Blooming great Falkirk gardens a cut above the rest once again

Olive and Bruce King in their prize-winning garden. Pictures: Michael Gillen
Olive and Bruce King in their prize-winning garden. Pictures: Michael Gillen

The results are in and the verdict is Falkirk’s budding gardeners are blooming great as they prove yet again they are a cut above the rest.

The senior gardener at Edinburgh’s Holyrood Palace John Watson was this year’s judge for the Falkirk Council Garden Competition, which plucks out the district’s top residential horticulturists.

Margaret Duncan was voted best newcomer for the Falkirk area

Margaret Duncan was voted best newcomer for the Falkirk area

And this year’s overall winner from the five geographical areas was 56-year-old Olive King from Wallacestone, who also won the Braes title last year, and previously for Grangemouth in 1997.

Retired Olive, who volunteers at the West Fife branch of Guide Dogs, uses her labour of love to raise money and awareness for the charity.

She said: “I’m really chuffed to bits about winning, I’ve been a keen gardener all of my life so it’s really special.

“I’m currently raising money to name a guide dog, which is £5000. I sponsor puppies and I’ve named one before called Lily after my mum.

The Kings' garden in Wallacestone features a massive range of colours and flowers

The Kings' garden in Wallacestone features a massive range of colours and flowers

“I opened the garden to the public recently and raised £846 on a tea and coffee afternoon as well which will all go to the name a puppy fund.”

Charles Johnman of Dunipace came second overall and Roger Findlay of Falkirk was third.

The full list of winners were – Falkirk: Roger Findlay. Senior citizen winner: Mrs A Shirra. Newcomer: Margaret Duncan.

Grangemouth and Bo’ness: Norman Scott, Grangemouth. Senior citizen: John Duncan, Grangemouth.

St Mary's RC Church in Bo'ness was voted best church garden. (L-R): Robert McAllister, William Rintoul, Andrew Liddle, Mary Rockland, William McAllister and Helen Rintoul. Not pictured - Ian Bark and Peter Haggerty

St Mary's RC Church in Bo'ness was voted best church garden. (L-R): Robert McAllister, William Rintoul, Andrew Liddle, Mary Rockland, William McAllister and Helen Rintoul. Not pictured - Ian Bark and Peter Haggerty

Denny, Dunipace, Bonnybridge, Banknock: Charles Johnman. Senior citizen: James Reid.

Larbert/Stenhousemuir: Anne MacIntosh, Larbert.

The Braes: Olive King, Wallacestone. Senior citizen: Ivy Ewing, California.

Best church garden: St Mary’s RC Church, Bo’ness.

James Reid's garden was voted best for the senior citizen category for the Denny and Bonnybridge area

James Reid's garden was voted best for the senior citizen category for the Denny and Bonnybridge area

Small garden: Maureen Johnstone, Reddingmuirhead.

Wildlife garden: Lauren and Stephen Weiss, Slamannan.

Final judging took place on August 2.

Councillor Robert Spears, Falkirk Council spokesperson for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “The garden competition is a great community event in our local calendar.

“This year’s standards were especially high considering the wet summer so we appreciate everyone’s efforts even more. In particular, we congratulate Mrs Olive King for her second excellent win.

“We hope the competition continues to blossom in the future with more local people taking part and showing off their wonderful gardens.”

A presentation night will be arranged in the early autumn in the council’s Municipal Buildings.

During the evening Provost Tom Coleman will present gifts and garden vouchers to the winners.