THIS year’s Peterlee in Bloom winner Jake Cameron certainly had the expertise to design a prize-winning garden as he used to be an architect.
Jake was named the overall winner of the annual town council-run contest after impressing judge Ross Weightman from Easington-based Plants ‘R’ Ross.
Council bosses are delighted that the number of entries has doubled this year, from 12 to 24.
It was Jake’s first-time entering his garden, off Durham Way, into the event.
And he was astounded when he won the rose bowl for overall winner, £100 for best garden and £20 for best newcomer.
Jake said he was persuaded to join in by a friend and he spent the weeks before judging “frantically” sprucing up the garden, which he has been nurturing since he and his wife Lynn moved in 15 years ago.
“I was quite amazed we actually won”, said Jake, who has a son called Marc.
“I was surprised initially and then absolutely delighted.”
He said he picked up gardening skills from his father and when he first moved into the house he just had a lawn, so it was a “clean slate” to build on.
“I’m an architect, so I started with an advantage to draw up the design”, added Jake.
The garden features shrubs, roses, Jasmine, honeysuckle, a hedge with fuschias growing through and even a vegetable patch containing runner beans, courgettes, broad beans and peas.
Jake has also incorporated two rockeries and he takes great delight in the wildlife that visit.
Mayor Milsom said: “I thought Jake’s garden was absolutely beautiful. Last year’s event had 12 entries and this year’s had 24. The number of contestants has doubled and the standard has been absolutely beautiful. It’s always good to get more gardeners involved. There are some really outstanding gardens in Peterlee and it’s a pleasure to be involved in the competition.”