The winners of the Melplash Agricultural Society Gardens and Allotments competition have been announced.

One of the most prestigious garden competitions in west Dorset, it is open to all residents within a 12-mile radius of Melplash church.

This year, 25 gardens and allotments entered, and they were judged over two days by Mr and Mrs Tim and Gill Tarling, last year’s medium garden winners, and Mrs Christine Holmes-Studley, the 2018 allotment and overall winner. They were accompanied by the society president Tim Frost and his wife Monica, society chairman Jo Sage and vice-chairman James Vickery. The stewards were Mr Peter Yeates and Mr Cliff Pitcher.

Society chairman Jo Sage said: “It was a phenomenal two days.

“All the gardens and allotments were magnificent. It was a real privilege to have the opportunity to visit them and to be shown around by the gardeners. Their knowledge and how they had utilised every inch of the garden was incredible.

“It was also interesting to see that all of them had considered the wildlife and environment. There were bug houses, moth traps, bird tables and even homes for slow worms and newts.

“I certainly didn’t envy the judges task and understandably it did take them quite a while to decide on the winners.”

The winners for each category were:


First: Mr Donald Jolliffe, Netherbury

Second: Mr Geoff Fry, Puncknowle

Third: Ms Maggie Haworth, West Allington

Small gardens

First: Mr and Mrs Ian and Anne Bark, Bridport

Second: Mrs Debbie McCarthy, Lyme Regis

Third: Mrs Georgina Young, Beaminster

Medium gardens

First: Mr Jon Harvey, Bridport

Second: Mr and Mrs PJ and BF Lacey, Lyme Regis

Third: Mrs Christine Corson, Beaminster

Fourth: Mrs Jennifer Fry-Nobbs

Large gardens

First: Mrs Erika Savory, Lyme Regis

Second: Mr and Mrs Martin and Jan Dixon, Morcombelake

Third: Mr and Mrs Brian and Annabelle Jackman, West Milton

The special award - The George Payne Memorial Trophy - was awarded to Ms Maggie Haworth, a herbalist whose allotment in West Allington was totally dedicated to growing the herbs she requires for her treatments.

The overall winner was Mrs Erika Savory of Lyme Regis.

The prizes will be awarded at the annual Meplash Agricultural show at West Bay on Thursday, August 22.