1) Diane Gibson, Paddock
IT HAS been a tough year for Diane Gibson, but her flower packed Paddock garden has helped her through.
I lost my mum earlier this year and it broke my heart, said Diane.
We had to brick up the gap between her garden and mine. At first I didnt want to bother with the garden, but once I got stuck in, all the old happy feelings kicked in and now it has got more flowers than ever.
The garden has helped me through whats been a difficult time.
Id run out of floor space, when I stumbled on some planters that stack so now Im going upwards as well. They stack up to seven feet high so Ive got lots of them all stuffed with Busy Lizzies, antirrhinums, marigolds, mesembryanthemums, lobelia, geraniums, pansies, petunias, in fact everything thats colourful.
Ive used railway sleepers, scaffolding poles, pallets, anything I could get my hands on to build new planters.
Every wall is crammed with containers and hanging baskets spilling out colour from nemesia, mimulus, phlox, giant fuchsias, salvias and helichrysum.
And the whole garden, which sits behind a tiny terraced house, packs a powerful punch in terms of fragrance thanks to towering sweet peas, freesia, French lavender and heady dianthus.
The garden buzzes with vitality and with bees, hoverflies and butterflies.
I saved a lot of seed last year and have been able to grow all kinds of things, said Diane.
Ive got some fruit and veg, mainly tomatoes, strawberries and radishes though I dont like radishes so I give those away.
She gives away a lot more than just plants and veg. Diane encourages and supports all her neighbours who want to get their gardens looking good and theres certainly no missing this flower filled corner of Paddock.
We have had quite a few comings and goings with new neighbours in the street, but weve planted up a few pots for them and hope they will get interested and join in.
Diane works at the post office in Paddock where she dishes out gardening advice with a flower in her hair and a sunny smile. Her son Jack, 18, has just started an apprenticeship and her daughter Laura, 21, is working as a dental nurse.
For Diane, what has kept her spirits up through tough times has been the garden which shines with her warm personality.
2) Mr and Mrs Stephen Knapton, Longwood
ONE of the new gems discovered in this years competition was a stunning hidden garden created by truck driver Stephen Knapton and his wife, Anne.
The couple moved into their Grade 2 listed weavers cottage four years ago. It stands on the roadside in Longwood and initially it is difficult even to see a garden.
Pass through a narrow alleyway and a door opens on to a secluded plot which has been beautifully designed and planted with a mix of cottage garden favourites and more architectural specimens to give height and structure.
Stephen is really into recycling and is always coming home with something to use as a container in the garden, said Anne, who works for Batleys Cash and Carry.
A tin trunk stands in a corner filling the seating area with the scent of lavender and set into a wall, an old stone sink provides a perfect holder for a froth of cream-edged hostas.
The old outside toilet has been converted to a tool store and is about to get a green roof with sedums top of the likely plant list. And the naturalistic pool is awash with water lilies and wild life.
In this idyllic setting with far-reaching views across the Colne Valley, the couple have created a delightful garden brimming with striking plants including ligularia, oriental poppies, echinops ritro, giant knapweed, alliums, hemerocallis, deep blue Veronicas and the soft silver foliage of stachys lanata.
3) Philip Hirst, Waterloo
FOR Philip Hirst and his wife, Anne their waterside garden at Waterloo is a real haven.
Weve lived here for about nine years and we enjoy the garden so much that we find it more and more difficult to leave it, even to go on holiday, said Anne.
When we came here, Philip had to clear some conifers and shrubs to let more light in, said Anne.
Id never really grown anything until we came here, said Philip. Now I grow everything.
Philip, an electrician, has packed the garden with a diverse range of plants including many classic English garden herbaceous plants.
Two types of sambucus, or elderberry, one with fine cut golden leaves, the other with striking purple foliage, provide highlights alongside a variegated maple and the towering spikes of hollyhocks and ligularia.
The vivid blue of Veronica spicata and the bright blooms of dahlias, geums contrast with the more delicate flowers of astrantia, Eupatorium maculatum and the pretty violet blue of the harebell.
A vigorous clematis tangutica with nodding yellow bell shaped flowers and fluffy lime-coloured seed heads is one of a number of climbers which take the flower power up the walls of this well-tended garden.
Philip grows tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and other summer vegetables in his greenhouse as well as bringing on his own dahlia plants and many herbaceous perennials.
He makes his own compost, uses water from rain butts and does all he can to encourage wildlife. And it works.
We have foxes, hedgehogs, all kinds of birds and the ducks come into the garden from the beck which runs along the bottom, he said.