I was invited back this year to judge for the Newcastle-under-Lyme, Britain in Bloom, residential garden and hanging basket competition, which once again gave me the opportunity to look at some amazing gardens and chat to some very interesting gardening characters. There were 32 entries in this years competition and the standard was mind blowing, the dedication and passion along with ingenuity that goes into the creation of many of the gardens we viewed was inspiring.
Marcus Chilton-Jones curator of the Dorothy Clive Garden was my judging partner in this very difficult journey, part of which was quite emotional when we discovered many of the life story's behind the creation of some of the gardens presented to us.
Once again we were judging for :- overall winner - gardens, overall winner - hanging baskets, most environmentally friendly garden and best newcomer. Additional awards were added this year which will be announced during the presentation in October. In addition to the special awards there will be gold, silver and bronze prizes awarded. The point system which we were working to which was devised by the Newcastle Borough Council as proved itself once again to be a very fair and comprehensive system and helped us immensely in the judging process.