Best Kept Garden 2018

8th January 2019 | posted in News

A County Durham woman has credited one of the hottest summers in history with helping her to win our annual gardening competition.

Denise Atkinson is the first person in the history of Railway Housing Association’s competition to win it twice, having also taken the prize in 2014.

Her garden, in Mainsforth Terrace, Ferryhill, was chosen from a selection of photographs shown to a group of the Association’s residents who are members of our Focus Groups and Residents’ Forum.

In a record year for entries, residents picked out Denise’s garden for its colour and range of plants and flowers.

Denise, 54, was recently presented with her prize of a trophy, flowers and £50 worth of vouchers.

She said: “The warm weather we had in the summer really helped to prolong the life of the garden this year; I even had flowers still blooming in November.”

Mobile hairdresser Denise says she spends an average of 15 hours a week in her garden at the height of the gardening season.

She adds: “I plan out in my head how I want my garden to look and then it’s just a case of staying on top of everything, including watering and weeding.

“It’s my only real hobby outside of work and spending time with my children and grand-children and the summer of 2018 made it even nicer.

“It’s lovely to know that other Railway Housing Association residents chose my garden to be the winner; I am honoured.”

Railway Housing Association’s Director of Customer Services, Andrea Abbott, said: “I was amazed when I visited Denise’s home in winter 2018 that there was still so much colour in her garden.

“This was a record year for entries and we short-listed 30 gardens, with our Focus Groups and Residents’ Forum being shown photographs and asked to vote for their favourite.

“Denise obviously works very hard in her garden and is a very deserving winner.”

When asked for her gardening tips, Denise says: “The end of the year is the best time to visit your local garden centre because there are so many bargains to be had.

“You can buy things at a fraction of the price they will be in the spring and summer and it means you have a head start when the growing season gets underway.”

If you are a Railway Housing Association resident and would like to enter our 2019 garden competition, or would like to nominate a neighbour, you will soon be receiving a leaflet with the details.

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