BEING a gardener isn't always as relaxing as it can be, especially around competition time.
Judges are going to look for colour, plant health and garden planning - and all this has to come together perfectly for just one week of the season.
Murwillumbah gardener Ted Chilcott admits to being "competitive" at this time of the year and, even with his 17 years' experience of growing plants, plus his prize-winning abilities, he's unable to control the weather.
"We had too much rain to start, from end of March," he said.
And now a dry spell has set in.
Ted has entered the 40th Murwillumbah and District Garden Club competition with his bed of annuals and mixed flowers.
The colours are magnificent, with snapdragons, stocks, marigolds, primulas, pansies and polyanthus in flower.
"I start planting them the last week in May for the garden competition the last week in August," Ted said.
"I like the colour you get and variations of all the different flowers.
"Annuals are a lot more work but it keeps me out of the house, busy and not watching that idiot box."
With 21 different categories in the competition, club steward Linda Hill said anybody with a passion for gardening had a chance to win.
"Judges look at the general layout, they look at whether a garden complements the house and the general maintenance," Linda said.
"For the first time, retirement village residents can enter the competition in their own category."
New club member Lyn Chapman is entering the competition for the first time, with her "overall garden" and succulent display.
She thanks her father for her love of gardening.
"He had me out in the garden at two years old," she said.
"I like just the beauty of it and the nature. It's lovely to see the bees amongst the petals.
"I love all flowers. The only thing I don't like is weeds."
Entry forms for the 2017 Murwillumbah and District Garden Club annual competition are available from local nurseries.
Entry is free and closes on August 23. Judging is on August 29 and 30, and presentations on September 4.
Inquiries to chief steward Linda Hill on (02) 6677 9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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