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How’s this for a pumpkin? Highgate gardeners toast prize success

Maggie Sully scores the big one!

21 September, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

Maggie Sully with her award-winning pumpkin

FORGET the silverware, for gleeful gardener Maggie Sully the only way to celebrate her success at the Highgate Horticultural Society’s autumn showing on Saturday was to lift her prize-winning pumpkin aloft for all to see.

Or at least she would have done, had it not been so blooming heavy!

The delighted debutant proved a big hit at the United Reformed Church in South Grove, Highgate, as she won the Gibbon Award after gaining the most points in the fruit classes and the Alice Allender Award for her tasty blackberry and apple jam in the domestic classes.

Ms Sully also celebrated a top-three finish for her prodigious pumpkin, revealing afterwards that it had been a while since she last entered a horticultural competition.

“I haven’t entered a show since I was a child in the ‘50s,” said the 67-year-old. “I’ve been boring people with how big my vegetables are, and it’s been a really good season, so I thought I would give this show a go.”

Jeanne Willis, winner of the DJ Hawkins Bowl for most points in floral arrangement

Seasoned regular Gary Sycamore was back among the trophies as he won the Jack Hurst Award for his runner beans, the Rankine Cup for gaining the most points in the vegetable classes, and the Faith Cope Morgan Cup for most points in the floral exhibits. Reverend David Currie, who took over at the United Reformed Church in May, was on hand to congratulate winning exhibitors and presented the awards.

Reverend David Currie with Zarin Nadjafian, winner of the Highgate Horticultural Cup for best floral exhibit

After admitting that he’s “not brilliant at gardening”, Reverend Currie took time to urge budding gardeners to join the society. He said: “It’s a very vibrant society. Already I have seen people coming in the door asking, ‘how do I join?’.”

For information on how to join the society, and find out about their events in 2018, visit for details.

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