It's time to show how your garden grows
The days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting hotter. With summer on the way, The News is inviting green-fingered gardeners to take part in this year's Bloomin' Marvellous competition.
We are calling on people from the Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham and Havant areas to send us their best pictures of their glorious gardens and cultivated creations.
Entries will be judged by our resident gardening expert Brian Kidd, who will select his top 10 favourites from the photos we receive.
He will then visit those 10 gardens and pick a winner who will receive a £100 gift voucher from Titchfield garden centre Garsons.
The runner-up will get a £50 voucher, while there is also a third prize of a £25 voucher.
Award-winning Garsons of Titchfield is the number one choice for gardeners across Hampshire, with all you need for a first-class garden.
Discover a wide selection of quality plants, with a lifetime guarantee on hardy varieties, plus garden care and outdoor living ranges to suit every outdoor space.
Fareham couple Colin and Chris Tait scooped the top prize last year after impressing Brian with their stunning lawn and beautiful flowerbeds.
Chris said: ‘We first entered a couple of years ago after a friend said we should give it a go, and we came runner-up.
‘This time Brian said he liked the fact that the garden was separated out into little areas so you get lots of different views.
‘We’re both keen gardeners, and don’t tend to stay indoors too much in the summer.
‘Our advice is to take a few different photos to choose from.’
Colin and Chris, of Longmynd Drive, have a range of flowers in their garden as well as trees and shrubs.
Judge Brian was left particularly impressed with the colour and greenery in the U-shaped back garden, which he called ‘superb’.
Ahead of this year’s competition, Brian has encouraged keen gardeners from all over the Portsmouth area to get involved.
He said: ‘It always amazes me how people come up with new designs and their use of colour.
‘My advice would be to choose the view of the garden you love best.
‘Never think that huge gardens win every year. Some of the best ones I see are the smaller ones.’
Last year a range of gardens were entered into the Bloomin’ Marvellous competition ranging in size as well as style.
Some had patio slabs with potted plants and ornaments, while others were full of colour,
The runner up was a garden in Fareham which had a range of bright flowers, including giant fuchsias and petunias.
Brian was also impressed with a Leigh Park garden, in which its owners had put in three circular flowerbeds to brighten up the neat lawn.
So how can you make sure you send in the best possible picture of your garden?
Head of images at The News Sarah Standing, has some tips.
Take a range of shots to show off every part of the garden.
Make sure they are not too dark, especially if the photographs are taken on a sunny day.
If you only send one picture, make sure you can see all of the garden.
If your garden is looking in full bloom now, take the picture. Do not leave it until the end of the competition when the garden might not look as nice.
Make sure there aren’t leaves strewn across the lawn or weeds visible.
This year’s winning garden will be featured in The News and on our website, portsmouth.co.uk.
A selection of other entries will appear in the paper and on the website.
HOW TO ENTER
It’s time to get your gardens ready for our Bloomin’ Marvellous competition.
News gardening guru Brian Kidd will judge the entries from sent-in photographs and pick a winner after visiting all the top 10 finalists.
To enter the competition, take a good quality picture of your garden and send it to us.
Either post your photos to: Bloomin’ Marvellous, c/o Tamara Siddiqui, The News, 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Western Road, Portsmouth, PO6 3EN or e-mail them to [email protected]
Include your full name, daytime telephone number and address with the photographs or e-mails you send to us. Unfortunately we’re not able to return posted prints.
Entries close at midnight on July 16, 2017.