December 5 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The efforts of gardening volunteers across Suffolk and Essex have paid off in spectacular floral style.
The winners of this year’s Anglia in Bloom competition have been announced, and include Halstead, which topped the challenge and took the coveted overall trophy for the second year running.
The green-fingered team, which also won the best small town, beat entries from towns and villages across the region to be crowned regional champions at a ceremony in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
The town’s Guides Allotment also picked up the Grow Your Own award.
Secretary for Halstead in Bloom Julia Smith said she was “absolutely thrilled” for the volunteers who have put in so much time and effort on the stunning floral displays. More than 100 people gave their time this year to help with the bid.
She added: “We never believed we would get best overall entry two years in a row and the comments the judges made about the community effort and the number of volunteers were really lovely.
“Our displays have the wow factor and we will certainly be going for it again next year – we will have to see if we can achieve the hat-trick.”
Elsewhere, horticulturists in Sudbury were celebrating after securing a gold award in the small town category. Sudbury’s Belle Vue Park also picked up the gong for best open space.
Town clerk Sue Brotherwood said the recognition marked the culmination of a “great deal of hard graft” and teamwork. She added: “After so many years and so much work put in by so many people, it is wonderful to finally win gold. To also pick up the award for ‘best open space’ is incredible.”
Also in Suffolk, Blundeston topped the large village category, while Bury St Edmunds secured a gold award in the large town section.
Edgar Sewter School in Halesworth picked up the best young people’s project, and the award for best industrial/commercial area went to Notcutts Garden Centre in Woodbridge for its flood plain garden.
In addition, gardening enthusiasts in Colchester had a great deal to celebrate after scooping the top award in the small city section, with the town’s Castle Park also topping the ‘parks’ category.
According to the judges, the warm weather has resulted in one of the best years for floral displays since the competition began.
Anglia in Bloom chairman, Bob Ollier, said: “Following last year’s wettest and most difficult summer, we have been treated to one of the best growing summers in recent years, and all the judges reported marvellous displays across the Anglia region.
“The continued excellent community work, many resourceful projects and superb colourful displays have all added to standards raised above expectations, with 25 gold, 22 silver gilt, 14 silver and two bronze awards.
“The competition was very close, but Halstead again has just headed off several entrants who are now knocking on their door for the prestigious title of best overall entry.”
Mr Ollier said communities had recognised the importance of sustainable displays, coupled with good horticultural standards.
On October 12, the Anglia in Bloom winners will attend the National Britain in Bloom Finals in Cleethorpes.