ENTER NOW: Gardeners are being asked to enter the annual Coffs Harbour Garden Club Spring Garden Competition.
ENTER NOW: Gardeners are being asked to enter the annual Coffs Harbour Garden Club Spring Garden Competition. CONTRIBUTED

Tips to win over green judges

PEOPLE thinking of entering the annual Spring Garden Competition often ask what they need to do to impress the judge.

With this in mind, Coffs Harbour Garden Club has put together some general information to help get your garden looking its best on judging day.

The first thing to remember is the judge will be looking only at what they see in your garden when they visit, not what might be there next month or even next week, nor what looked good last week.

It's important to make a good first impression; the judge has limited time in each garden.

So what can you do to help give your garden the best chance of success in the competition?

Resist the urge to put in an "instant" or just planted garden; it's obvious to a judge.

Paving and pathways should be clean and get rid of any weeds.

Beds should be well mulched with material that doesn't look as though it was put down the day before judging.

Shrubs and hedges should be neatly clipped and any dead plants, flowers or leaves removed.

If something has failed in your garden, think of ways of filling the gap, turning what could be a negative into a positive.

Put garbage bins and scrappy old garden furniture away or out of sight. Preferably don't have washing on the line on judging day. Put away hoses and gardening equipment and secure your pets, particularly dogs.

Plants should look healthy. There should be no disease or insect infestation to be seen and your garden should not have any signs of nutrient imbalance, for example yellowing of leaves.

The lawn (if you have one) should be healthy, weed free and nicely edged. Any other key features in your garden should also look their best.

The vegie garden (if you have one) needs to be seen as a working garden; it is quite acceptable to have resting beds, and succession plantings are always looked upon favourably.

Garden design is also important and includes layout, use of colour, line, form and texture, and of course, plants.

Try to have a clear theme for your garden and stick to it. Where possible, have garden "rooms" that help make best use of your available space.

Remember garden judges are trained to objectively assess different kinds of gardens, so don't be afraid to have a go.

Entry is free and there are lots of categories and some great prizes available. Entries can be made online at www.coffsgardenclub.com or you can pick up an entry form local nurseries and landscape suppliers. Entries close September 4 at 5pm.



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