AN annual competition to find Darlington best gardens has been launched for 2014.

The Darlington in Bloom competition is open to gardeners of all levels of experience, and with every type of garden.

Organisers have encouraged people who love their garden but who have never entered the event before to consider taking part.

The event is run by volunteers, supported by Darlington Borough Council and local firm MT Print, and is completed with an awards evening in the autumn.

There are categories for large and small gardens in town and rural locations, as well as a category for people who live in newer houses with town-style gardens, but in rural locations.

There are also entries for community housing, pubs and a prize for the most innovative and green allotment, in conjunction with Darlington Allotment Associations.

Entries must be submitted by June 27 ahead of judging, arranged by appointment, in the summer.

Allannah Robinson, one of the judges, said she was fascinated by the variety of gardens in the town and the innovative ways people decorate them.

She said: “Last year we had a very late spring which knocked everything out but it seems as though everything is on track this year, barring a few late frosts.

“It would be nice to see more people from the villages around Darlington take part, as we have separate awards for those areas, and also public houses – so many in Darlington really put in an effort to make their outside spaces look good but they don’t enter.”

Organisers are also hoping that more business owners around the town centre will contribute to Darlington in Bloom by brightening up their outside areas and entering the competition.

To enter, call 01325-347438 or email streetscene@darling Anyone nominating a garden that is not their own must inform the owner before applying.