Entries at the double for garden prizes

Best Overall Garden winner Alan Beattie's garden.
Best Overall Garden winner Alan Beattie's garden.

GARDENERS have been praised and given prizes for proving their flower power.

More than 50 people turned out for Ashington Town Council’s second annual garden competition awards ceremony, held at the town’s leisure centre.

Head judge was Cyril Brown, formerly of Wansbeck District Council’s parks department, and he was helped in picking this year’s winners by town councillors Lynne Grimshaw, Pauline Thompson and Brian Gallacher.

Cyril said: “Ashington is full of keen, talented gardeners, and this year’s competition has demonstrated that beyond doubt.

“We were all very impressed with the imagination and effort that residents had so obviously invested in their gardens and allotments.”

Each winner was handed an engraved crystal trophy to keep, and category winners were also presented with a shield to be given back next year.

Among the winners were 12-year-old Lewis Bond, given the award for best young person’s garden, and Peter Minoughan, named as owner of the best backyard.

The prize for the best overall garden went to Alan Beattie.

Coun Gallacher, chairman of the town council’s environment and regeneration committee, said: “Last year, we reintroduced the gardens competition after receiving lots of enquiries from the public.

“This year, we received twice the number of entries we got last year, and that gave the judges a much more difficult job.

“It took us two days to see all of the gardens and decide on the award winners, but we all thoroughly enjoyed the work.

“The weather was kind, and it was great to be shown around the gardens by many of the gardeners, who were obviously proud of the results of their efforts, and quite rightly so.

“Deciding on the winners was by far the hardest part.

“The standard was so high that we made several special awards to those gardens which we felt deserved recognition but did not fall easily into the main categories.”