Gardner has watched on from the stands during his rehabilitation from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Westwood achieved a 97% pass accuracy rate against QPR, a fact not lost on Gardner.
Gardner told Villa's website: "Westy was pure class against QPR but he has been since he's been here. He's improving every game. He's getting better all the time.
"Westy is a good player, he's been quality since he's been here.
"He's so comfortable on the ball, doesn't look flustered and never gives it away.
"His ability to keep things ticking and keep hold of the ball, protect it, is something you need in the middle of the park. He's been brilliant.
"He's a top lad as well, a really good guy. He's a nice guy to be around."