Green-fingered Linlithgow couple’s garden competition success

Gold Garden Winner Jeff Montgomery with wife Derval and dog Cappie.
Gold Garden Winner Jeff Montgomery with wife Derval and dog Cappie.

A bumper crop of winners were announced at a garden contest despite poor weather and challenging growing conditions all summer.

The West Lothian garden competition named ten gold plaque winners and a couple from Linlithgow proved their garden was top class.

Jeff and Derval Montgomery of 20 Clark Avenue were lucky enough to scoop not just the gold but a bronze for their containers in bloom as well.

Jeff (67) retired from the insurance industry last September and said he now has the time to spend making his garden extra special.

He said: “The weather has been poor this summer.

“When the judges came to visit they said people had been complaining about the rain.

“Everyone was two or three weeks behind with the growing.

“When you plant stuff you hope it’s going to be ready for the judging but this year some things weren’t.”

A total of ten Gold, 11 Silver and 11 Bronze Plaque winners were announced as well as the top placings in the Containers, Wildlife and Vegetable plaque categories.

The awards will be presented at a special ceremony in Linlithgow Burgh Halls on Friday, November 13, where the top prizes of Best Overall Garden, Best Newcomer and the Oatridge College Award will be announced.

This year’s judges, Alan Agnew from West Lothian Council and Thomas Meenagh from the Scottish Rural College Oatridge Campus were impressed with the quality of gardens in West Lothian.

Alan said: “Despite very challenging weather conditions we were impressed by the high quality and standard of entries that are credit to everyone who has taken part in this year’s competition.

“It was inspiring to see so many people taking such a pride in their gardens, which have made our towns and villages a much better place to live and visit.”

Winchburgh was well represented in the competition, with gold plaques going to George Miller of Bellemonte, Faucheldean and John Cadzow of Glendevon Farm, Tippetknowes Road.

Dave du Feu of 2 Greenpark Cottages, Edinburgh Road in Linlithgow also won a bronze plaque for vegetable growing.

Tom Conn, Executive councillor for the environment added: “We received a record number of new entries this year, so well done to everyone who entered our Gardens Competition this year.

“I’d also like to thank the judges and event organisers for making this fantastic competition happen every year.

“Special congratulations to Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden and all the plaque winners on their achievements, which recognises the incredible work that takes place to make gardens special across West Lothian.

“I look forward to seeing the winners receive their awards in November, where the top prizes will also be revealed.”

Judging is still taking place in the Best Sunflower category for children, with the winners to be revealed soon.