Colourful floral displays help Braunston Marina win award third time in row
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Braunston Marina has won an award for its colourful floral displays.
For the third year in a row, the marina was given the Dennett’s Garden Centre Cup, which is presented annually to local businesses.
With the marina’s waterside setting and its collection of small canal buildings – some dating back to 1792 – the marina does naturally encourage floral displays.
The flower displays are created and lovingly maintained man by Ian Norris, who graduated from Rycotewood College of Agriculture near Thame. He then went on to become head gardener at a private stately home in that area.
Ian’s day job now is working on narrowboats and the marina’s maintenance. He is also responsible for the several floral displays around the marina, particularly by the shop entrance.
His prize winning display this year was his magnificent autumnal dahlias. These he has patiently collected over the years, carefully naturing them in a cool dark cupboard located in one of the dry docks during the winter and spring months. The annual plant included in the display come from Homebase in Daventry, which Ian speaks well of.
Debbs Bradshaw was born into a farming family in Kent, and studied horticulture at the Merrist Wood Agricultural College, near Guildford, where she was one of ten girls and 50 males in her year. She went on to work for various nurseries until she retired to Braunston, where she and her late husband had kept a boat at the marina since the early 1990s.
Following her retirement, she came to work on the marina’s weekend staff. With her excellent arboricultural connections, she has also been very much at the forefront of managing the woodlands around the marina, where over 2,000 trees have been planted since 1996. Now years later these make an attractive recreational area for the moorers as well as becoming wildlife sanctuaries. Those woodlands are now also act as a very useful windbreak from the south west winds.