AN award-winning gardener is blooming as bright as her flowers once again after recovering from two nasty falls in two years.
Myra Shiel, who celebrates her 90th birthday later this year, is well-known in the community for her delightful gardens, firstly her water garden at Bridge Cottage, Greenfield then her smaller plot at Spring Grove.
She has scooped numerous awards from Saddleworth Parish Council and Oldham in Bloom to her name over the years for her care and creativity.
But she has had a long and rocky road to getting outside once again since falling in November 2016 then in December the following year.
“At one point, I thought I would never sit in my garden again,” she admitted as she spent 10 months recuperating after the first fall which was in Oldham town centre.
“I was alright for six weeks after the fall, then I became very poorly, lost my appetite, I started passing out and having panic attacks.
“I lost two stone in weight and the doctors found dots on my lungs. They thought I had the big ‘c’ and I thought that was it!
“But luckily I have my children – Mark, Damian, Julian and Christine – who looked after me wonderfully and I lived with them for about 24 weeks.
“I want to thank them for that, and I also want to thank all the people who sent cards and well wishes or said prayers for me.”
Myra was well again by August 2017 and back sitting in her garden adjacent to her terraced cottage on Spring Grove.
Her plot there is now tended by her family and includes some eye-catching features which were put in to welcome her home, including a watering can feature made by her son Damian, a heron sculpture and butterflies which glow in the dark.
But then she suffered another fall in Oldham in December 2017 and spent five more months recovering.
“It has been a bizarre two years but now I feel fantastic, I feel like me again,” said Myra, who started gardening aged 14 with her dad.
“Gardening has always been a massive hobby and I put my good health down to that.
“I’ve had 50 years of fresh air and, like Cilla Black would say, a lorra, lorra luck!”