The judges for the PE Express and Die Burger’s PE Garden of the Year competition, who said they were overwhelmed by the high standard of the entries, selected what they described as four worthy winners after an intense week of judging.

Harm Grobbelaar of Lorraine was adjudged the winner in the large garden category. His creation was described as extremely structured and well organised with a beautiful design and a theme that carries through to the house.

In the small garden category, Yolanda van der Vyver of Greenacres Village took first prize. The comments about her garden included an incredible design, good mixture of hard and soft landscaping and that she was clearly a passionate gardener.

James and Hillary Bolton (Walmer Forest Hall Bed & Breakfast) were placed first in the corporate category. According to the judges, their huge plot is well designed with huge expanses and intimate places that make one feel instantly at home.

The water wise category was won by André Blom of Lovemore Heights. His garden was washed away during the recent floods, but he has restored it beautifully. He planted a lot of cacti and other water wise plants and incorporated a koi pond, aviary and swimming pool into the attractive design.

Nearly 60 entries were received for gardens in the Nelson Mandela Bay area in the small, large, water wise and corporate categories. Louw Lochner of Remax Independent Walmer, who initiated the competition, said the passion for gardening and absolute pride evident in the entries made the judging pure pleasure.

“We were thrilled with the number of entries, especially from pensioners,” said Lochner. “The gardeners’ love for their gardens was something to behold.”

Mimi Rupp of Smartstone was impressed with the general neatness of the gardens and the imagination displayed in the outlay. “With a number of the corporate gardens in townhouse complexes, it was clear that some keen gardeners inspired their neighbours to also take pride in their own gardens and that was very heartening,” she said.

According to Carmel Wolf of Sherwood Garden Centre, it was clear that the entrants lavished a lot of time on their gardens. Wayne Hackart of Out of Africa Stone found that in most cases the designs of the gardens and the houses formed a pleasing unit and that features were well used.

The four judges also made special mention of a number of gardens that they believe deserved to be singled out.
Winners final

Beryl de Wet of Sunridge Park delighted with her eco and pet friendly large garden, while Elizabeth Barnard of Kensington astounded with her creative use of a small space to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers for her own use as well as to provide for neighbours in their retirement village.

Frikkie Meyer of Despatch got special mention for the neatest garden and for his efforts to beautify his neighbourhood with palm trees. Villa Radé in Westering impressed the judges with the camaraderie established through gardening in the complex.

Ronel McDonald of Rowallan Park surprised the judges with features in her small garden; Brian Logie of Walmer was praised for his good use of slopes in a large garden; and David Mathee of Upper Valley Road thrilled the judges with his passion and dedication to his garden and his creativity in a difficult setting.

In Gelvandale, Michele Botha was commended for a very neat and tidy garden. Peter Raymer’s large garden in Walmer Heights was described as breathtaking, while Ray Bennin Properties in Mount Pleasant received special mention for a striking and water wise corporate garden amid challenging circumstances.

The PE Express and Leefstyl will feature the winning gardens over the next two weeks.

The competition was held in conjunction with Sherwood Garden Centre, Remax Independent Walmer and Swabey Velthuysen Attorneys.