Horticulturist and landscape designer Diana Harden from the Northern Rivers is guest judge at our local Spring Garden Competition.
Horticulturist and landscape designer Diana Harden from the Northern Rivers is guest judge at our local Spring Garden Competition. Trevor Veale

Gardens get the green thumbs up in local competition

WITH clipboard in hand, Diana Harden has been looking closely at gardens on the Coffs Coast and she likes what she sees.

As a qualified horticulturist and landscape designer, with more than 25 years of experience, Diana was asked by the Coffs Harbour Garden Club to be the guest judge for this year's Spring Garden Competition.

"The thing that strikes me the most about the gardens is how much they are loved and how proud the gardeners are of their gardens; they are an enthusiastic and talented bunch,” Diana said.

This is not the first time judging our local competition, Diana is a member of the Bangalow Garden Club and was here in 2014.

"I have seen some of the gardens before but what is lovely is that there are quite a few new entries this year.”

Organisers of this popular annual green thumb competition were concerned the lack of rain for so many consecutive months might have deterred gardeners from entering this year but it was quite the opposite.

"Some people are bemoaning the lack of rain but others have embraced it,” Diana said.

"Especially those with water-wise gardens. Those gardens are coping quite well with the dry conditions, not blinking an eye.”

Gardens have been judged in different categories including water-wise, best water feature, large and small spaces, vegetable gardens, rented premises, residential and business/commercial gardens, school gardens and gardens tended by seniors.

"There has been quite a bit of diversity and I noticed many gardeners have embraced vertical gardens. There are been plenty of bulbs, lots of beautiful orchids and plenty of colourful gardens with lovely displays of annuals especially the pansies, petunias and ranunculus.

"There is a lot of quirky - and I say that with love. Many gardeners enjoy putting quirky touches in their gardens and I have seen some delightful ornaments and gardeners having fun with design.”

There was also a green thumbs up for the boys and girls in blue.

"The Coffs Coast has some interesting contemporary designs, especially in the newer gardens like the one at the Justice Precinct and some of the other local commercial premises had excellent water-wise gardens also.”

So, who impressed the judges? Who will get bragging rights to best veggie patch or floral display?

The Coffs Harbour Garden Club thanks all the avid gardeners who entered their gardens in to the competition and reminds everyone the awards and applause happens on Friday night at the Cavanbah Centre.

A full list of award recipients, and gardens that will be open to the public on the weekend, will be published in Saturday's Advocate.