Salford’s in full bloom!
Published by James Allan for Salix Homes in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
John Beamer in his prize winning garden
A green-fingered great grandfather who says he owes his life to gardening has picked up another accolade for his blossoming blooms.
John Beamer, 86, was crowned one of the winners of the Salix Homes Summer Bloom gardening competition beating off stiff opposition from more than 100 entrants.
John scooped first prize in the Best Hanging Baskets and Tubs category and third prize in the Most Impressive Garden category after wowing judges with his blooming floral displays and manicured lawns at his home in Langsett Avenue, Weaste.
Retired farmer John, who has 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, can be found pottering in his garden every day and says it’s what keeps him going.
“I love my garden - it keeps me alive,” he said.
“It gives me something to do and it’s good exercise. I lived on a farm so I’ve always had green fingers, I’ve been doing it since I was 12.”
And John is no stranger to winning awards for his handiwork; he is a former winner of Summer Bloom plus countless other gardening competitions.
He joked: “I’ve got certificates going back to the 1980s, I could paper a wall with them!”
John was one of several winners of this year’s Summer Bloom competition, which is organised by Salford-based social housing provider Salix Homes to recognise those green-fingered folk who are helping to keep our communities bright and beautiful.
The competition was open to people living in the following five neighbourhoods: Claremont, Weaste, Seedley and Beechfarm; Kersal, Charlestown and Duchy; Broughton; Ordsall, Langworthy and Islington and Pendleton PFI. Each neighbourhood was judged separately for each category with £2,500 prize money up for grabs.
Other winners included Allen Fiander, of Rialto Gardens in Broughton, who bowled over the judges to take first prize in the Best Hanging Baskets and Tubs category. He also scooped second prize in the Best Communal Garden Category alongside his neighbours.
Allen said: “I nearly fell through the floor when I found out we’d won, especially when I was told how many people we were up against.
“There are five of us who do the gardens and it’s great for community spirit. Some of them are in their 80s so we help them out. We all get along so well and have a good laugh and a joke together, plus lots of cups of tea!”
The Pendleton Crack Pots based at Beech Court won first place in the Best Vegetable Garden category and second place in the Best Hanging Baskets and Tubs category, while Heraldic Court in Charlestown scooped the coveted Best Communal Garden Award.
The judges were made up of Salix Homes’ tenants who had the difficult job of choosing from all the impressive entries.
Sue Sutton, director of customer and neighbourhood services at Salix Homes, said: “Every year we are more and more impressed by the standard of entries and this year was no exception. We had a record number of entries and the judges had a very tough job to pick the winners.
“Despite the difficult financial times and not to mention the British weather it’s heartwarming to see just how much pride people do take in their gardens and how determined they are to make their communities better places to live.
“Congratulations to all the winners and of course everyone who entered. We are so proud of each and every one of our tenants who put so much time and effort into making sure our neighbourhoods looks bright and beautiful for the benefit of the whole community.”