Autumn splendour on show as award-winning garden reopens
Tony and Marie Newton began tending to their Four Seasons garden in 1982.
A couple who have more than 3,000 different trees, shrubs and plants in their award-winning garden have said it is wonderful to be able to show them off again after taking a break.
Tony and Marie Newton, who are both retired, started working on the Four Seasons Garden in 1982, which is due to open to the public again this weekend following a two-year hiatus.
The green-fingered couple, from Walsall, West Midlands, have won national awards for their garden.
Mr Newton, 69, said: “It was only a few years ago when a press photographer sent one of our pictures off and we were in five nationals in one day.
“Suddenly our autumn garden was discovered and it had [previously] just been our own.”
Their garden was featured in a half-hour special on Gardeners’ World in 2008, and has received praise from presenter Alan Titchmarsh.
Mrs Newton, 70, said: “Alan Titchmarch said it was high art.
“He rated us the best back garden in Britain by achieving the impossible, which was to have a show garden no matter what the weather or season.
“He said it was our attention to detail and clever use of evergreens.”
The couple said they have kept count of the number of plants, often going round the garden with clipboards, and have 120 Japanese Maple trees in their arrangement.
Their open days have drawn in 13,514 visitors from 36 different countries, and has raised more than £43,000 for charity.
Mr Newton said they see their garden as a work of art rather than just gardening.
He said: “It is a form of art and that’s what we’re doing, you look at each plant and you’re working out, it’s like painting a big picture.
“Marie often says it’s like creating a giant flower arrangement because a flower arrangement isn’t just about the flowers, it’s about the foliage.”