TRIBUTES have been paid to an Inverclyde horticulture expert who has sadly died.

John Carson, who was well known throughout the area as the founding member, secretary and treasurer of the Strathclyde Leek & Onion Society, passed away at the end of last year.

John was brought up in Kilmacolm and attended old Greenock High School.

His passion for growing vegetables led him to become the mastermind behind the annual Leek and Onion show, which takes place every year at Cardwell Garden Centre and attracts top exhibitors from all over the country.

Tele gardening columnist George Irvine was a friend of John's for 40 years.

He said: "John was very much involved in a number of horticulture organisations.

"He masterminded the Strathclyde Leek and Onion show where he was the secretary and treasurer for many years.

"He kept going until just a few years ago when his age and health forced him to give up office."

John was also a regular judge at local flower shows such as Caddlehill Allotments in Greenock where he judged the competition alongside George for many years.

George added: "I for one found it a great pleasure to judge alongside John.

"He was very knowledgeable, particularly about growing vegetables - hence the reason he masterminded the Strathclyde Leek and Onion show.

"His death is a big loss to gardening organisations and Renfrewshire in particular.

"He was involved in so many things.

"John will be sorely missed."

Outside Inverclyde Mr Carson was very much involved with gardening and flower club activities in and around the Paisley area as well as being a judge at the Renfrew District Council garden competitions.

John's funeral took place at Woodside Crematorium yesterday.