Blooming Marvellous – Residents’ gardens impress the judges

A painter and decorator from Winchester is hoping that his first prize in Winchester City Council’s gardening competition will inspire his neighbours to follow his lead.

Phil Sherlock, from Firmstone Road, Winnall, won first prize in the Balcony category of the Council’s gardening competition for the extravagantly colourful display outside his top floor flat.

Two other residents in the block of six flats have now planted their balconies and Phil hopes more neighbours along the road will follow suit.

Mr Sherlock, a leaseholder who has lived in Winnall for 42 years, was delighted with the first prize and celebrated with a bottle of bubbly. He said: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole road could do this – it would look fantastic!”

Other winners in the competition included Kath and Henry West, from Compton, who won the Best Front Garden title for the first time, Residents of Danemark Court, Gordon Road, scooped a prize for their lovely front and back gardens, whilst Ron Ruddle, from Bishops Waltham, retained his crown as 'King of Hanging Baskets'!

The competition was open to the council’s tenants and leaseholders and was judged by Cllr Rob Humby, a local nurseryman.

Commenting on Mr Sherlock’s balcony display, Cllr Humby said:  “It is a stunning display of beautiful home grown plants.  The small balcony is packed with colour producing an overall fantastic effect both for Phil and his neighbours.”

For Mr and Mrs West, who have lived in their Compton bungalow for eight years, it was a case of third time lucky. They have been runners up twice in the past but now their shared love of gardening has brought them first prize.

Upon awarding them the prize, Cllr Humby said:  “There is a beautiful collection of begonias and a superb selection of plants in the borders and containers, all grown from either plugs or seeds.”

A group of four residents from Danemark Court, who have worked hard on the front and back gardens at the Winchester sheltered home, were rewarded with the top prize in their category.

Beth McVicker, Lilian Joyce, Evelyn Sylvester and Ray Long have created gardens with year-round interest. Cllr Humby described it as:  “A great team effort both for producing the plants and creating a wonderful display for all the residents to enjoy.”

Meanwhile, ‘King of Hanging Baskets’, Ron Ruddle, from Bishops Waltham, retained his crown in Winchester City Council’s annual gardening competition.

Mr Ruddle, of Claylands Road, won first prize for the fourth year running for his impressive baskets and blooms, all of which he grew from cuttings.

Cllr Humby did not hesitate in his decision to award the prize to Ron. He said: “Ron created a fantastic basket packed with colour and a varied range of plans – all produced from his own stock.  We could have chosen any one of several impressive baskets – well done Ron!”

The winners all received gardening vouchers.