When Richmond Villages entered this year’s prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) It’s Your Neighbourhood Heart of England in Bloom 2012, they hoped to do well. But the assessors were so impressed, they not only gave an award to the village but also introduced a new award especially for Owen Vaughan, the head gardener!
The commendation read: “So impressive is Owen Vaughan’s gardening expertise that it was deemed necessary to introduce a new award. The gardens at RichmondVillagein Painswick are outstanding in their design and presentation. Owen – head gardener, is an accomplished plants man. The cottage style planting schemes to the borders and gardens are planted with panache, style and confidence akin to that of Christopher Lloyd! (See note). On the other side of the spectrum is Owen’s knowledge, respect and love of flora and fauna depicted inRichmond’s Wild Flower Meadow, a wonderful meadow created and maintained by Owen for all creatures great and small to enjoy.”
In winning its ‘Thriving award’ – one of five levels of achievement in the campaign, the gardens at Richmond Painswick were described as “breathtakingly beautiful with classic border planting schemes giving a wow factor at every twist and turn. The whole area is immaculate and well maintained”.
Judged on three specific criteria - community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement - residents at the village also volunteer to tend their own patio areas and assist Owen with the dead heading, weeding and planting.
Said Susie Oakley, village manager of Richmond Painswick: “The initial design for the village ensured that the buildings and grounds blended harmoniously with the local environment, and these awards are a fine recognition for Owen and the residents who have worked so hard to create such wonderful and tranquil gardens. We are all very proud of their achievements.”