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Gardener With The Midas Touch

 

Updated : May 20, 2009


A Herefordshire gardener keeps digging up valuable antiques from under her lawn, flower beds and vegetable patch.

Since moving into a 15th century farmhouse six years ago, Jan Long has unearthed hundreds of valuables, reports the Daily Mirror.

Her haul includes a diamond ring, solid gold Victorian watch, Edwardian chainmail bag, brooches, medals and coins - and even an ancient plough.

Retired Ms Long, 57, first hit a stash of hundreds of Victorian bottles at her home near Ledbury and she kept finding more antiques every time she moved a bush or put in a plant.

The mother of three said: "It was only when we came here that I decided to give gardening a go. When I was digging I hit something hard. I couldn't believe my eyes when I realised it was a Victorian bottle bank.

"That was the start. Nearly every time I'm in the garden I make a find."

Her most recent discovery was a stash of coins, including Victorian pennies, an Austrian crown dated 1780 and a King crown from 1935.

Auctioneers Biddell and Webb, of Birmingham, say the diamond ring and watch alone could be worth several hundred pounds each.

But Ms Long said: "The monetary value is not that important to me. It is more the tales which can be woven around each item that I find fascinating. For example, did a jilted lover throw away her engagement ring?"

 

 

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