Partially-sighted family given garden makeover

A partially-sighted family of four is enjoying its new sensory garden after kind-hearted judges in a gardening competition decided their booby-prize of £25 garden centre vouchers just wasnt enough to make a difference.

Nicola Foster, 32, of Cowgate in Newcastle lives with her daughter, her sister and her niece; all of whom are partially sighted.

Ms Foster has recently been enjoying her transformed garden, showing that partially-sighted people can enjoy the produce of some time spent in the garden or greenhouse too.

When her garden was awarded the title of worst garden in the competition at Cowgate in Bloom, the judges decided it was time for a change.

Experts from Dobbies Garden Centre, Groundwork trainees, Your Homes Newcastle and Cowgate Environmental Action Team helped transform Ms Fosters garden.

Now, it is "an outdoor oasis of strong-smelling flowers, herbs, different textures and bright flowers", according to

Judge Marian Foster of BBC Garden Mania fame seemed happy with the result.

"When I was invited to judge Cowgate in Bloom’s worst garden category, I was unsure what I would see and what people would tell me," she told the website.

"It was encouraging to hear about so many plans to improve gardens in Cowgate and some of the problems people are trying to overcome, but I was shocked to hear about the difficulties Nicola and her family have had.

"Everyone has got together to get this makeover done in double-quick time and I really don’t recognise Nicola’s garden now as the same one I judged in the summer."