Kirklees tenants put on a blooming good show!

Release Date: 28-Jul-2010
Residents from Sycamore Grange retirement housing in Golcar have taken the top prize in KNH's annual gardening competition.
Pat & Mick Brewster (centre), with their fellow competition winners

Pat & Mick Brewster (centre), with their fellow competition winners

Part of the beautiful garden at Sycamore Grange

Part of the beautiful garden at Sycamore Grange

The grange gardeners were also awarded the top prize in the most improved category for south Kirklees.

The judging panel, which included KNH board members and local gardening expert, Graham Porter, were particularly impressed by the garden’s broad appeal.

Mick and Pat Brewster, who head up the gardening club, only started the garden earlier this year: “the existing garden was overgrown and not used so we decided to do something about it.”

Helped by the KNH caretakers and by grants from KNH Excel, Age Concern, the By and Buy charity shop in Golcar, Mick and Pat have created a beautiful and useable space for everyone to enjoy. They even recently held their daughter’s wedding reception there.

With accessible vegetable plots, seating and walking areas, an abundance of bright and colourful flowers and shrubs, bird feeders and even a resident rabbit, the garden has something of interest for all grange residents and visitors. One resident is using the garden for the first time in 13 years, something she credits to the hard work of all those who have made it such a beautiful place to relax.

Reacting to the top award, Mick 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.

Head judge Graham Porter said: “This communal garden is the best we have seen in all the years of the competition; it is a truly communal effort by some very enthusiastic staff and residents.

“This year’s competition has once again showed that individual, family and communal effort can make people’s surroundings both beautiful and useful.”

Other winners were

• Best individual garden (house or bungalow), north Kirklees – Bill & Jackie Baxter, Church Road, Batley
• Best individual garden (house or bungalow), south Kirklees – Jim and Jean Levitt, Oakes Avenue, Brockholes, Huddersfield
• Best communal garden, north Kirklees – Rita King and the residents of Conway Crescent, Batley Carr
• Best communal garden, south Kirklees – Gordon Clingan, Pottery Street, Salendine Nook, Huddersfield
• Best use of small space, north Kirklees – Kathleen & Michael Bates, Town Street, Earlesheaton, Dewsbury
• Best use of small space, south Kirklees – Keith & Barbara Picton and Anthony Hirst, Friar Place, Bradley, Huddersfield
• Best fruit or vegetatable garden, north Kirklees – Brian Oldroyd, Denham Street, Batley
• Best fruit or vegetable garden, south Kirklees – Michael Foley, Longfield Avenue, Dalton, Huddersfield

Cllr 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.”

KNH Excel Manager Helen O’Sullivan, said: “This is the fourth year we’ve run the competition and we’ve been overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the entries.

“The standard has been amazing and the gardens are a real testament to the hard work of the tenants.”

“We’d like to thank everyone who entered and hope that even more people will take part next year and help make their estates blossom!”