AN HOTEL in north Worcestershire with 27 acres of grounds and gardens as come up smelling of roses in this year’s Heart of England in Bloom Hotel and Pub Gardens competition.

Hogarths Stone Manor near Mustow Green, south of Kidderminster, scooped a gold award in this year’s event – matching its sister hotel in Solihull, which took gold last year.

The gold award is presented to exceptional entries which have demonstrated a consistently high standard in all areas of the judging criteria and objectives of Britain in Bloom.

Hogarths Stone Manor has a number of special features in the grounds including a new orchard and ornamental and rose gardens, as well as the walled garden, which is home to fruit trees and herbs, while tomatoes are grown in the greenhouses. All are used by the chefs for their menus.

A profusion of wild blackberries, which grow in the grounds, are also used in the kitchen to make jams, sorbets and seasonal treats. Other areas feature managed woodland with protected trees as well as Scots pine, larch and oak.

The needs of little ones have been considered with the creation of a children’s play area near a wooded part of the gardens to encourage youngsters to go outside and explore the hotel’s grounds.

Throughout 2016, the newly upgraded Tudor-style hotel, has been celebrating Visit England’s Year of the English Garden with a series of outdoor events. These have ranged from garden tours and festivals to dog shows and a local schools’ initiative to design outdoor mini-planting schemes.

The hotel’s general manager Beverley Molmans said: “This fantastic award is a credit to our head gardener Andrew Raybould, who has worked tirelessly in all weathers to ensure our gardens and grounds are looking their very best for our guests to enjoy”.