Blooming success for Blackwood tenant

Malcom Stewart in his garden with Fanchea Kelly, chief executive at Blackwood

A green fingered Blackwood tenant is celebrating after winning the housing and care provider’s ‘Best Garden’ award.

Malcolm Stewart, who lives with his wife Evelyn, has been a tenant at Blackwood’s Academy Court in East Ayrshire for 11 years.

He won the award for ‘Best Individual Garden’ at the charity’s AGM in Largs after Evelyn entered him into the competition as a surprise.

The 72-year-old, known to his friends as Pally, said: “I really wasn’t expecting to win because gardening is just a hobby for me but I am over the moon to have won. I just enjoy being outside and still close to Evelyn.

“I’ve never entered any gardening competitions before but a few years ago my friend asked me to grow an onion for him which won second place. So I think I might enter some more competitions now.

“I’m excited for next year and have all my bulbs ready though I quite like my garden the way it is so there won’t be any big changes.”

The keen gardener first got into the hobby when he was a young boy and helped his dad and grandfather in the garden. Since then he has been growing flowers and vegetables and specialising in lilies.

Colleen Scott, marketing manager at Blackwood, said: “Every year I look forward to going out and filming the amazing entries to our garden awards. Our customers take great pride in creating truly beautiful spaces.

“Malcolm’s garden is gorgeous and the flowers are all so colourful, he thoroughly deserved to win. We hope Malcolm and everyone who put their gardens forward for this year’s competition is thinking about entering next year and we wish them the best of luck.

“We started the garden awards five years ago as a way for Blackwood to recognise our customers’ creativity and effort to make such lovely outdoor areas. Since then it has taken off and has grown year after year with such impressive gardens each time.”