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In Bloom award winners announced

Green-fingered Gosport residents are celebrating after winning awards in the borough's biggest-ever gardening competition.

 

The Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent In Bloom Awards, run by the council, received 64 entries this year – the highest number in the history of the event. Around 200 people gathered for the awards ceremony, hosted by ITV Meridian presenter Fred Dinenage at Thorngate Halls.


You can see a gallery on our Facebook page. 

 

Kerry Littleales, of Russell Road, Lee-on-the-Solent, was the winner of two awards: for best back garden and best newcomer. Her 40ft by 40ft suburban plot was described by judges as "a beautifully designed garden with well-maintained plants displayed among many interesting features”. It will be open in July as part of the National Garden Scheme.


She said: "It's thrilling to win. We're keen champions of the small garden as well as being passionate about recycling and encouraging wildlife. The planting is a mixture of shrubs, perennials and bedding in a colourful and exuberant style, attracting bees and butterflies. We have a pond full of newts with hovering damselflies, and a sedum green roof with a solitary-bee house.


"Driftwood scavenged from the beach is used to display small sculptures, and pallet wood was reclaimed to create our 'palletial bug hotel'. Old rotten fence posts have been recycled to create the display stands for our collection of woodland-styled bonsais. Chimney pots from our roof hold our hostas and we have a sedum green roof to further encourage bees and butterflies."


A new prize, the special recognition award, went to longstanding competition judges Peter and Jacquie Hardwick, of Lee-on-the-Solent, who have decided to retire from the event, and the Schools In Bloom competition, after many years of dedicated work.


The Mayor’s award was presented to the Friends of Crescent Gardens. They adopted an unloved area of open ground and created a leisure space in keeping with the area, which they have nurtured for 26 years. The Mayor, Cllr Linda Batty, said: "I'm grateful for the commitment the Friends have shown over the years and that the community now benefits from this beautiful, peaceful space."

 

The In Bloom competition, sponsored by Horticultural Services by Sodexo, has been running for 21 years and has grown year on year.

 

The winners were:

 

Best back garden: Kerry Littleales, Russell Road, Lee-on-the-Solent

Best front garden: David Harwood, Jellicoe Avenue, Gosport

Best hanging basket: Isabell Bourke, Glebe Drive, Gosport

Best balcony: Alver Quay, Gosport

Best business: Haslar Marina

Best retirement/sheltered housing complex: Langdale, The Avenue, Gosport

Best allotment:  Richard Thorne, Western Way, Gosport

Best volunteer, community and neighbourhood: Crescent Gardens, Gosport

Best newcomer: Kerry Littleales, Russell Road, Lee-on-the-Solent

Mayor's award: Crescent Gardens, Gosport


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