mhs homes' garden competition is a success
Published by Sarah Crowdy for MHS Homes in Communities
mhs homes garden competition entrant Pearl Boorman in her garden in Chatham, Kent
A chef who cooks up home-grown goodness from her veg patch was crowned overall winner in the mhs homes Garden Competition 2012 – after entering her first garden contest.
Mum-of-one Hayley Goodson has turned her garden in Chattenden, Kent into a lush fresh larder, packed with tomatoes, corn-on-the-cob, courgettes, chilli, beetroot and broad beans.
Hayley, 43, also impressed the judges – which included BBC Radio Kent’s Sunday Gardening Show presenter Andy Garland – with her floral displays.
She scooped second place in the best newcomer category and first place in the best vegetable patch section.
Hayley said: "I have always liked the idea of growing your own food, but have never had the time before.
"Now I am loving using all the vegetables in my cooking, they taste so much better straight from the ground.
"I can’t believe I have won overall. I have never entered a garden competition before and there are people with a lot more experience of gardening than me!"
Guest judge Andy Garland said he had been impressed with the standard of entries and it had been difficult to choose the winners.
He said: "It really wasn’t an easy task, this was a tough competition.
"The weather has not been good at all for gardeners this year and many plants, especially petunias, have taken a battering from the wind and rain.
"But the entries we have seen have been a testament to the determination of these gardeners to overcome those problems to create stunning displays."
Categories in the competition included best sheltered scheme – won by David Read who helps tend the garden at John Coopper House in Lower Stoke, near Rochester – and best balcony display, won by David and Elsie French from Rochester.
The junior sunflower competition was won by James and Fraser Collard, from Weedswood, with second place going to Kouity Mahe, from Chatham.
mhs homes’ Chief Executive Ashley Hook, who also took part in the judging, praised the gardeners for their role in making neighbourhoods colourful.
He said: "The balconies, communal gardens, hanging baskets and private gardens have all been spectacular.
"The joy of gardening is that it not only brings pleasure to the gardener, but brightens the whole neighbourhood. Well done to all our entrants."