Everything’s coming up roses for residents

Paolo Black in his garden with Emma Crump, of Hightown PNL-150210-145721001

Paolo Black in his garden with Emma Crump, of Hightown PNL-150210-145721001

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Green-fingered Hemel Hempstead residents have been honoured by Hightown Housing Association for transforming their gardens into tranquil havens.

Among the winners of the charitable housing association’s annual residents’ garden competition were Paolo and Omur Black, who have transformed their garden since they moved into their home less than a year ago.

After clearing the garden in Oatridge Gardens, they created a green oasis in just a few months, which enabled them to win the competition’s Most Relaxing Garden category.

Paolo said: “When we moved in, the garden had no flowers and there was no grass to speak of. We found the garden to be incredibly rocky.

“We also faced a big challenge in pulling up poison ivy as it doesn’t just come up easily and we had to wear protective clothing.”

But Paolo and Omur, with the help of children Cameron, aged 17, Erin, nine, and Joe, six, have since grown a lawn from seed and planted apple and cherry trees, which have all borne fruit this year.

Hemel Hempstead resident Audrey Jeffers, from Eldrig Turn, won the competition’s Special Award for consistency, after creating a striking display for three years running.