'˜Outstanding' floral display helps Leda win gardening prize

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

Monday, 22nd October 2018, 12:44 pm
Leda Gibbins in her garden with her dog Doris.

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.

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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.