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Category 1: Small and container gardens.

1st Diane Gibson Paddock SHE'S a gardening dynamo, a one-woman wonder who has turned a street in Paddock into a flower-packed delight.

Diane Gibson's traffic-stopping displays of colour start on her doorstep, run up and down the terraced frontages in her street and have spread to houses across the road.

Over the years Diane has got the neighbours buzzing with boxes, baskets and containers of every kind sprouting hundreds of summer blooms. Giant tea cups, Wellington boots, nothing escapes the eagle-eyed Diane when it comes to finding homes for plants.

Even the green waste bins have been given a make-over with huge flower posters adding to the colour-coded back gardens.

Between working part-time in Paddock post office and looking after her own family and her mum, Diane packs her garden with flower - and now vegetable - power in a way which seems to have blossomed throughout her community.

"The window cleaner showed me how to do cuttings," she said. "He came down off his ladder and did the first few geranium cuttings to start me off," she said. "It's fabulous."

A word from garden judge Graham Porter on a previous visit has given Diane the bug to grow more vegetables.

"It's been brilliant," she said. We aim to have veg on our plates for our Christmas dinner that we have grown ourselves.

"This year we've grown strawberries, lettuces, cucumbers, potatoes, Brussel sprouts, beetroot, spring onions and radishes. I don't actually like radishes but I wanted to try and grow them, so I just give them to neighbours.

"We've been seeing who could grow the biggest new potatoes and I just love them straight from the garden. They taste so much better."

"All the neighbours join in and we work together. If people don't have time to grow things themselves, we bring the plants on and just supply a job lot to do a container with.

"It's great. It really brings people together. You should have seen the greenhouse we made from anything we could lay our hands on. I got a parcel packed with bubble wrap and thought that would do.

"We even had a bit of a party in it when the weather was bad. Now we've got a new neighbour and we are hoping to get her to join in.

"The street looks great. I spend winter planning and can't wait to get growing."

2nd Sheila Thompson Mount TWO feet of snow for almost nine days is a nightmare prospect for any gardener.

But Sheila Thompson's pretty garden at Mount managed to weather most of what winter threw at it - though with a few losses.

"It was the worst that I've seen in years," said Sheila. "I lost a few things. Although there was a lot of snow, I think it was more the ice that did the damage."

Sheila has a daughter who lives nearby, another in Australia and a son in Germany plus four grandchildren.

They and her garden are her pride and joy. There is a neat front garden with a stunning clematis offering the real clue as to what is hidden behind the house. Here colour and fragrance dominate in a well structured and beautifully tended plot.

Sheila is a knowledgeable gardener with a real eye for form and shape. She is more than happy to share that gardening know-how and some of her prized plants.

"There were quite a few things that needed dividing and splitting up so the people who run the National Trust plant fair at Marsden came and took a few things," she said. "I think it's always nice to have plants from other gardeners in your garden."

Even on a wet and windy morning, the garden is teeming with birds and other wildlife.

"We've had lots of tadpoles in the pond this year and the gold finches are back in numbers."

The garden is well structured with evergreens giving shape and contrast softened by herbaceous perennials and a mix of clematis providing almost year round flower.

There's a pretty alpine corner to add detail and interest close to the house with the dramatic dark colours of sambucus niger, acers, berberis and heuchera drawing the eye further into the garden.

Hot colours bounce the light around even on the darkest of days with orange day lilies, spirea and the golden foliage of the choisya adding a warming glow.

Lesley Griffiths Meltham WALK into Lesley Griffith's secluded garden at Meltham and the instant impression is of calm and tranquility.

3rd Lesley has a busy working life in personnel for supermarket giant, Morrisons. Her garden offers a perfect antidote to all that bustle - somewhere to relax and wind down.

"It is really calm out here and I like the feeling of privacy created by the hedging of climbers," said Lesley.

"I just find that gardens are my escape." Lesley, who has a daughter at university, has gardened in Meltham for about eight years.

"Every year I try and extend it more in terms of planting and structure," she said.

For that all important hedging, Lesley has used climbers, many of them fragrant and offering all year round evergreen structure.

There are roses, a Lesley favourite, heavily scented jasmine and splashes of colourful clematis.

Lesley has used a restrained colour palette of pastels and white -the flowering climbers' subtle colours echoed in the blue-grey leaves of twin eucalyptus.

Much of the herbaceous planting offers soft, feathery foliage which compliment perfectly the subtle hues of the pale green woodwork and the delicate fragrance from thymes, lavender and roses.


* WOW FACTOR: Diane Gibson packs a floral punch along her street in Paddock and is now a veggie fan, growing whatever she can with greens for her Christmas lunch in mind (JH160710Dgarden) * GOLDEN GLOW: Sheila Thompson's beautifully tended garden in Mount (JH150710Egarden-04) * PEACEFUL: Lesley Griffith's tranquil garden in Meltham
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 21, 2010
Previous Article:She reigns again! Margaret's tears at taking the Examiner's top gardening prize.
Next Article:Category 2: Medium sized gardens.

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