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Highdown photo competition winner's gift to her mum

Released: Monday, 07 August 2017

Highdown 50 logo

The winner of a photographic competition to celebrate Worthing's spectacular Highdown Gardens snapped up some blooming lovely prizes - and in a caring gesture gave them to her mum to enjoy.

Katie Wade, whose mother Deborah suffers from Alzheimer's, has enjoyed visits to the town's hidden gem attraction with her family since she was a child.

Now a mother herself, she immediately thought of her mum when she found out she was the winner of Take Highdown Home, a competition to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Frederick Stern, founder of the pioneering gardens which are home to a national collection of rare trees and plants.

Competition entrants were invited to submit their favourite photos of Highdown, with the winners receiving their choice from a selection of plants grown at the gardens which are owned and maintained by Worthing Borough Council.

Katie's winning picture, Cherry Blossom, was snapped on her Samsung Galaxy S6 phone while visiting Highdown in the spring with her mum and aunt.

Keen photographer Katie said:

"We've always been fond of Highdown Gardens. It's such a tranquil place and it changes with the seasons, so there's always something different to see.

"I'm giving the plants to my mum as she has Alzheimer's and nothing makes her happier than sitting in her garden with my dad around the flowers.

"Coming to Highdown is such a relaxing experience for her. We couldn't believe how glorious the cherry blossom trees looked, so I just had to capture this beautiful memory."

Runner-up was Sarah Nelson's cheerful Happy Tree Stump picture, which was taken in the lower garden.

Katie's winning photo, Cherry Blossom (left) and Sarah's Happy Tree Stump picture (right)

PR17-111 - winning photo Cherry Blossom by Katie Wade (left) and Happy Tree Stump photo by Sarah Nelson (right)

Sarah, who has just completed a Royal Horticultural Society qualification and volunteers at the RHS's Wisley Gardens in Surrey, thinks the photo captures the spirit of Highdown. The family are also regular visitors to the gardens and love that they have different areas to explore and are not too manicured.

Head Gardener Gary Prescod and the Highdown team selected a shortlist of four pictures from the competition entries and the winners were chosen in a public vote on Adur & Worthing Councils' Facebook page.

Gary said:

"The competition has been a great way to share the beauty of the gardens with thousands of people. We were very impressed by the variety of entries, which captured so many glorious aspects of these special gardens, and it was quite a challenge to whittle them down to the final four.

"Congratulations to our winners and I hope that, through their prizes, they'll enjoy their own special part of Highdown for many years to come."

Worthing Borough Council is currently applying for a £900,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to safeguard Highdown's future and garden-lovers have until 14th August 2017 to get behind the bid by taking part in an online survey. More information and the survey can be found on Highdown Garden's website.

Highdown50 continues next year with the 50th anniversary of the gardens being handed over to the people of Worthing by Sir Frederick’s widow, Lady Sybil.

Winner Katie Wade and her mum and dad, Howard and Deborah, with Highdown Head Gardener Gary Prescod and their chosen plants:

PR17-111 - Winner Katie Wade and her mum and dad with Highdown Head Gardener Gary Prescod and their chosen plants

Runner-up Sarah Nelson and her son, Joe, with Paul Abbott, one of the Highdown gardeners:

PR17-111 - Runner-up Sarah Nelson and her son, Joe, with Paul Abbott, one of the Highdown gardeners

Winner Katie Wade and her family chose the following plants to take home:

Both the hellebore and hollyhock were propagated by seed from Sir Frederick’s original plants.

Runner-up Sarah Nelson chose:

Highdown50 was launched by Worthing Borough Council to publicise the importance of the gardens in local and national history.

See also: Highdown Garden's website

(PR17-111)

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