‘Outstanding’ floral display helps Leda win gardening prize

Leda Gibbins in her garden with her dog Doris.
Leda Gibbins in her garden with her dog Doris.

A woman who swapped sunny Greece for even sunnier East Rainton won first prize in a housing association’s annual gardening competition.

Leda Gibbins was the overwhelming choice of the judges to win the Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) 2018 Pot Plant Competition.

The 58-year-old, who hails from Athens but now lives with her Hendon-born husband Jim in a DAMHA bungalow in East Rainton, was chosen for her outstanding display of flowers, which include petunias, sweet peas, begonias, dahlias, fuschias, sunflowers and much more.

It has been a real labour of love for Leda, who received £50 cash for winning.

She says: “I thought it would nice just to be shortlisted, so to discover I had won the whole competition was an amazing feeling.

“The fantastic weather helped, in fact it was almost like being back in Athens, although it also meant I had to do lots of watering so the flowers didn’t dry out.

“On average I spend around four to five hours each week in the garden either planting, watering or maintaining the flowers. It’s become a lovely hobby.”

Judges Gordon Parkin, chairman of DAMHA, and Steve Fergus, vice-chairman, were both very impressed with Leda’s efforts.

Gordon said: “The standard of entries goes up each year and it’s always difficult to choose a winner, but Leda’s garden was outstanding and she is a deserving winner.

“Ideally we would give everyone who entered a prize, but we would like to congratulate those who did for their efforts.”

Second was Elija and Auriol Taylorson, of Horden, and third John and Lesley Middleton, of Sherburn Village.