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Firefighter ‘over the moon’ to be crowned Gardener of the Year

Gary McLaughlan, from Sunderland, scooped a £10,000 prize with his winning design.

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Comedian Vic Reeves (right) presents BandQ Gardener of the Year Gary McLaughlan with the Golden Trowel (Matt Alexander/PA)

Comedian Vic Reeves (right) presents BandQ Gardener of the Year Gary McLaughlan with the Golden Trowel (Matt Alexander/PA)

Comedian Vic Reeves (right) presents BandQ Gardener of the Year Gary McLaughlan with the Golden Trowel (Matt Alexander/PA)

A firefighter has said he is “over the moon” at being named the first B&Q Gardener of the Year.

Gary McLaughlan, 44, from Sunderland, designed the garden – one of the smallest entries to the competition – for his partner, Lindsey.

It features an ornamental fishpond, reclaimed driftwood, and stained glass windows.

Mr McLaughlan’s prize was £10,000y, free B&Q plants, and a golden trowel, which was presented by comedian Jim Moir, better known as Vic Reeves.

Mr McLaughlan said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to be crowned the first ever B&Q Gardener of the Year.

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BandQ Gardener of the Year Gary McLaughlan, with his wife Lindsey (Scott Heppell/PA)

BandQ Gardener of the Year Gary McLaughlan, with his wife Lindsey (Scott Heppell/PA)

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BandQ Gardener of the Year Gary McLaughlan, with his wife Lindsey (Scott Heppell/PA)

“I originally designed the garden for my partner, Lindsey, who spent time gardening as a child, so I wanted to create a space for her which evoked those memories.

“I’m relatively new to gardening, and still have a lot to learn, but this competition has most certainly shown that you don’t need a huge garden or bags of experience to create a uniquely beautiful outside space.”

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