Belfast Telegraph

Bloomin' Marvellous: An inspiring cornucopia of colour

Just some of the gardens entered for our £4k competition

Ken and Betty Rankin relax in their garden
Ken and Betty Rankin relax in their garden
The Bloomin’ Marvellous entry of Carol and Brian Mackey
The Bloomin’ Marvellous entry of Sarah Ramsey
The Bloomin’ Marvellous entry of Helga Kingston

By Linda Stewart

Cast your eyes over this cornucopia of colour and texture. Are you feeling inspired yet?

These are some of the amazing gardens that have been entered in our Blooming Marvellous garden competition. And we're just down to a handful of days left until the closing date of July 4.

So grab your camera, get out there and get clicking if you want to take part in the contest.

We've had all sorts of entries, everything from ultra-modern outdoor rooms with clean lines and architectural planting, to gorgeous panoramas punctuated with bright billowing rhododendron. It doesn't matter what size your garden is, as long as you love and cherish it.

For example, Carol and Brian Mackey have poured love into their back garden plot in Dromore, Co Down. After deciding to concentrate on flowers instead of grass, the couple developed an inspired space featuring a lot of hard landscaping with three beds filled with an architectural mixture of perennials and annuals.

Willowy delphiniums in a wealth of jewel-like shades are interspersed with vivid cosmos and glorious sunflowers so that there is always something new to look at every season.

They've even brought in architectural qualities with plants that aren't traditionally floral, such as the 6ft globe artichoke that they grew this year.

"We saw this as the best solution to bringing garden colour into our house, as the garden extends along the back of the house and is in constant view from the main living areas," Brian explained.

Meanwhile, Helga Kingston pays tribute to her dad Freddie McIlmoyle for building all the pergolas and decking areas that divide her stepped garden near Limavady into a series of outdoor rooms, ranging from the decking area with fruit trees to the small woodland in the making.

"It was established eight years ago and it is really starting to mature nicely," she said.

The Belfast Telegraph wants to find the gardeners whose passion and skill have resulted in the most inspirational gardens in Northern Ireland. The closing date isn't until July 4 – which means there is still time to get your entries in.

We are offering an incredible £1,000 worth of gardening products for the winning garden in each of our four categories.

How to enter our gardening competition

Put the finishing touches to your balcony, courtyard or garden this June.

Photograph a couple of views of your garden.

You can enter your garden in one of four categories – Small Urban (which includes balconies and courtyards); Urban Garden; Small Country Garden, and Large Country Garden (over half-an-acre).

Email your entry to, including your name and contact details, garden photos, what category you are entering and a brief background if you want.

Alternatively, post your entries to Linda Stewart at Belfast Telegraph, 124-144 Royal Avenue, BT1 1EB.

Closing date is July 4, 2014.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph