Helping Winchester bloom this summer

Press Release: 18/08/2017

Gardening competition winner 2017

Green-fingered Winchester City Council tenants have had their hard work recognised in a competition to find the District’s best gardens, balconies and hanging baskets.

The entrants, all self-taught gardeners, demonstrated high degrees of creativity to produce colourful garden areas that brighten up their neighbourhoods and strengthen community spirit. Category winners also claimed to enjoy better health – both physically and mentally – thanks to regular gardening.

The judges, Councillor Caroline Horrill, Leader of Winchester Council and Portfolio Holder for Housing, and local resident and gardening expert Marie Arthur, joined Dee Sturgess and Richard Botham from the Council’s Housing Department to honour the winners at a special prize giving event on 16 August.

The overall winner was Barry Philpott from Stanmore, nominated by his wife Jo in recognition of all his hard work and determination to transform their garden into a colourful place for the whole family to relax and learn together. Jo said,

Barry taught himself by reading up on the internet and watching gardening videos on YouTube. He is so enthusiastic and that encouraged our two young daughters to join in and start growing their own fruit and veg. The garden has been a wonderful place to de-stress and for the whole family to come together – it really is a joint effort!

The three runners-up are all communal gardeners in supported housing schemes. Martin Pointer from Greens Close in Bishops Waltham, Pat North from Eastacre in Winchester and Mick Hewitt from White Wings in Denmead were each honoured for their hard work in creating communal gardens, pots and hanging baskets that benefit their elderly neighbours.

Councillor Horrill said,

The standard of entries was exceptionally high but the thing that stood out was how much all our winners enjoyed spending time in their gardens and the role of spaces like this in building community spirit. They winners tell us that gardening gives a health boost – whatever your age or fitness level. I hope their achievements will inspire others to grow green fingers too.