A HOSPICE charity hopes the launch of its virtual Glorious Gardens competition will help brighten up lives during the lockdown.

In an unprecedented year which has seen the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show move online, supporters of Poole's Lewis-Manning Hospice Care want Dorset's hidden gems to be on show for all to see as well.

So with the backing of the Bournemouth Echo they are asking for participants to submit photos of their gardens, no matter how big or small, to be in with a chance of them being crowned among the county's most glorious.

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care director of fundraising Tom Goodinge said: "We are so proud to be able to launch our Virtual Glorious Dorset Gardens competition during this difficult time we are all experiencing.

"We thought if people can't go and visit each others gardens let's bring the gardens to them in another way.

"Gardens of all shapes and sizes can be entered – yes, even if you have a little balcony garden, we want to see it.

"Our marvellous, green-fingered supporters will be featured in the Bournemouth Echo throughout the month of July and a guest judging panel will make the final decisions on who they think are the worthy winners.

"If you are lucky enough to win the top spot and be crowned one of Dorset's most glorious gardens you will be featured on the winners page in the Echo and receive a prize.”

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, based in Longfleet Road, Poole, is a charity helping people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across Poole, Purbeck and East Dorset.

Free services include a day hospice, creative arts and wellbeing support, a better breathing clinic and a lymphoedema clinic.

The competition is open to all Dorset residents, from Bournemouth to Bloxworth, Sherborne to Swanage.

Tom said: "We’re rooting for everyone to join in on the competition, because at this time of year gardens really come into their own.

"Gardens and allotments are adding some much-needed enjoyment, exercise and respite during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are vital spaces for wellbeing and a way to battle the boredom during this time.

"We’re looking forward to seeing the entries, so please donate and submit your garden photos for us to share with the rest of Dorset."

Entries are open from June 1-30, 2020, in the following four categories: Best allotment or vegetable patch; Best general garden; Best small creative space; Best children’s garden picture or artwork (drawing, painting, collage etc)

The entry cost is £5 per category for adults, or £2.50 for a child (under 12), and can be made online via the campaign page justgiving.com/campaign/virtual-glorious-gardens-2020.

Then you email fundraisingteam@lewis-manning.co.uk with your garden photo or picture and what category you would like your photo to be entered into.

Entrants may submit up to two photos per category, in colour or black and white, and can enter all four categories.

They need to include their name, location, for example ‘Wimborne’, email address, plus a daytime contact number.

Image file names must be saved with your full name and location.