate which will take pride of place in our beautiful  garden.  Last November our garden had 4 more raised beds installed for the disabled to use and there are numerous functions and events held there during the year. Monthly coffee mornings, activity days, Open Days,  BBQs to name a few. We were all over the Moon to win the Best Communal Vegetable Garden Category!”

The positive benefits of gardening on physical and emotional wellbeing are well known, with time spent in the garden proven to reduce stress and anxiety. In many areas the community gardens on estates and communal areas in Retirement Living Courts have also helped to bring residents together, helped to promote social interaction and reduce isolation.


The winners in full:

Best Garden Overall – Mr & Mrs Pachent, Buxted Court

Best Communal Flower Garden – Keld Close Community Garden, Uckfield

Best Communal Vegetable Garden – Unity Community Garden, Heathfield

Best English Country Garden – Mr S. King, Stone Cross Rd, Crowborough

Best Hanging Baskets – Mr D Voyzey-Green, Pevensey

Best Ornamental Garden – Mrs Grace Franklin, Buxted Court