Northampton's floral efforts were put to the test today as East Midlands In bloom judges toured the town centre.
During the visit today (Wednesday, July 3) the judges will took in a number of displays by the Borough Council, Veolia and idverde, businesses, community groups and residents.
One of the first floral presentations the judges saw included the carpet display in front of the Guildhall, provided by K&J Hird, one of the competition’s many sponsors. The display includes more than 1000 alternathera plants to form a floral message, fitting this year’s theme ‘Proud of our town’.
Accompanying the display, is the newly planted, Cobbler’s Last in Abington Street. The sculpture was decorated on Tuesday, June 25 with geraniums, provided by Cramden Nurseries.
Other venues which were visited included St Giles’ Terrace, Becket’s Park, the University of Northampton, Workbridge Billing Road Allotments and Bridgewater Primary School.
Over 30 community groups, 10 schools, 11 businesses and 17 residents and three allotments signed up to the competition this year, brightening up their neighbourhoods, gardens, parks and community buildings with floral and planted displays.
Working with Veolia and idverde, the borough council has also installed 573 hanging baskets on business premises, bus stops and lamp posts in the past month. This is in addition to 134 barrier baskets along main traffic routes and ten large floral stands dotted around the town centre and updated floral displays across the town’s parks.
Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment and chair of the Northampton Bloom committee, said: “Inspired by last year’s achievements in the East Midlands in Bloom and Britain in Bloom competitions, a large number of community groups, schools, businesses and residents from across the borough have been working hard to get ready for this year’s competition.
“Our annual entry is part of our commitment to investing in Northampton and making it a place that people can enjoy, and we are looking forward to showing judges a selection of the wonderful floral displays which are brightening up the town.”
Keith McGurk, regional director for Veolia said: “Veolia and idverde, our partner for grounds maintenance, have been supporting Northampton Borough Council with the In Bloom campaign. This edition is of particular importance to us as this is the first one since our teams undertook a deep clean of the town.
“Together with idverde, we have worked hard over the past 12 months to make the town cleaner and tidier and a more enjoyable place to live for everyone. idverde have also provided support to many local community-based In Bloom groups, including plant donations, and horticultural advice. We look forward to showing the judges the town that we are all so proud of.”