Green-fingered pensioner brings the colour and flavour of the Cypriot mountains to Leeds

Date: 5th September 2016. Picture James Hardisty.
Galatea Gunning, of Farm Mount, Crossgates, Leeds, in her garden, where she can spend up to eight hours a day looking after her plants for local residents to admire.
Date: 5th September 2016. Picture James Hardisty. Galatea Gunning, of Farm Mount, Crossgates, Leeds, in her garden, where she can spend up to eight hours a day looking after her plants for local residents to admire.
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A green-fingered pensioner has brought a touch of the Mediterranean to her Leeds garden.

Since moving to the semi-detached house on Farm Mount in Crossgates 32 years ago, Galatea Gunning has transformed the gardens from an overgrown mess into an oasis of colour and vibrancy.

So much so, that people walking past stop and admire the buds and blooms and one family last week even asked if they could take pictures of it.

Mrs Gunning, who works on the garden with husband Richard said: “I live on the main road and there are lots of people coming and saying how lovely it is and how every year it gets better.

“I love gardening and when people tell you they wish theirs was like that, it makes you feel better.”

Mrs Gunning, who turns 70 later this month, grows her own seeds for the plants and flowers she tends to and has a vegetable supply that supermarkets would be envious of with grapes to greenbeans and marrows and artichokes in between.

Her favourite flowers in the garden are dahlias, “they are all lovely in their own way, each one is different” she says, but there are also roses, petunias and geraniums adorning several hanging baskets.

Mrs Gunning has lived in Leeds for over 50 years after meeting Richard while he was serving for the British Army in Cyprus.

But, she gets her love of gardening from her family back in the Cyprus mountains where they had land growing fruit while she was growing up.

She added: “Now we are retired we spend a lot more time in the garden.

“I go to Cyprus on holiday but always want to come back. I love Leeds and would not go anywhere else.”

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