Your blooming great gardens

Winners Peter and Shirley Nicklen in their Leigh Park garden
Winners Peter and Shirley Nicklen in their Leigh Park garden
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The entries flooded in before being judged by News gardening guru Brian Kidd. And today we can reveal the winners in this year’s Bloomin’ Marvellous competition. Ellie Pilmoor reports.

With beautiful circular flower beds, colourful begonias and wonderful water features, the garden of Peter and Shirley Nicklen has been crowned the winner of this year’s Bloomin’ Marvellous competition.

jpns agenda bloomin rep ep pic 2 second''Second Place: Jo Collin, from Waters Edge Garden, Emsworth.

jpns agenda bloomin rep ep pic 2 second''Second Place: Jo Collin, from Waters Edge Garden, Emsworth.

The couple’s garden was named as the pick of the bunch by The News’ gardening guru Brian Kidd who liked the neat lawn and flowering begonias.

As well as trees and shrubbery, Peter and Shirley have a waterwheel, a small waterfall and a chiminea.

And Peter, from Holybourne Road, in Leigh Park, was over the moon with the win, which includes £100 in vouchers for Garsons in Titchfield.

The 71-year-old said: ‘I’m ecstatic that we won.

jpns agenda bloomin rep ep pic 3 third''Third Place: Bill Barber, 73, from Elizabeth Road, Waterlooville.

jpns agenda bloomin rep ep pic 3 third''Third Place: Bill Barber, 73, from Elizabeth Road, Waterlooville.

‘We have entered the competition before but never got into the top three so I’m really happy that we won it.

‘Each year we have tried to do different things with the garden and this year we chose begonias.

‘They flowered beautifully and a lot of people have commented on how well they look. They last quite a while too so the garden can look nice for the majority of the year.’

Peter and Shirley have ornaments around their garden and said they would add more with their Garsons voucher.

Peter added: ‘We have been to Garsons a few times and seen some things we like.

‘I think we will look to get more ornamental objects with the voucher rather than flowers.’

Brian judged the top 10 gardens all in one day and said it was difficult picking a winner.

He said it was the circular beds and the colour scheme which made the Nicklens’ garden stand out.

But Brian was also very impressed with second-placed Jo Collin’s garden.

Jo, pictured, from Watersedge Gardens in Emsworth, was proud of coming in second as she does all the gardening herself.

She even paved the stone path which edges the lawn.

Jo said: ‘It was nice to come second. I work very hard with all the flowers and I love seeing all the bright colours in bloom.’

In the 20 years Jo has lived in her house, the only help she’s received for the garden is for the Astroturf which was professionally laid.

And she was not the only one in the top 10 who worked alone to get their garden looking beautiful.

Bill Barber, pictured, from Elizabeth Road in Waterlooville, spends a lot of his time tending to the potted plants.

Outside the flat where he lives, the front is bursting with purple, pink and red petunias. In the 14 months he has lived there, Bill has transformed the garden and the brilliant colours helped him to third place.

Bill, 73, said: ‘I have worked extremely hard to give my neighbours something lovely to see.

‘Colours are very important to me and I pick most of the flowers because of their colours.’

The other seven finalists

- Denise, 65, and Mick Harris, 70, from Esher Grove, in Waterlooville, were surprised to see how tall their zinnias grew.

Planted along the edge of the lawn, the pink flowers reached new heights and were the stand-out feature of their garden. Their marigolds were also a colourful addition to the garden.

- Albert, 81, and Joan Terry, 79, from Seaton Close, in Stubbington, might have a small garden but they have plenty to show off.

The pair have a circular courtyard with trailing begonias, standard begonias and roses.

- Jan, 66, and Roger Atcherley, 67, from Hazleton Way, in Waterlooville, spend a lot of time in their garden.

They have dahlias and sweet peas as well as a seating area so they can relax. Jan also likes to have little ornaments to add character to the garden.

- Pam Hobbs, 75, from Pennine Walk, in Fareham, loves to see the bright colours in her front garden.

With fuchsias, dahlias, petunias and trailing begonias, Pam has a lot of pinks and purples which she can enjoy in the summer.

She even has a little patch hidden away near the front door which she calls her ‘secret garden’.

- Tracey Docherty, 50, from Shore Road in Warsash, has a beautiful view of the sea from her back garden.

She inherited her garden from the lady who lived in the house before her and she was keen to keep the hard work up.

With a winding stone path, her garden is full of purples and reds and also a big fatsia.

- Derek Langford, from The Orchard in Denmead, has a range of colours in his garden.

Along with a pristine lawn, he has a range of potted plants full of purples, yellows, reds and pinks. He also has hanging baskets and small garden ornaments throughout the flowers.

- Brian, 76, and Brenda Maynard 72, from Castle Street in Portchester, love growing their own vegetables.

The couple have a big lawn with many hand-made hanging baskets full of colourful flowers. But, in the back of their garden they also have an allotment in which they grow marrows, potatoes, onions and rhubarb.

To read The News’ view on the competition click here.