THE green-fingered winners of popular gardening competition have been announced.

Judges scoured the borough for the best pots, plots, lawns and landscapes for the annual Six Town Housing contest ­— this year dubbed 'Ready, Set, Grow'

The competition was open to all residents of the housing association's properties and groups who volunteer within the surrounding communities.

Prizes were up for grabs in six categories: best front and back gardens, small spaces, DIY projects, edible gardens and improvements that have been carried out during the lockdown (see below).

Each winner will receive a £25 online shopping voucher.

Susan Smith, who won Best Back Garden for her fantastic floral creations, said, “We just thought we’d give it a go this year so it’s brilliant to find out that we’ve won.

"My husband works hard on the garden despite struggling with heart failure, but after four years of hard work, we now see our garden as an extension of the living room.”

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: Susan Smith, winner of the Best Back Garden category in the 2020 Six Town Housing Gardening CompetitionSusan Smith, winner of the Best Back Garden category in the 2020 Six Town Housing Gardening Competition

Chris Farrelly, who clinched Best Front Garden for his sensational tropical-tinged topiary, said: “It feels very rewarding to win after the hard work I’ve put into my garden.

"I find gardening relaxing in my spare time but also challenging when growing certain plants in a UK climate.”

Due to the coronavirus lockdown this year's competition had run a little bit differently to keep judges and entrants safe.

In order to remain socially-distanced and reduce unnecessary contact, the contest was overseen entirely online.

Instead of welcoming judges to witness their handiworks in person, entrants were asked to submit photos and videos to be reviewed remotely.

But, despite the adjustments in format, there was no change in the quality of the typically outstanding horticultural skills on display.

Sharon McCambridge, chief executive of Six Town Housing, said: “Each year, the competition shows just how much effort some of our tenants, residents and groups put into their gardens, which can be appreciated by everyone living within their communities.”

Full list of winners:

Best Back garden – Susan Smith, Bury

DIY Design – Trevor Hemmings, Radcliffe

Fab Front – Christian Farrelly, Bury

Home Grown Heroes - Victoria Allotments, Marlene Dawson, Whitefield

Isolation Improvements – Linda Garwell, Whitefield

Super Small Spaces – Jo Turrell, Radcliffe