Jeanette comes a close second - again!

IT was close, but no cigar for a second time for one entrant – Jeanette Clayburn was runner-up again in our close-run competition.

The mum-of-two described her garden as big and bold and said that most people call it the Secret Garden.

The judges agreed, praising it for its 'tranquil feeling, tucked away from all the hustle and bustle'.

The lush back garden is encompassed by thick ferns and bushes, towering trees and unusual ornaments – a world away from what people expect when they arrive at her home in Lavender Lane, West Harton, South Shields.

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The mum-of-two moved in 10 years ago, and converted the garden into something 'big and bold'.

The judges remarked: "It's almost a tropical paradise in the heart of South Shields, and the mature ferns add to an oasis of calm.

"A seating area tucked away from all the hustle and bustle adds to this tranquil feeling.

"Their pond uses natural sources and timberwork, it is an excellent habitat for wildlife."

As runner-up, Mrs Clayburn wins a barbecue, or 50 of vouchers for B&Q.

She said: "I'm chuffed to bits, really pleased. The 50 will come in handy too because we're doing out the kitchen at the moment, thanks very much."

The 40-year-old says the patch of land is perfect for her two young sons, Lloyd, 14, and Ellis, 12, both pupils at Mortimer Comprehensive School in Reading Road.

Mrs Clayburn, a site manager for BAE Systems, was runner-up in the Gazette's Glorious Gardens contest two years ago.

She's helped out in the garden by partner Mark Giles, 47.