“A credit to themselves, to Fenland and the In Bloom initiative across the entire country.”
That was the praise heaped on to dedicated volunteers and organisations in Wisbech when judges toured the town as part of the annual Anglia In Bloom competition.
Everyone behind this year’s campaign is hoping they’ve enough to help secure the town’s tenth consecutive Gold Award in the regional horticultural contest when the results are announced in September.
The judges visited the town on Friday, July 14, with their tour culminating at St Peter’s Church Gardens to see this year’s themed garden celebrating the 50 th anniversary of BBC’s Gardeners’ World.
They admired the different flower, vegetable and herb beds, two rabbits dressed in full carpet bedding and show presenter Monty Don’s Potting Shed – and they even got to meet the man himself.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to meet Monty Don!” joked judge Ian Haynes after being greeted by star ‘lookalike’ David Judd, and his faithful golden retriever.
The tour also included the courtyard garden and Centenary Green at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House, the Bee Garden at Somers Road car park which was created from an area of wasteland, the new hanging basket tree, baskets and containers at the Clarkson Memorial, Peckover House garden, the Welcome Garden at the Chapel Road car park entrance, Wisbech General Cemetery and Nene Quay.
They also met horticultural students from Meadowgate School to see their work in Wisbech Park, discovered more about the £2 million Heritage Lottery Funded Wisbech High Street Project and toured The Crescent and Museum Square.
Judges were led on the tour by Fenland District Council’s parks and open spaces manager, Bob Ollier, Wisbech In Bloom chairman Brian Massingham and secretary Penny Stocks.
Afterwards they enjoyed lunch with many of the volunteers and organisations involved in the In Bloom campaign including from Wisbech In Bloom and Street Pride, the Friends of St Peter’s Gardens, Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery, the Community Payback team, Wisbech Lions, and local businesses and councillors.
They were also joined by the council’s portfolio holder for environment, councillor Peter Murphy, and Wayne Eady from plant company Volmary, formerly known as Delamores, which donated thousands of seedlings.
Judge Mr Haynes told lunch guests:”I remember being here two years ago before the town went on to win gold and the best large town category; now we’ve returned today and you haven’t disappointed at all. You’re not only a credit to yourselves but a credit to Fenland and the whole In Bloom initiative across the entire country.”
Mr Ollier said: “This year is probably one of our best entries into Anglia In Bloom in the last 14 years; so many areas look fantastic. The community effort is just amazing and is some of the best in the Anglia region without a doubt.”
“The number of individuals and groups who continue to play an invaluable part in the In Bloom campaign in Wisbech is wonderful,” added Cllr Murphy. “Their tireless efforts do Fenland proud.”