Green-fingered townsfolk harvest a crop of awards

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Schools, residents and pubs were invited to enter their gardens for Horley in Spring 2014.

Horley Infant School entered this year’s competition after its pupils were thrilled to win their category in 2013.

A group of excited youngsters were presented with certificates at Horley Town Hall.

Headteacher Hilary Salter said: “It was a lovely presentation. They put a lot into it and were very excited to win and see the town mayor.

“They felt quite special.”

The school had entered the competition for several years.

Some 300 pupils spent an hour a week tending to flowers, herbs and vegetables in the school’s winning plots.

The young gardeners grew and ate more than 1,000 potatoes over 2013.

Hilary added: “We just do it to take part.

“It’s very important for the children to see themselves as part of a bigger community.

“You see ex-pupils at the presentation, so it does carry on.”

The annual community event attracted around 20 entries last year.

Jeanette Norris, 81, of Russells Crescent, Horley, won Best Residential Garden in 2013.

Mrs Norris and her husband, Kenneth, 83, tend to their two gardens as a hobby.

She said she only entered her back garden after the competition’s judges visited her home.

She said: “I was very very excited and proud.

“They took our photographs and we received a beautiful framed certificate.”

She said she forgot she had entered by the time the competition’s judges came round her house .

She added: “It meant a lot to us. My husband and I are out in our gardens a great deal.”

The Norris’s front garden is located in the corner of Massetts Road, in the town centre.

Mrs Norris said she only decided to take part in the competition until after her friends who walked past her home convinced her to enter last year.

Horley in Spring is followed by the larger Horley in Bloom summer competition.

Previous Horley in Bloom winner Brian Hawes, 69, of Chequers Drive, Horley, said the spring event brought the town community together.

He said: “It’s an excellent idea.

“People do get really wrapped up in it.”

Brian said he spent nights working in his garden after his wife, Rosina, 70, entered him into Horley in Bloom 2011 without him knowing.

He said: “My wife entered me without telling me until a week before the judging.”

The closing date for entries to Horley in Spring 2014 is April 7.

To enter visit the council offices or