GREEN-fingered residents are being encouraged to enter their annual garden competition which this year has some new horticultural themed prizes.

As gardens are blooming, Chester & District Housing Trust (CDHT) is announcing to their residents that they have until Friday, June 17 to enter the trust’s fifth annual garden competition.

This year there are some additional prizes courtesy of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction, such as the chance for the winner of the Nora Coote Award for young gardener to win a family ticket for four to Chester Zoo.

Last year, there were more than 150 entries and the standard was extremely high at Cheshire West’s largest housing association’s gardening competition.

Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third winners in each of the trust’s six neighbourhoods with an overallŠchampion as well.

Categories include: best garden, best group of gardens, best young gardener, best window box or balcony, best sheltered scheme, best vegetable garden, best communal/open space, best improved gardener and the best newcomer.

Winners will receive tickets to a selection of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction, including Tatton Park, Cholmondeley Castle, Ness Botanic Gardens, Gawsworth Hall, Capesthorne Hall, Norton Priory Museum & Gardens, Abbeywood Gardens, Bluebell Cottage Gardens in Dutton, Walton Hall and Arley Hall & Gardens, with the overall winner receiving an engraved Scandinavian rose bowl glass trophy.

One of the top prizes is a free Sunday lunch for a family of four, a private tour and gardening lesson with an expert at Walton Hall, near Warrington.

Sara Morley, CDHT neighbourhood services manager, said: “The competition is blossoming each year - we are lucky to see so many beautiful gardens.

“We have listened to residents, who wanted the judging brought forward from July to June, when their gardens really are in their prime.

“We are on the lookout for residents’ gardens to be entered into the competition and you can also nominate a garden that you feel is a winner.

“The closing date for entries is Friday, June 17 with judging to take place the following week.”

Caroline Hoppe, project manager for Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinctions, added: “Cheshire is known for its large stately home gardens, but let’s not forget our green fingered Cheshire residents.

“Cheshire really is the home of England’s finest gardens; this competition is a testament to the residents who have nurtured their gardens.”

For an application form contact Maggi Dempsey on 01244 305573 or 0808 1007701 or visit

Forms are also available from the Blacon or Lache office and from Centurion House, Northgate Street, Chester.Š