Once again, the Gardeners of Ashington turned out in good numbers to hear the winners of the Ashington Garden Competition 2018, announced at an Awards Evening on Monday (3 September).

This year is the 9th garden competition organised by Ashington Town Council. The judging panel included Town Councillors Marjorie Chambers, Avril Chisholm and Pauline Thompson who were joined by guest expert judges Mr Bob Bell, Ashington’s world champion gardener and Mr Richard Timson who is a previous winner.  The judges attended the evening to thank all for taking part and to congratulate the winners.

The Town Council was delighted that the competition was again supported by the Wansbeck Garden Centre & Cafe, based on North Seaton Industrial Estate, and General Manager, Mr Nick Croft, came along to support the event.  

The evening took place at Ashington Cricket Club where Cllr. Chambers in her role as Civic Head, presented the winners in each category with trophies and garden vouchers.

The overall winner of this year’s competition was Mr Thomas Shepherd who also won the category for 'Best Small Garden'.  The judges were impressed not only by the design but also the mix of plants and vibrant colours within the garden.  

The other winners were Gillian Pallas for 'Best Large Garden’, David Craig for 'Best Senior Citizens Garden', John Herron for 'Best Disabled Person’s Garden', Chris Kennedy for 'Best Allotment' and a Special Award was made to Shirley Gumm for the 'Best Hanging Baskets'.

Last of the main categories was for 'Best Commercial Property'. Entries in previous competitions have included public houses, residential care homes and schools.  The winner this year was the Northumberland Church of England Academy with the judges recognising the time the schoolchildren give in both developing and maintaining the garden within the school.  Children from the school also came along to collect their prize.  

Councillor Mark Purvis, Business Chair of Ashington Town Council, said 'The Town Council is delighted that year after year, many of the town’s gardeners take part in the annual Gardens Competition.  The Awards Evening recognises the gardening skills we have in Ashington and that gardeners make a significant contribution to improving the town’s appearance for the benefit of us all'.

The Town Council would like to thank everyone for taking part as well as thanking the guest judges and the support of Wansbeck Garden Centre and Cafe. We are aware that there are many more beautiful gardens and allotments in the town and we actively encourage those gardeners to enter the competition in 2019. Keep an eye on the Ashington Town Council website, in the Spring, for information on next year’s competition.

In the photograph is Ashington Civic Head, Cllr. Marjorie Chambers, and the winners of the Ashington Garden Competition 2018.