GREEN-fingered council tenants who have created beautiful gardens in South Tyneside have sown the seeds to recognition.
The winners of the third annual South Tyneside Homes Shoots of Success gardening competition have received their prizes and certificates after impressing the panel of judges with their horticultural skills.
The council’s housing company runs the contest to reward those tenants who have cultivated their gardens to a high standard.
The panel of judges included South Tyneside Mayor Ernest Gibson and Coun Jim Foreman, the council’s lead member for housing, along with last year’s winner Kim Phillips and Brian Scott, director of housing, finance and business support at South Tyneside Homes.
First-prize winners were Robert and Irene Williamson, of Lilac Walk, South Shields, who won B&Q vouchers, a council gift pack, plants and a certificate.
Second prize winner, Lynne Rundle of Trent Avenue, Hebburn, and third-placed Ann and Thomas Charlton, of Begonia Close, Hebburn, also won vouchers, along with a gift pack, plants and certificates.
Mr and Mrs Williamson said: “We were totally amazed to have won. We didn’t give ourselves a chance.
“At first we weren’t going to enter, but then thought ‘there’s nothing to lose’.”
The award for the Best Communal Garden category went to Gloria Johnson and Harvey Furlong, who have helped to transform an area of land at The Lonnen, South Shields, with vegetables and flowers. The winners were invited to South Shields Town Hall, where they were presented with their prizes and certificates by Coun Foreman and Coun Gibson.
Mrs Rundle was presented with her prizes separately by her housing management officer, Julie Lennon, as she was unable to attend the event to collect her prize.
Coun Gibson said: “It was a very close thing to decide. The entries were all fantastic gardens and set a great example to everyone else.
“We hope other tenants are inspired to do the same. Well done everyone.”
Coun Foreman added: “My congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone else who submitted an entry. It was a superb standard this year, and well done to these sets of winners for helping to make their estates look so good.”