A RUISLIP man who took up gardening to enrich his retirement has been crowned the winner of Hillingdon's annual allotment competition.
Organised by the Hillingdon Council and Hillingdon Allotment and Horticultural Federation, the annual contest encourages good gardening practice and gives recognition to the hard work that goes into growing and keeping an allotment.
Prizes are awarded to the top three allotment holders of the best quality plots, with three trophies also awarded for the best kept allotment sites.
This year, first prize for best kept plot went to Mr Gennaro Poeti for his allotment at The Fairway Allotment Site, South Ruislip, second prize was awarded to Mr Charlie Walsh for his efforts and Mr John Davey won third place for his patch.
Best large site went to Hayes End Allotment Site, best small site was awarded to Hill House Allotment Site, in Harefield and best council managed site went to West Drayton Cemetery Allotment Site.
Gennaro Poeti, 64, said: "I am very pleased, it was only since 2007 that I have been involved with the site since I retired.
"We always try to keep it tidy and make sure everything is labelled up."
Councillor Sandra Jenkins, cabinet member for environment, said: "Congratulations to the winners and everyone that took part. It is great to see so many people taking a real pride in keeping their allotments sites well maintained."
All allotment holders are automatically entered into the competition each year, and the two stage judging takes place between June and August, during which judges will visit all 35 sites in the borough.