COUNCIL tenants across Huddersfield have proved to be blooming great!
The tenants have shown their true colours in Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing’s annual gardening competition.
A panel of judges, headed by Examiner gardening writer Graham Porter, were delighted by the high standard of gardens across the town’s estates.
The top prize in the competition went to the Sycamore Grange gardening club from Golcar, who also scooped the award for most improved garden.
Mick and Pat Brewster, who head up the gardening club, only started the garden earlier this year.
Mr Brewster said: “The existing garden was overgrown and not used, so we decided to do something about it.”
Helped by the Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) caretakers and by grants from KNH Excel, Age Concern and the By And Buy charity shop in Golcar, the couple have created a beautiful and useable space for everyone to enjoy.
They even recently held their daughter’s wedding reception there.
It includes accessible vegetable plots, seating and walking areas, an abundance of bright and colourful flowers and shrubs, bird feeders and even a resident rabbit.
Mr Brewster said: “I genuinely did not expect to win. I’m absolutely blown away by it – it really makes all our work worthwhile.”
The gardening club received £100 in gardening vouchers, as well as a gas barbecue, donated by Kenny Mann of Huddersfield Travel.
The award for best individual garden went to Jim and Jean Levitt, of Oakes Avenue, Brockholes.
The judges praised their “fabulous” garden for its range of plants and thoughtful planning.
The couple have been gardening for more than 30 years and were nominated by their neighbour, who wanted their efforts to be recognised.
Mr Levitt said they were “very surprised and pleased to win” the award.
Gordon Clingan accepted the award for best communal garden for the work he does at Pottery Street, Salendine Nook.
Over the past 15 years, Gordon has created a wonderful garden that benefits many of his neighbours. From immaculate lawns to an oasis of colourful flowers and shrubs, the garden is a credit to his hard work.
The best use of small space went to Keith and Barbara Picton and Anthony Hirst of Friar Place, Bradley.
Using as much space as they can, the gardening neighbours have created a riot of colour in tubs and containers, which delight everyone who sees them.
The Pictons have even built a container allotment on top of a concrete outhouse, which is absolutely full of produce.
Michael Foley, of Longfield Avenue, Dalton, won the award for best fruit or vegetable garden. In just one season, Michael has transformed a neglected piece of communal land into a garden, where he grows a wide range of vegetables for himself and his neighbours.
His work was recognised by the judges as a remarkable first time effort.
Graham Porter, who headed up the judging panel, said: “This year’s competition has once again showed that individual, family and communal effort can make people’s surroundings both beautiful and useful.”
Clr Shabir Pandor, the cabinet member responsible for housing, said: “I’d like to congratulate all those who took part in this year’s competition.
“Their gardens bring pleasure to their neighbours and help make sure their estates are attractive places to live.”
Paul Buckley, KNH’s Director of Operations, said: “Many of our tenants work very hard in their gardens and their efforts deserve to be recognised. This competition is our chance to thank them for their work and to encourage others to start taking pride in their gardens.”
The gardening competition is part of KNH Excel, an incentive scheme that rewards and recognises good tenants and encourages others who might have rent arrears to clear their accounts.