Green-fingered Redbridge residents celebrate blooming success with awards

A grandfather-of-nine and a group of primary school children are among keen gardeners who have been honoured for their green-fingered efforts.

The Redbridge in Bloom competition, now in its 70th year, included three new Olympic-themed categories.

Kenneth Goldsmith, 74, of Wickets Way, Hainault, took the prize for the borough’s Best Front Garden for the fifth year in a row.

He said: “I was so happy to win again because I spend a lot of time in my garden and change the plants around twice a year.

“I think I do a lot with a small amount of space and always fill my garden with lots of colour. I start planting during the spring bank holiday and hope it still looks nice by the time the judges come around.”

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Mr Goldsmith, who has dedicated more time to his garden since he retired, added: “I’ve always spent a lot of time in my garden and I’m happy to work hard to keep it looking good.”

The judges looked for imaginative use of flowers and marks were awarded for colour, condition and quality of plants as well as the layout and overall impact.

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South Park Primary School, Water Lane, Seven Kings, was awarded the first ever Best London 2012-Inspired School Gardening Project for their Olympic-themed garden.

Twelve members of the school’s gardening club, aged from five to 11, helped plant and look after the garden during their lunchtime.

Teaching assistant Janet Mahmud said: “We focused on a red, white and blue theme and because we don’t have much land, we used a lot of gold planters to create the Olympic look.

“We even planted flowers in old football boots and trainers which the children donated. They will be thrilled to find out we won.”

Prize winners will be invited to an awards ceremony in October to be held at Valentines Mansion, Ilford.

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