A BUDDING young Penkside gardener’s talent blossomed at a local housing association’s annual gardening awards.
Bethany Draper, 12, was named young gardener of the year at Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) garden awards for the fruit and vegetable plot she keeps at Meadow Road community allotment - opened earlier this year by SARH and Stafford Borough Council after the land had lay unused for 30 years.
“I was really shocked but excited to win the award,” she said. “The allotment is absolutely fantastic and I’ve really enjoyed working on it in the last few months.
Bethany her prize, a B&Q voucher to the allotment project.
SARH chief executive Karen Armitage said the awards - held at the association’s head office and attended by more than 65 people - were a chance to thank customers for the great care and effort they take in their gardens, making the community a brighter and more attractive place to live.
David Kingsbury, from Ivy House Drive, Derrington, won best allotment/vegetable garden for the third year running.
Best communal border went to residents at Hall Close Independent Living Scheme, in Silkmore, and the best window box/container/hanging basket went to Herbert Murfin, from the Uplands, in Great Haywood.
Thomas Simkin, from Croxton won the award for best back garden and best front garden went to Sharon Dunn, from Mynors Street.
Customers at SARH’s Lotus Court Independent Living Scheme, in Stone, won best communal garden.
Winners were presented with a trophy and a B&Q voucher, runners up got a voucher and certificate and everyone who took part received a pack of flower bulbs and a certificate of appreciation.
Paul Jesney was awarded a gift voucher and certificate for the community spirit he shows working on three gardens for his less able neighbours.
Customers also saw a presentation by Ron Rock, from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on British bees, the role they play in the garden and how people can help them to thrive, and heard three poems including an ‘Ode to Gardening’ by SARH customer Dot Arnell, from Dove Close, in Stafford.