A pensioner from Southampton has been shortlisted for a gardening award. Mark Eastland, who lives at Anchor’s Priory Court in Bishops Waltham, was nominated by four 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 Eastland is thrilled to be shortlisted for the Green Fingered Customer Award.

Gillian Lewis, who appreciates Mark’s work in the gardens, said: “Mark has worked endlessly on the gardens here at Priory Court, sometimes up to 12 hours a day, in all weather conditions. He has transformed the whole scheme – it is a pleasure to look out of the window or walk in the gardens.”

Neighbours Mr and Mrs Houghton added: “Mark works tirelessly to get the gardens looking lovely and keep them that way. He cut back undergrowth to make a rock garden, and then wheeled all waste to the tip quite a distance away. He is very thoughtful, consulting us all about and changes and always keen to comply with everyone’s choice of favourite shrubs.”

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.

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