Your bloomin’ plots are a bolthole from modern life

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It never ceases to amaze us how popular our Bloomin’ Marvellous competition has become. Like your gardens, it has blossomed into a glorious hardy perennial.

Year after year we’re swamped with entries, all containing wonderful pictures of your personalised little pieces of heaven.

Just look at the quality of the entries on pages 8-9 today and, of course, that of the winners, Mike and Val Longman from Waterlooville.

Our judge, the highly-respected News gardening columnist Brian Kidd, made an interesting comment in choosing the Longmans’ horticultural haven for the 2013 title.

‘This garden is an ideal outdoor room,’ he says.

We think he’s hit a very important 21st century nail on the head.

For what those of us lucky enough to own gardens are surely attempting to do is create a natural green space into which we can escape – a bolthole away from the madness of modern life.

So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that we’re deluged with entries each year.

Over the years it’s become increasingly obvious that one of the driving factors behind your love of gardening is the need to escape from the phone, computer, Twitter and Facebook.

Of course, you could take all these with you to your secret spot among the raspberry bushes hidden at the bottom of the garden. But how sad would that make you?

A recent National Trust survey showed that 70 per cent of us think spending time in gardens is important for our quality of life.

Given the choice, many would rather spend time in their gardens than in front of the television or shopping. And we’re not talking wrinklies here, for increasing numbers of younger people have seen the light. Take a potter around your local allotments to see the evidence

The message is clear – if you want to feel better, get out into a garden. Never has access to one been more important for our spiritual and physical wellbeing than in today’s changing landscape.

And while you’re there, consider making a bid to become the 2014 Bloomin’ Marvellous champion.