Eileen, 77, wins garden prize for the second year running

Eileen Fawcett, who has won the best vegetable garden category of the Pennine Housing Garden Competition.
Eileen Fawcett, who has won the best vegetable garden category of the Pennine Housing Garden Competition.
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An Elland woman has scooped a top gardening prize for the second year running.

Eileen Fawcett, 77, of Elland Lane, was crowned the winner of the best vegetable garden competition, run by Pennine Housing 2000 in partnership with Calderdale Council.

She won the prize last year and also came second in this year’s senior citizen category.

Eileen said she still worked on her garden every day in memory of her late husband, Raymond, who died just over three years ago after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

“I used to go in the garden with Raymond a lot before he died,” she said.

“We had an allotment down on Pellon Lane and we entered a lot of competitions.

“I don’t get in the garden as often as I used to but I like to go in for a few hours on a morning when the weather is nice, and then do a bit more in the afternoon,” she said.

Eileen has a green house where she grows tomatoes and peppers, as well as the garden, where she grows nine more vegetables - cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, onions, carrots, potatoes, swede, beetroot and sweetcorn.

“I eat some of the vegetables but I give lots away to family and freeze a lot too,” she said.

“I really enjoy doing it, I always have done.

“But now I feel like I’m doing it for Raymond. I feel like I’m doing it in his memory.

“I know it sounds a bit silly but sometimes at the end of the day I sit down and look out the window and say, “have I done alright today Raymond?”

“Hopefully I’ll still be fit enough to do the garden again next year,” she added.