GREEN-fingerer Bruce Petty has been crowned winner of Melksham in Bloom for the fifth year running.
Bruce was awarded ‘Best Overall Garden’, and placed in three categories, gaining first in ‘Large Front Garden’ and ‘Best single tub/container’, and coming second in ‘Large Rear Garden’.
Ex-carpenter Bruce is proud to have won again and says he is sure the competition is getting tougher.
He said, “I’m very pleased to have won again! It’s definitely getting harder to win and I’m glad people are catching me up. I’m definitely not an expert, but I do take pride in my gardens and enjoy doing them. I plant whatever flowers I like, and get inspiration from seeing displays elsewhere.
“After counting my receipts I think there are about 21,000 plants in the garden, but I couldn’t tell you the Latin name of a single one!”
Bruce says that despite having no background in gardening, he has been taking it seriously for around 15 years. He has won Melksham in Bloom seven times in the past decade; in 2006, 2009, and every year since 2011.
“Somehow I managed to keep the garden tidy even when I was working, but I’m very fortunate that I have a lot more free time now I’m retired.
“The real key to success is keeping on top of the work. I get up and do a couple of hours every morning, dead-heading the flowers, mowing the lawn and weeding. If you let it build up it can become hard work, but doing little bits every day makes it more manageable. And use Miracle-Gro – I swear by it!
“I always try to pay attention to detail too, sometimes it’s the little things that set you apart. I’ve always been tidy, and it’s nice to be able to sit back and look at the gardens every day.
“My work is never finished though, there’s always something to be done, and I can’t pass a garden centre without buying something!”
Melksham in Bloom runs every year and is open to residents and businesses in the town.