Prize-winning Stevenage gardener has valuable plant stolen

AN entrant to this year’s In Bloom competition has had a valuable topiary tree she had been cultivating for years stolen from her garden.

Noelin Serretta, of Lonsdale Road in Stevenage, was the winner of last year’s Best Back Garden category and had been working hard to prepare her garden for this year’s contest.

But sometime between 6.30pm on Friday, June 11, and 8.30am on Saturday, June 12, it is believed that more than one offender entered the garden, cut a chain which had secured the potted tree, and stole it together with the pot.

Mrs Serretta, who has entered In Bloom four years running, said: “I had two sets of twin topiaries, and for seven years had really nursed them to get them to look exactly the same.

“They were beautiful outside the gate, so I’m gutted.”

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Mrs Serretta’s pot was found broken close to her home, but the plant, worth about �280, had been removed from it.

She opened her garden to the public on Sunday as part of Stevenage Open Gardens in aid of The Comet’s charity of the year, The Prince’s Trust. She explained: “I had to shift a few plants around and make the best of it.”

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Anyone with any information about the theft, call Herts Police’s non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222 and quote crime reference number E1/10/3808. The police community support officer in charge of the case is Emily Fletcher.

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