National honour for Larne gardening advocate

Gary Bissett is presented with the Ambassador of the Year 2019 prize by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Maureen Morrow.
Gary Bissett is presented with the Ambassador of the Year 2019 prize by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Maureen Morrow.

A Larne garden centre manager has received national recognition for promoting the health benefits of gardening.

Gary Bissett, of Inver Garden Centre, won first prize in the Ambassador of the Year 2019 category of Cultivation Street, which is a campaign founded by chartered horticulturalist and broadcaster David Domoney to help people to grow and garden together.

The award citation explains: “Gary Bissett has been working with eight local nursery schools, teaching them how to sow seeds in order to grow sunflowers, peas and beans; encouraging them on the importance to grow plants for the environment.

“Many of the schools he works with need help on matters like recycling, sustainability, eco school projects and sensory gardens — Gary delivers talks and advice to guide them through the process so that they can have a positive experience.

“He’s assisted them in the creation of outdoor classrooms, focusing on companion planting with vegetables and flowers growing side by side. Now the children come into the centre to inform Gary how everything is growing.

“Gary is also an advocate for the therapeutic elements of gardening, actively working with adults with learning difficulties and patients in the midst of their rehabilitation wards recovering from strokes.”
Gary was presented with his prize by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Maureen Morrow.