All the entries to this year’s Cardwell Gardenfest competition have been described as “exceptional”.
There were twice as many gardens put forward for the prestigious prizes as there were last year and the winners have now been announced.
Judges – Cardwell Garden Centre director, Kieran Gallagher and gardening expert George Irvine – were particularly impressed by a garden in the backcourt of a tenement, a man who continues to tend his garden despite having severe mobility issues and a teenager who has won the Junior Award for the second year after he had expanded his garden to include vegetables.
The overall Best Garden Award was won by John and Elizabeth McGovern, from Greenock.
Kieran said: “This garden is the backcourt of a tenement, so it’s not only a place to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, but it’s also used for hanging washing out to dry.
“The balance between form and function is a hard one to get right, but this garden is spot on. Every wall and fence is covered in hanging baskets, containers and borders filled with colour and high quality plants.”
The Judge’s Discretionary Award goes to Holmes ‘Homey’ McIlvar, from Gourock.
George explained: “This garden was nominated by Mr McIlvar’s niece, Annette Wilson, who described her uncle as having poor mobility, but still manages to work on his garden every day.
“Annette told us that her uncle can’t manage to stand and bend down, so instead he ‘lies down on his tummy’ to tend his plants and flowers.
“Even for someone without mobility issues, this is a high-quality garden and Mr McIlvar is to be commended for his dedication to his garden.”
The Best Containers prize was won by Hugh Gibson, from Largs.
Kieran said of this entry: “These containers are superb in every way. The arrangement of the plants takes into account height, spread and colours.
“And to have so many Begonias in such good condition shows a real attention to detail.”
Thomas Williams made it a double when he won the Junior Class Award for the second year running. The 15-year-old, from Port Glasgow was judged to have further developed and improved his gardening skills in the past year.
“The inclusion of a vegetable section was a particular delight and we commend Thomas for his dedication and enthusiasm,” said George.
The Best Hanging Baskets Award went to Richard Melrose, from Gourock.
George said: “The baskets are so well planted that the basket itself is not visible, especially important when you are able to see the underneath.”
Kieran added: “There was one other junior entrant, Isla Crawford, from Gourock, who deserves an honourable mention.
“The sunflowers Isla grew were amazing. We had a lot of sunflowers entered in the competition this year, but Isla’s were, by a long way, the best.”
Kieran added: “In general, every entrant’s garden had something of real quality and the overall standard this year was exceptional. George and I would like thank everyone who took the time to enter Gardenfest and we look forward to doing it all again next year.”
All winners will receive a £50 gift voucher and a trophy.
A gallery showing a selection of this year’s entries will be posted on this website shortly.