Matlock 90-year-old is a winner in gardening contest

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A garden–lover was ‘delighted’ to get first place in a gardening competition – at the age of 90.

Alice Hardy, of Wold’s Rise, Matlock, won first prize in the Most Improved Garden category in Dales Housing’s Best Kept Garden competition, in which 59 Hurst Farm residents took part.

The retired county council worker was disappointed that she was unable to pick up her award however as she has just had a hip operation.

“I was delighted about winning. At my age I never thought I’d be winning an award for gardening,” she said. “My husband Ken and I used to love to do the gardening, but I lost him three years ago.”

Alice said she managed to keep the garden tidy since, but has relied on help from her son Brian and his wife Julie.

“They took a photo of how it was before and how it is now and sent it into the competition,” she explained. “In the front garden it was all soil, and they took all the plants out, put gravel in and made a nice little border of flowers – at the moment all the flowers are flowering and it’s lovely.”

She said her garden now has flowers in it such as cosmos, laurels and begonias. Other winners were Mr and Mrs Holmes, of Lumsdale Crescent, in the Best Front Garden category, Mrs Belamy, of Hazel Court, in the Best Hanging Basket, Container and Window Box category and Mr Holmes and Miss Gilbert, of Hurst Rise, in the Best Young Tenants’ Garden category. All winners received a trophy, certificate and garden vouchers.

Jacque Allen, group director of Housing and Neighbourhoods at Acclaim Housing Group, said: “The amount of time and effort put in by our tenants was reflected in the standard of the gardens.”