Gardener’s blooming great award for Sturdy Court work

Lucy Jennings presents Brian Atkinson with his certificate.
Lucy Jennings presents Brian Atkinson with his certificate.

A gardener in Kirkbymoorside has won a Yorkshire Housing Good Neighbour Award for his amazing work growing flowers and fruits and keeping the communal areas of Sturdy Court looking beautiful throughout the year.

Brian Atkinson, 81, has lived in Sturdy Court for 15 years, and more recently he has been busy planting flowers and other plants in and around the sheltered accommodation, making it a welcoming place for residents and visitors.

Last month he was awarded by Yorkshire Housing as part of an initiative to highlight its amazing customers and tenants. Brian received a certificate and £70 of shopping vouchers.

Brian said: “I was brought up with gardening. I had a piece of garden and my dad grew everything and we lived with it. When I was 20 I got my own piece of land and started growing everything. But I never grew flowers, it was always vegetables.”

Brian was taught about flowers by his neighbours, who unfortunately don’t get out and about as much as they used to, so he does the hard work and they get to enjoy the fruits of his labour – in some cases literally.

Brian added: “It’s nice getting out and it keeps me busy. Joan at number one has taught me everything she knows about flowers.

“I planted some strawberries for the first time this year and everyone had some of them.”

Brian said gardening as a way to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. He said: “It keeps you going and is something to do. I go out and have an hour and then come inside and heat up and then go out and have another hour.”