Judges will be touring Northampton next week as the town enters the East Midlands in Bloom competition for the 16th year.
Experts will visit on Tuesday, July 11 to see the efforts of schools, community groups and individuals from around the town.
In 2016, Northampton secured a Sliver Gilt award along with a special commendation from the judging panel for making the whole town bloom. This year, Northampton Borough Council are going for gold with an Edgar Mobbs commemorative display on St Giles Street and the addition a new statue of Lady Wantage in Abington Park.
Abington Vale Primary School is one of the community entrants who will meet the judges to showcase their green-fingered displays on the day.
Fiona Hull, deputy headteacher at Abington Vale Primary School, said: “The school looks beautiful and we’re really looking forward to showing it off. All of the children have been involved in the planting in some way and we’ve had parents, grandparents, governors and staff helping too.
“We’ve incorporated our Bloom projects into the curriculum by making it part of our science lessons on growth. So each class has worked on their own mini-project, which means that not only is the whole school covered in flowers but we’ve also got a vegetable patch, a sensory garden, and areas of planting that encourage wildlife.”
Local growers Cramden Nursery have come on board as official sponsors of Northampton in Bloom 2017 and will also be meeting the judges. Their home-grown pelargoniums are currently filling the shoe planter in the Courtyard at the Guildhall.
Emily Mitchell, from Cramden Nursery, said: “It’s our first time getting involved and we’re very proud to grow and provide plants for Northampton in Bloom. We’re a family business and all of our plants are grown here in Northampton so I’m really pleased we’re able to give something back to the community.
“I’m excited to meet the judges, it’s not the first time that our plants have been judged though so I’m feeling quietly confident and am really happy to let the plants do the talking.”
Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for the environment at Northampton Borough Council, said: “We’re incredibly proud of how much improvement we’ve shown since we first started taking part in Bloom and last year was our best yet, but I think we’ve got what it takes to push for gold.
“Whether we get there this year is entirely down to the judges now but I’m confident that we’ve shown we’re looking for new ways to encourage people to enjoy our town and green spaces.
“What’s really important is the community effort that goes into this and I’d like to thank everyone who has got stuck in again this year.”
The results of the East Midlands in Bloom competition will be announced in the autumn.