Months of determined digging and patient pruning finally paid off for a group of green-fingered residents as they picked up prestigious prizes at the 'How does your garden grow?' competition.
Entrants in the Hounslow Homes annual gardening showdown faced massive competition this year as more flower-mad folk than ever rushed to enter their own little patches of paradise.
But the winners in all five hard-fought categories finally picked up their prizes at a presentation evening at West Thames College in Isleworth last Friday.
Muriel Steadman, 59, of Wheatley Road, Isleworth, who won the Best Garden category, said: "It was great to win a prize. I take a lot of pride in my garden. I've got every flower imaginable, as well as a fishpond full of carp, swings, a table and even a vegetable patch.
"I suffer from arthritis but I find gardening is a good, gentle exercise for me. I'll be sad when it gets too much for me and I have to give it up."
Meanwhile the gardens of Ann Hastie, of New Chapel Square, Feltham, and Sutton Lane Community Centre, in Hounslow West, which were both featured in the Chronicle two weeks ago, took first places in the Best Balcony and Best Community Garden categories.
Competition judge Julie Brooker told the Sutton Lane gardeners: "This award recognises the hard work and dedication of this community.
"You pulled together to create a fruitful garden, which used to be a pile of rubble and rubbish only a couple of years ago."
The final prize of the night went to Greenham House, in Stanborough Road, Hounslow, who scooped the Best Sheltered or Communal Garden first prize.
Resident and gardener Eryl Noonan said: "We all love our garden but it was nice to hear someone else appreciated it as well. We have tables and umbrellas as well as flowers and vegetables. It's just a lovely place to be."
Hounslow Homes's chief executive Bernadette O'Shea told all the gardeners and guests: "The number of people here tonight shows that everyyear the competition is getting bigger and better."
All attendees were treated to afternoon tea in the Winter Garden conservatory, which has historically been used by Joseph Banks, the famous botanist.
The room was decorated for the night with photos of all the short-listed entrants' gardens.