Gardening guru praises Suffolk town

ONE of the country's leading lights in the gardening world has praised a Suffolk town's entry in this year's Britain in Bloom competition.Gardeners' World presenter Monty Don visited Bury St Edmunds yesterday to film the Abbey Gardens and College Square for a special edition of the BBC programme in October focusing on the finalists of the prestigious competition.

ONE of the country's leading lights in the gardening world has praised a Suffolk town's entry in this year's Britain in Bloom competition.

Gardeners' World presenter Monty Don visited Bury St Edmunds yesterday to film the Abbey Gardens and College Square for a special edition of the BBC programme in October focusing on the finalists of the prestigious competition.

Don said the town's gardens were chosen for the programme because of their floral excellence and he believed they had a good chance in the competition now in its 40th year.

He said: "Obviously Bury has a high standard and a tradition in Britain in Bloom. I have seen a lot of the finalists but Bury has a chance because of their track record.


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"The important thing about the competition is the involvement of the local community in a local project."

Don was visiting the town as organisers were putting the finishing touches on the gardens before judges visit next Tuesday .

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He said he was particularly impressed with The Harold Bonnett

Sensory Garden, which opened in May in the Abbey Gardens, and is designed for the blind, visually impaired and wheelchair users.

He explained: "I particularly like the beddings in the Abbey Gardens which are spectacular and the sensory gardens are great and clearly works."

Don was shown round the garden by Garry Guest , a member of the West Suffolk Voluntary Association for the Blind.

Mr Guest said: "Monty was very interested in how I use the garden and he was a very nice down to earth guy. I don't know the name of many of the plants. I would say to him this is a spiky long plant and he would tell me what its Latin name was."

St Edmundsbury Borough Council worked closely with the association to build the garden created on the site of the former blind garden.

The council's area parks officer Caroline Brown said it was a thrill for the garden to be featured on prime time television.

The one-hour programme will be aired on BBC2 on October 3 .

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