The best gardens in Bedfordshire are revealed this week – the culmination of months of hard work.
The 2014 Times & Citizen Garden of the Year competition has been a resounding success once again as some fabulous outdoor spaces and features have won awards.
Launching our contest for talented gardeners earlier this year, we invited readers to send in their pictures of their gardens at their best, with judges visiting a shortlist.
We have been delighted to team up once again this year with our friends at Frosts at Willington for this annual competition, run alongside our sister paper the Biggleswade Chronicle.
Marks were awarded for the overall impression - how pleasing it is to the eye, and how well the overall design works in relation to the size of the garden.
Judges considered planting; the variety, colour, overall maintenance and general health. And there was close attention paid to sustainability - the use of composting, recycling of water,and encouragement of wildlife.
A list of category winners and runners-up are below. The overall Times & Citizen Garden of the Year winner will be revealed at a prizegiving ceremony later this month.
Best School Garden
Winner: Potton Lower School
Best School Container Winner: Potton Lower School
St Swithun’s Lower School, Sandy; Westlingworth Lower School; Little Sapplings Pre-School, Goldington; Ursula Taylor School, Clapham; Hazeldene Lower School; Putnoe.
Large Front Garden
Winner: Mr and Mrs Malcolm Abrey, The Knolls, Beeston, Runner up: Mr and Mrs Colin Head, Silver Street, Great Barford Runner up: Ms Tina Blake and Mr Ralph Conder, Chilton Place, Henlow. Also special mention of Mr George Carter from Wilstead, who at 97 years old was the most senior gardener to enter the competition
Large Back Garden
Winner: Mr and Mrs Mark Jeffery, Brookfield Road, Pavenham
Runner up: Mr and Mrs Malcolm Abrey, The Knolls, Beeston
Runner up: Mrs Jill Wyner, River Lane, Milton Ernest
Small Front Garden
Winner: Mr T Cox, Laburnum Road, Sandy
Runner up: Mrs P Winconey, Newnham Avenue, Bedford
Runner up: Mr John Mclean, High Street, Great Barford
Small Back Garden
Winner: Mr and Mrs Hull,
Windsor Way, Sandy
Runner up: Mr and Mrs Colin Head, Silver Street, Great Barford, Runner up: Mr Kirk Wing, George Street, Bedford
Best Hanging Basket/`Container
Winner: Mrs Susan Roberts, Gratten Road, Bedford
Winner: Golden Gardens, Bedford (Mr J Robinson)
Water Conservation Garden
Mrs Corrine Calligan, High Street, Sutton