KEVIN and Carolyn Wood might have twigged there was something going on when they were invited to the awards evening for Heart of England in Bloom.

But they just thought they had been invited for a night out at Warwick Castle.

But something special happened because they heard Ludlow collect its 13th gold award and the 11th year in succession the town has collected the top accolade.

However, the couple who live in Steventon New Road were also called on stage to collect a special award from Mark Wiltshire, chairman of the judges.

The Chairman’s Award is a discretionary category that is only given for very special reasons.

Kevin and Carolyn, who both work full-time, have lived at their home for 36 years and have had a passion for gardening for the past 15.

Their garden has also featured in the National Gardens Scheme for the past five years.

“We just love the garden and our favourite plants are the roses and clematis,” said Carolyn.

“In the summer when we get home from work we are usually out in the garden although we try to take a bit of a break in the winter.”

Vivienne Parry, who leads the Ludlow in Town Group, was relieved by the winning of another gold.

“It is a relief and a wonderful achievement for a small town and great credit to everyone who plays a part.

“Winning gold is great but it puts the pressure on for the following year.”

She has said that an effort is made to do something a bit different each year and for 2017 the theme was edible plants.

The judges Mark Wiltshire and Carol Miller came to Ludlow in July and were given a three-hour tour before a lunch at the Women’s Centre.

After a short break, planning will start for 2018 when the Ludlow group hopes to secure gold number 14.