GREEN-fingered tenants from across Oldham have been showing off their love of gardening at the annual Growing Together awards evening.

Eager growers were brought together at the event, a joint collaboration between First Choice Homes Oldham, Oldham Council and Regenda Homes, to celebrate their love of horticulture.

First Choice Homes Oldham categories included Young Gardener of the Year, Best Community Garden of the Year, Most Improved Garden and Best Baskets, Tubs and Balconies.

The ceremony, at Smokies Hotel in Ashton Road, saw Dorothy and Stanley Gordon from Failsworth take home First Choice Homes Oldham’s overall prize the best garden, while Aimee Bone along with Paige, Krystal and Scarlett Jones were named Young Gardeners of the Year.

First Choice Homes Oldham also recognised the work of a local community partnership with a special recognition award.

The Scouthead and Austerlands Community Group and Waterhead Academy joined forces last year to develop the community garden at Dawson’s Field, providing a focal point for local activities and improving the look of the area, all while the students could glean gardening knowledge.

The activities have linked back into the Academy site itself, with Austerlands Community Group providing propagators to the school and sharing their produce with pupils.

Mayor of Oldham, Cllr Javid Iqbal was on hand to present the awards while the special guest host was the author, gardener and BBC radio and TV presenter, Toby Buckland.

Toby said: “This is the second time I’ve been involved in these awards and I’m thrilled to have been asked again. The awards are a wonderful showcase for communities to share their gardening prowess and it’s great to be a part of that.”

Vinny Roche, chief executive of First Choice Homes said: “We believe in creating thriving communities, and these awards and amazing gardens demonstrate how people in Oldham are equally determined to ensure that their neighbourhoods are pleasant places where people want to live and work.

“Beautiful front gardens bring a smile to people’s faces as they walk past. A huge well done to all those who have spent time in entering this competition and creating such fantastic spaces. We hope even more people will take part next year.”

In the Oldham Council categories The Old Bell Inn, in Delph, won the Best Business Award, while Peter Bailey took home the Private Garden award.

Cllr Arooj Shah, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Not only is it fantastic to see the community working together to help keep Oldham thriving but it’s really encouraging to see the results of everyone’s hard work in making the borough’s green and open spaces bloom and showing they love where they live

“Congratulations to all the winners, every award was well deserved. And well done to all those who took part for showing they love where they live as the standard of entries was very impressive.”

The competition will be open again for entries in May 2019.