Penny Post Virtual Open Gardens

Thanks to everyone who sent in photos of the work they’ve done on their gardens during lockdown.

The Thatcham gardeners are the lucky winners of the prize draw for a gardening course with Chelsea Flower Show medal winner Sonia Wright Gardens when they can re-start in Ogbourne St George.

Feedback from Sonia Wright

Congratulations to the entrants. You have all done so well and I have made some brief comments below.

I really think gardening has helped us to cope with enormous change in our lives.  Plants can’t be hurried, there is a natural rhythm to all growing things which has given us a sense of purpose and achievement.  Hopefully a whole army of new and enthusiastic gardeners will arise from 2020 to go on to achieve even more in 2021.  I have turned a nettle-infested wilderness into a very productive allotment, hen-run and cut-flower garden,  giving me enormous pleasure and satisfaction.  

As soon as life begins to re-organise a bit better I hope to pass on knowledge gained this year to when I restart my courses.  If anyone is interested in brushing up their gardening knowledge, contact me on and I will get back to you as soon as possible.



Island Cottage Garden, Newbury 
A small town garden betwixt the Kennet Canal and the River Kennet in Newbury. Garden is seen from a raised deck, over the adjoining sluiceway of the waterways and has interest all year round planted with shrubs, palms, trees and perennials.

Thoughtful use of your most important feature – the river. Interesting choice of palm tree!

Lockdown Garden Project, Alton Priors, Marlborough 
We started creating the garden from scratch right at the beginning of Lockdown. Most of the plants have been given to us or grown from seeds with some filling in from the local Garden Centre once they reopened. 

Very professional design and finish with careful planting.

Spring and summer at 2 Ivy House, Great Shefford

Skilful use of hard surfaces – I love the old chimneys!

The Old Cottage Garden, East Garston
We moved here a year ago and have been working hard during lockdown to transform the garden. It now looks like how an old cottage should look.

A garden in perfect harmony with the lovely old cottage.

The ‘Godsmarks Family Garden’ – Aldworth, Near Newbury

Lovely textured planting. A calm and peaceful garden.

Wild’s Terraced Garden, Thatcham
Our garden isn’t the largest or prettiest but we’ve tried to rescue it over the last three years since moving in. All the plants had been strangled with bind weed and things weren’t thriving. 

We also have visits from hedgehogs each night and they’ve been returning for a couple of years.
Keep up the good work!  Garden rescue is hard and takes time but is so worthwhile.  Encouraging wildlife is so important too.

Zarazel Country Garden, Cold Ash

A cherished and much loved garden – in all weathers – can keep us level in difficult times. Even with old ladies!

Ainge Garden, Hungerford
I love all my plants when they are in their full glory.  My garden during lockdown has indeed been a blessing.

Good use of colour – and very healthy roses. Hollyhocks in just the right place – they used to be planted on foundations to damp-proof old cottages

Cassell Smiths Country Garden, East Garston

Very professional photography and styling.  The re-purposed bath is a good touch – I have five!


The Clockmaker, Hungerford


Terms & Conditions

• The prize draw winner will be selected at random and notified by email within 48 hours of the closing date (see above). Acceptance must be confirmed by email within 48 hours of the notification or we will select another winner to whom this condition will also apply. 

• If you’re not already a subscriber to Penny Post, by entering this competition you’re agreeing to have your email address added to our circulation list. We do not pass on information to third parties and you can opt out at any time.

• The winner will be put in touch with Sonia Wright Gardens directly to make the arrangements for redeeming the prize. 


Sonia Wright

Chelsea Flower Show medal-winner Sonia Wright has over 35 years experience, and offers wide-ranging gardening courses from her nursery at Buckerfields Nursery in Ogbourne St George near Marlborough in Wiltshire.

These courses cover everything from plant propagation through to pruning, cut flowers, growing and using herbs, plants to grow in gravel, shade or sun and making yourself a lovely homemade Christmas wreath. One of our popular courses is growing bulbs and how to get a spectacular display in your patio pots.


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