GARDENS have certainly lifted spirits during this year’s challenging events, and although this week’s weather has turned quite showery, many gardeners are still enjoying the fruits of their labour.

It is also now time to be looking ahead to winter and spring, so what are you planting and what preparations are you making?

We asked Northern Echo readers to share photos of their gardens – and what a fantastic response we’ve had.

To give us a glimpse into your garden, send some details and pictures to

Today we visit the garden of Susan Case from Darlington and Bob and Pauline Parkins, of Spennymoor.

Susan said one of the best features of her garden is the seating area

The Northern Echo: A place Susan admires her garden from A place Susan admires her garden from

Susan says she tries lots of things in the garden, and if they don’t work, she says, you can just change it. Even the washing looks like a feature

The Northern Echo: Blending in Blending in

Susan used an old washing machine drum as plant pot

The Northern Echo: Recycling at its finestRecycling at its finest

Bob and Pauline Parkins, of Spennymoor, have spent many years perfecting their garden, creating different areas that catch the best of the sun and shade at different times of the day.

The Northern Echo: Nice spot for a cuppaNice spot for a cuppa

They have created an early morning cuppa area, with a pair of chairs surrounded by planting, both infront and behind.

The Northern Echo: Some lovely planting in this seating areaSome lovely planting in this seating area

There is a mid-morning coffee swing chair. The sheltered patio area can be accessed from the garden room.

The Northern Echo: Bringing the outside inBringing the outside in

The you move up to the African roundhouse for sheltered evening meals, and a raised balcony for afternoon tea.

The Northern Echo: An evening retreatAn evening retreat

The colourful planting includes begonias, dahlias, lilies, phlox, early roses, grasses and pond lilies as well as lots of perennials.

The Northern Echo: Colourful and brightColourful and bright

Bob and Pauline won the Spennymoor Garden competition in 2017

The Northern Echo: Award winningAward winning