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Couple’s 40-year-old garden bursts with springtime color

It boasts more than 3,000 plants and flowers, including 450 azaleas, 120 Japanese maples and 15 blue star junipers crammed into a quarter of an acre.

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Keen gardeners Tony & Marie Newton from Walsall are enjoying the early spring show this year in their award winning Four Seasons garden which they have been tending to for 40 years. (Tristan Potter via SWNS)

By Ed Chatterton via SWNS

A couple who created Britain's best garden are celebrating 40 years tending to their "four seasons" oasis as stunning images show their latest springtime spectacular.

Tony and Marie Newton have spent four decades crafting one of the nation's most celebrated back gardens - despite living in the heartlands of the Black Country.

The retired pair have welcomed 15,700 people from over 41 countries who flock to their home in Walsall, West Mids., to see the vibrant plot bursting with color.

After being unable to open to the public during COVID-19, the green-fingered pair will now be hosting visitors for the first time in three years this autumn.

In the meantime, the "four seasons garden" - named due to its all year round appeal - has amassed an online following of over 17 million people on social media.

Keen gardeners Tony & Marie Newton from Walsall are enjoying the early spring show this year in their award winning Four Seasons garden which they have been tending to for 40 years. (Tristan Potter via SWNS)
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It boasts more than 3,000 plants and flowers, including 450 azaleas, 120 Japanese maples and 15 blue star junipers crammed into a quarter of an acre.

Marie, 74, and Tony, 72, began working on the garden when they moved into the property in 1982 and continued with their hobby after both retiring in 2009.

The couple have won several awards, including being crowned the winner of Alan Titchmarsh's Britain's Best Garden and Gardeners of the Year.

They have also raised more than £52,500 ($64,905) for charity by opening up their garden to visitors from across the globe.

Gran-of-four Marie, a former transport planner and nurse, said: "We've been looking after it the same as always and managed to maintain its standard during the lockdowns.

Finishing the pagoda in 2005. (Tony & Marie Newton via SWNS)

"But it has been three years since we've been able to open it up to the public and we look forward to being able to do so again now for its 40th anniversary.

"It's a special milestone and it has been a labour of love for us. I'm very proud, it's become something of an obsession for both of us

"We have our four grandchildren come around and they play in it exactly like our own children used to all those years ago.

"But then we have people coming from all over the world to see it. We had a person from New York who flew over especially just to see our garden.

"One tourist from Iceland based his whole trip to the UK around it and our garden is part of a horticultural syllabus in China.

"But to us, it's just our little garden. It's our hobby and and we love looking after it. It's our little bit of green space just a stone's throw from a town centre.

"We have all sorts of birds here and foxes, it really is a peaceful place to be but we never imagined the appeal it would have when we started out in 1982.

"Although we have had no horticultural training, and are totally self taught, we believe we have created something very special.

"All but two of all the plants in our garden have been planted by us. Spring is my favorite time to see the garden in full bloom.

Photographs from over the last 40 years show how the couple have transformed their muddy lawn and broken rockery into the oasis it is today.

Images dating back to the 1980s show the pair working hard to completely re-landscape the yard while individually planting trees, flowers and shrubs.

The back garden in 1982. (Tony & Marie Newton via SWNS)
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Retired GP Tony said: "First we made it child friendly for our kids but as the years went on 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.

"Never, even in our wildest dreams, did we imagine that a number of years after moving to Walsall our ¼ acre suburban garden would win gardening competitions and welcome visitors from across the world.

"We have re-landscaped and planted our garden to be exciting in all four seasons. The garden is now used and enjoyed by our family and many visitors of all ages.

"We have derived immense pleasure from doing this huge project together without outside help.

""It has been very satisfying to use so many skills, and to have done every task ourselves, despite us both having had full time jobs until retirement in October 2009.

"We are still gardening as passionately as ever. Sadly, we did not open our garden for public events during 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing Covid situation.

"But we are delighted to announce that we intend to open our garden for charity later this year."

The open days will be held on October 22 and 23 from 10 A.M. - 5 P.M. with tickets costing £5 ($6.18) for adults and proceeds going to the National Garden Scheme.

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