Budleigh’s blooming marvellous museum

Patience and experimentation has resulted in Budleigh Salterton’s Fairlynch Museum scooping a prize for its garden.

The museum’s gardeners are celebrating winning a Budleigh in Bloom award in the community garden category.

After their months of planting, weeding and watering the museum’s flower beds and borders, volunteers Ann Hurt, Lynn Weeks and Sylvia Merkel were ‘delighted’ to learn their efforts had secured a competition top spot.

Ann Hurt, who has been a Fairlynch volunteer gardener for 16 years, said it was the first time in two decades since the museum had won an In Bloom prize.

Ann, who gardened 12 acres at her home in Herefordshire before moving to Budleigh 17 ears ago, said the garden was ‘challenge’ despite its sunny position.

Years of patience and experimenting with plants proved the secret of Fairlynch becoming one of the town’s floral landmarks, said Ann.

She said: “We haven’t suffered as much as many gardens during the last two harsh winters because we’re so close to the sea, but that’s a problem in itself.

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“Devon is supposed to have a kind climate for gardening, but many of our plants just can’t cope with those salt-laden winds.

“We’ve tried a simple little perennial like Alchemilla mollis again and again, for example, but it never survives.”

Fairlynch’s garden has been designed by landscape gardener Jennifer Slater.

• For more details of the Budleigh in Bloom competition, and the work carried out by the organisation’s volunteers, visit http://www.budleighinbloom.co.uk/