“I LIKE gardening – it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.”

I tend to agree with Alice Sebold on this and I am sure I am not alone in Barnsley.

This is why we are starting the search for the town’s best gardens and gardeners.

But we need your help to nominate the green-fingered Gods and Goddesses whose garden is just that little bit extra special. Whose borders are beautiful? Who prunes to perfection? Who really knows their dahlias from their daisies?

It does not have to be a huge manicured garden with overflowing flower beds.

Has somebody you know got creative with a small space? Maybe someone has a houseplant obsession.

Do you never need to go vegetable shopping because a neighbour regularly drops off a bounty?

We want to find the Monty Don of the Dearne or the Alan Titchmarsh of Thurgoland.

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We will consider all contenders and then feature the best in the newspaper in the coming weeks before opening it up to an online public vote.

You can send in your nominations, with photos and contact details, to ashley.ball@barnsley-chronicle.co.uk

My lifelong love of gardening

MY own interest in gardening and plants started as a child.

One of my earliest memories is of picking the dried honesty seeds in the back garden.

I also remember going to the woods near my childhood home and it being filled with bluebells. What a magical sight it was for the few weeks they were up. I also used to marvel at the huge holly trees.

I even remember taking on my brother in a sunflower growing contest at our grandma’s house and how my neighbour used to chop up hose pipes to try and frighten away cats (does this even work?).

When I got my own home, thoughts quickly turned to the garden. For me, it is the most fun room in the house to decorate.Your garden is never finished and is constantly evolving.

I have a few issues to deal with, like compaction and poor drainage, but it’s difficult not to be content at this time of year – everything is in bloom and the pollinators are everywhere. I feel like I’m doing my bit for nature and want to preach to everyone else to do the same.

It is difficult to pick a favourite flower but I really enjoy seeing rudbeckia and campion flower and I do use my little herb patch (in an old Belfast sink) regularly.

But guess what, among all the little experiments, I still ensured I had honesty, bluebells and holly in my garden.

I don’t have anything resembling a consistent style in the garden and I’m definitely more of an enthusiast than an expert but I feel it’s important to recycle and most of my containers have had previous lives.

I also want to help wildlife and have patches of longer grass and wildflowers.

It’s going to be a pleasure seeing your own gardens and learning how you have crafted them into your own bit of heaven.