A MAN who won a housing association’s annual gardening competition has dedicated the award to his green-fingered late brother-in-law.

Trevor Bailey says he got his love of gardening from Robert Vasey, who passed away suddenly in July.

Mr Bailey’s garden in St Helen Auckland was the overwhelming choice of people who voted in an online poll set up by Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) for its 2021 pot plant/gardening competition.

The 72-year-old’s display of flowers in his front garden wowed a judging panel of over 20 people, which included DAMHA residents, staff, and board members.

It was the first time Mr Bailey entered the competition having been inspired by Robert, a DAMHA resident who took pride in his home.

He said: “Gardening is something I have always enjoyed but I learned a lot from Robert through attending shows with him and seeing how amazing the displays were outside his home.

“It’s taken myself and my wife Kathleen four years to get our garden looking exactly how we wanted it, so to win at the first attempt was amazing. We are over the moon.

“It’s just a shame that we couldn’t share this with Robert, because he was an inspiration, and we would like to dedicate this award to his memory.”

His garden was one of ten in the shortlist for judging and his prize was £50 cash.

The former painter and decorator added: “It’s an all-year round process because even in winter I am preparing for the spring/summer, including drying out the begonias inside the house ready for the winter because we like them so much.

“I also have an allotment so between that and the house, I spend many hours each day focusing on them; otherwise, I would just be sitting round doing nothing and being bored.”

DAMHA chief executive, Paul Mullis, said: “It was clear via the photographs we considered in the poll that the effort Mr Bailey has put into his garden was outstanding, and he is a very deserving winner.

“The standard of all shortlisted entries was as high as usual and it’s pleasing to see the lengths our residents go to make sure their homes look as nice and possible.

“We would like to thank everyone who entered and are already looking forward with anticipation to next year’s competition.”

Second prize went to Bill Scott, of East Rainton, and third prize went to Sharon Baxter and her mum Alice, of Horden.


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