STAR gardening correspondent Stuart Jackson has died at the age of 86.
Following a year-long battle against lung cancer Stuart contracted a respiratory infection and passed away in the Northern General Hospital on Wednesday night.
He leaves his wife Rene and daughter Katharine.
Stuart’s expert columns were keenly followed by readers and radio listeners for 22 years and in all he contributed 1,100 articles to The Star on all horticultural matters.
Originally from Hillsborough Stuart was introduced to gardening in his teens by a youth-club friend who asked him to help tidy his grandfathers’s allotment. He was soon hooked and went on to become one of the most successful and best-known gardeners in South Yorkshire winning many competitions and awards, particularly for Chrysanthemums and Daffodils. He also published two gardening books.
Stuart served in the RAF during WWII training as a rear gunner in Lancaster bombers.
After the war he was a sales rep for Alfred Herbert machine tools and later represented an agricultural company.
“Stuart could not have packed more into his life,” said wife Rene, aged 87, who met Stuart in her early 20s. “He was a perfectionist in the garden and he loved sharing knowledge with others.”
Star Editor Jeremy Clifford said: “We were all sorry to hear of Stuart’s death, he was a great servant to The Star and much-loved by our readers. Stuart helped people to brighten up their gardens and enrich their lives with his expert tips, enthusiasm and encouragement.
“We offer our condolences to his family. Stuart will be sadly missed by staff and our readers who held him in great affection.”