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Horticultural judges will be on the lookout for fabulous front gardens

PUBLISHED: 11:38 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:05 19 June 2020

The judging is taking place from Monday, July 13, for a week Picture: BURY IN BLOOM

The judging is taking place from Monday, July 13, for a week Picture: BURY IN BLOOM

BURY IN BLOOM

A town’s front garden competition will go ahead next month - and they have a top garden designer on the judging panel.

Churches are also included in Bury in Bloom's front gardens competition. Here is St Mary's Church Picture: BURY IN BLOOMChurches are also included in Bury in Bloom's front gardens competition. Here is St Mary's Church Picture: BURY IN BLOOM

Bury in Bloom’s Certificates of Merit is taking place over the week of July 13 with Tom Hoblyn, a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) triple Gold medal winner who lives locally, joining the small army of volunteer judges.

MORE: ‘Thank you West Suffolk Hospital from Bury St Edmunds’ - plans for five-tier floral display to show gratitude

Nearly 100 judges and team leaders will cover every part of the town to make sure every residential and non-residential property is given a look to get a chance to win a Certificate of Merit.

Judges can also award the ‘Highly Commended’ certificate where they see outstanding effort.

David Irvine, Bury in Bloom coordinator, said: “Isolation and lockdown has seen so many people with more time on their hands turn to gardening.

“We want to acknowledge their work making our town a more attractive place to live and we are looking forward to judging week because we know there are front gardens to discover.

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“The Certificate of Merit demonstrates our appreciation by recognising their efforts and we hope this encourages them. We are relieved and delighted the restrictions have been eased enough to allow us to go ahead,” he said.

MORE: ‘Seeing the hanging baskets going up is a massive relief this year’

Organising the front gardens scheme this year has not been without its problems for Jane Hamblin, the Certificates of Merit coordinator, and Mr Irvine as Bury in Bloom struggled to comply with government regulations.

This year they have had to look very carefully at the safety of judges and have introduced new protocol as well as completing a risk assessment.

“We have been preparing since January,” said Mrs Hamblin. “We judge in a walk-by style and its obviously subjective, however the judges are well briefed. They look out for the wow factor and can also award a Highly Commended certificate.”

She added: “As always we will take account of conditions and this year the shutdown will have affected most people.”

Mr Irvine said they were “immensely grateful” to their judges – who do not need horticultural qualifications – and were “very happy” to have Mr Hoblyn, who trained at Kew Gardens, on board.

People don’t need to apply to take part.


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