A Kent pensioner has been shortlisted for a gardening award. Bill Mardle, who lives at Anchor’s Woodville Grove in Welling, was nominated by neighbours for his hard work in the communal gardens.

Almost 300 nominations were sent in for the Happy Living Awards run by Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit care and housing provider. The awards were launched in August with six categories: Green Fingered Customer, Best Neighbour, Extraordinary Talent, Grandparent of the Year, Community Champion and Best Pet.

Mr Mardle is thrilled to be shortlisted for the Green Fingered Customer Award. He said: “I am over the moon to be up for this award. I love gardening as it keeps me fit, and it’s great to see others getting enjoyment from our communal gardens.”

Neighbour Eileen Graham, who appreciates Bill’s work in the gardens, said: “Bill is a fairly new resident but he has really made an impact on Woodville Grove.

“We had an area full of bushes and trees that had lifted the tarmac, and when they were cut down, it left behind an area of stumps and roots – a real eyesore. Bill took it upon himself to cultivate the area and he has really transformed it.

“He spent many hours digging out roots and rubble, growing a range of bulbs and plants, which he has continued to keep in a spectacular array of colour and interest. In mere months, he converted this desolate space into an area of amazing beauty.”

A customer panel will be coming together later this month to judge those shortlisted, and winners of the six categories will be announced in December.

For more information on Woodville Grove please call 0800 731 2020.

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