Jaw-dropping aerial pictures show Britain’s best garden bursting with autumn colours – despite being in the industrial heartlands.
Green-fingered Marie, 72, and Tony Newton, 70, have spent 38 years and more than £15,000 transforming their back garden into a beautiful oasis.
They have crammed 3,000 plants and flowers, including 450 azaleas, 120 Japanese maples and 15 blue star junipers into a quarter of an acre.
Their garden in Walsall, West Mids., is nicknamed “four seasons” on account of its year-round appeal.
The couple, who usually attract visitors from around the world to take pictures of their colourful creations, say autumn is their favourite season.
And incredible drone images taken on Thursday (15/10) show the thousands of flowers and trees dazzling in a riot of reds, pinks, greens and yellows.
Marie said: “Of all the seasons, autumn is definitely my favourite.
“The garden is so rich in colours it often looks like there are flames coming from the trees and a rainbow of colours in the flowerbeds.
“It’s wonderful to see our hard work come to fruition when we look out of the window at this time of year.”
Since lockdown, the couple have continued to plant acers and camellias thanks to online shopping.
They have also adapted the balcony in their home to become a temporary greenhouse and started growing vegetables in large pots on the patio.
The couple have won several awards, including being crowned Britain’s Best Gardeners.
Marie, who started transforming her drab garden in 1992 after she retired from her job as a transport planner, added: “Over the summer we put in a feeding station which was a bigger one than we’d had before.
“That’s attracted a lot of wildlife, foxes and hedgehogs, so we recently bought a hedgehog house.
“We have planted some bulbs so rather than doing the usual mowing the lawn or weeding we have focused on those.
“We have reduced the height of some of the shrubs because we’re not having open days this year.
“We’ve actually taken the opportunity to futureproof our plants.
“Some of the plants have resprouted and we can actually see the pagoda now rather than being obscured by all the shrubs so everything’s looking really good.”
Due to Marie shielding, the couple have been forced to stop open days for visitors coming to see the garden.
She said: “We can’t do open days anymore which is a great shame. Last year in May we had 1,100 visitors over a weekend.
“Nowadays they have got a book in advance and have a slot for 45 minutes that you have to stick to so it’s an entirely different experience.
“We would have to clean everything down between visitors and that would be too much for us to do so we’re planning to reopen next year.
“It’s really quite good physical exercise and is stimulating our minds.
“It’s rewarding, the steady harvest of vegetables, and a lovely feeling of pride and wellbeing.
“With all the uncertainty at the moment, it’s just a matter of keeping in the garden. Whether open to the public or not it’s our garden.
“We enjoy maintaining high standards. We won Britain’s Best Back Garden in the Impossible Garden category and Alan Titchmarsh judged it.
“It is a show garden, no matter what the season or weather.
“We cultivate it all year round. You just have to listen to the garden really and it tells you what needs to be done.”
Retired GP Tony joined his wife’s project after retiring from practicing medicine in 2002.
He said: “First we made it child friendly for our kids but as the years went by we moved on to planting and growing our own flowers and plants.
“There has been a lot of trial and error to get the garden way it is now.
“A lot of our plants are now 30 years old or more.
“We never get bored, there is always something new to plant.
“The autumn colours are amazing. Every day I wake up in awe of the spectacle we have created.”