It's official: Neville and Marie Mueller have one of Murray Bridge's loveliest gardens

The winners of the city's 2020 spring garden competition have been announced.

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As soon as the judges rounded the corner, they knew they’d found their winning garden.

Immaculate lawn stretches down from the expansive house to a border of roses – about 180 varieties in all, in pink and gold, scarlet and white – and beyond them a view down to the river flats and the Murray.

Out the front is another world: a bridge built of old sleepers, a rusted wheelbarrow, an old water pump and other nostalgia pieces set among a creek, a pond and an assortment of shrubs.

This is Neville and Marie Mueller’s slice of heaven, on Apex Road at Swanport.

Mr Mueller said he had spent more time in the garden this year after the cancellation of the Royal Adelaide Show, where he had shown dairy cattle every year since his early childhood – more than 70 years.

His and Marie’s efforts paid off – on Monday, theirs was named one of seven winning gardens in Murray Bridge’s spring garden awards for 2020.

Nominees gathered for a short ceremony at the Murray Bridge council office on Monday morning.

Other winners included:

  • Best seniors’ garden: Rodney and Jeanette Zanker of Hume Avenue, Murray Bridge

  • Best small garden: Margaret Cook of Joseph Street, Murray Bridge

  • Best sustainable garden: Anne Hewitson of Jaensch Road, Murray Bridge

  • Best school garden: Jervois Primary School

  • Best community garden: Murraylands Retirement Village

  • Mayor’s encouragement award: Deb and Bill Leonard of Jervois Road, White Sands

Each received a gardening book and a voucher from Serenity Nursery.

Runners-up were also recognised in several categories, given the closeness of the judges’ scores.

Mayor Brenton Lewis thanked everyone who had taken the time to enter the competition, and encouraged them to spread the word in 2021.

“What we’re trying to do is continue to build pride in our community,” he said.

“If people have pride in their own home, it rubs off.”

Photos of each of the category winners follow below.

Best seniors’ garden winners Rodney and Jeanette Zanker with Mr Lewis.

Council chief executive officer Michael Sedgman with best small garden winner Margaret Cook and Mr Lewis.

Mr Sedgman, best sustainable garden winner Anne Hewitson and Mr Lewis.

Mr Sedgman and Mr Lewis with Roxanna Tyler, Sophie Sharrock and Mikelle Miegel, representing best school garden winner Jervois Primary School.

Manager Sandra Bourke, board member Anne Potter and resident Henriette Standley, representing best community garden winner Murraylands Retirement Village.

Mr Sedgman and mayor’s encouragement award winners Bill and Deb Leonard with Mr Lewis.

Mr Lewis thanks Murray Bridge Social Garden Club’s Ute Wegener and Murray Bridge Garden and Floral Art Club’s Phillip Christian for their involvement in the competition.

Photos: Peri Strathearn.

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