Check out this TINY South Shields garden that is in the running for a national honour

A gardener's pint-sized plot is making big waves in a national competition..

Friday, 26th October 2018, 6:00 am
Richard Small's garden in South Shields. Photo by BBC.

South Shields gardener Richard Small has seen his green-fingered skills gain recognition by the likes of expert Alan Titchmarsh after being shortlisted in a BBC competition.

Mr Small’s Westoe garden measures in at just 3.2m x 6.6m, but that hasn’t stopped it from making an impact - standing out from nearly 500 entries in the BBC Gardeners’ World magazine Garden of the Year competition.

Richard Small is a finalist in the Gardeners' World magazine Gardens of the Year Competition. Photo by BBC.

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While, Wayne Amiel’s Jamaican inspired South London garden was named the Judge’s Choice, Mr Small’s garden is one of 11 from across the country that have been shortlisted in the People’s Choice Award.

The award asks the public to vote for their favourite garden.

Judges were made up of BBC Gardeners’ World magazine columnist Alan Titchmarsh, gardener and designer Diarmuid Gavin, Chelsea gold-medal winning designer, Kate Gould, and BBC Gardeners’ World magazine editor, Lucy Hall.

The judges were impressed with the focus on Mr Small’s only green and white plants, along with fitting so much into a small space.

Mr Small said he learned many of his gardening skills from mum Joan Small.

He said: “It is literally a back yard, but I have been working on it for many years and it has had many different guises.

“It is nice that I have been getting loads of positive words from people that I haven’t even met before.
“I have always been interested in gardening from a young age and my mam is a keen garden and I picked up a lot of tips from her.

“It is a hobby, but I am passionate about it.

“My family are very proud.”

BBC Gardeners’ World editor Lucy Hall, says: “This year’s entries to our Gardens of the Year competition prove that we’re not only a nation of passionate growers, but we’re also truly global in seeking inspiration for our gardens.

“Escapism was the clear design trend that leapt out for judges, from the largest plot to the tiniest courtyard – a creative response, without doubt, to the pressures we all feel today from city living and our always-on society.

“This trend is set to grow, with more of us than ever improving not moving, investing time and money in making outdoor spaces as inviting and relaxing as our homes.”

Those shortlisted include Gulrukh Saleem from Glamorgan, Benn Storey in London, Tim Richardson in London, Robert Bailey-Scott in Lincolnshire and Ed Greenall in Herefordshire.

John Tordoff in Cambridge, Susan Mill in Bristol and· Jacky King from Bristol were also shortlisted.

Voting closes at midday on Thursday, November 1, visit:

All 11 gardens are featured in the November issue of BBC Gardeners’ World magazine on sale now.