The green-fingered residents of north Manchester have been honoured in a gardening contest celebrating horticultural heroes.
Last year’s inaugural ‘Northwards Gardening Greats’ competition was so successful that we decided to raise a glass to blossoming tenants for a second year running.
The competition shines a light on good gardens and also has a serious message – that neat and tidy gardens make the area look its best.
First prize in the ‘Best Garden’ category - £100 B&Q vouchers - went to James Wright, of Booth Hall Road, Blackley. When James and friend Craig moved into their home 12 months ago, the garden was not in great shape. But after learning some green tips from their neighbours on both sides of the garden fence, James now has his own oasis in the heart of north Manchester.
James said: “When I first came to see the property, the garden was such a mess that I was going to refuse it.
“But when I got to know my neighbours, we shared some great tips. It was a great way to get to know people and now everyone compliments me on the garden.”
Continental Landscapes – who carry out all of Northwards’ concessionary gardening work, Japanese Knotweed treatments and general landscape improvements – generously donated £250 worth of prizes to the competition, and helped with the judging.
Runners-up were Brian McDonald of Mitchell Street, Newton Heath (second place) and Allan Pemberton, of Aldermaston Grove, Higher Blackley (third place).
First prize in the ‘Best Communal Garden’ category – £100 B&Q vouchers - went to Ruthin Avenue, Blackley. Led by Northwards tenant Keith Hilditch, local residents transformed this communal area outside a block of flats into a fantastic outdoor space, jam-packed with all kinds of plants, flowers and vegetables. The garden has been a huge hit in the community and has inspired most of the residents in the flats to get involved.
Runners-up were Johnny Biggs for the garden at Whitemoss Youth Club, (second place) and Edward Grant Court, Harpurhey (third place).
First prize in the ‘Best Small Garden’ category - £50 B&Q vouchers - went to Brenda McDonald of Tiptree Walk, Harpurhey. Brenda has made wonderful use of the small space she has available, and her garden overflows with colour, variety and beauty. Runners-up were Terence Gorman of Newick Walk, Blackley (second place) and Margaret O’Brien, of Temple Square, Cheetham Hill (third place).
Sue Ratchford, chair of the Northwards Board, said: “Taking care of your garden and making it enjoyable to look at and spend time in can make such a big difference to the way a neighbourhood looks and feels.
"The stories we've heard about gardening and the way it brings communities together is inspiring and it's great to see so many talented gardeners in north Manchester."