‘Fireworks’ as bloom judges praise town

Sidmouth In Bloom judging took place at the weekend. Ref shs 3596-30-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth In Bloom judging took place at the weekend. Ref shs 3596-30-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

The ‘creativity and innovation’ of hard-working volunteers havs seen them showered with praise by South West In Bloom judges.

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) experts Bob Sweet and Tim Eley cast their eye over the town, guided by Sidmouth in Bloom chairman Lynette Talbot, on Saturday.

The group is hoping it still has the golden touch, despite battling a recent spate of vandalism and illness.

During his visit, judge Mr Sweet said: “We have met representatives from the community who are extremely enthusiastic and I think it is very clear to us there is a very strong team working together here. The results are here for everyone to see.

“There is lots of creativity and innovation.

“We have seen everything from a fireworks display of colours that are relaxing and subtle.

“There is a great deal of skill involved in being able to produce gardens that provide different atmospheres for different people.”

Most Read

Both judges have visited Sidmouth in the past, with Mr Eley returning for the second year running to inspect whether the team had improved upon his recommendations. He said the views surrounding the café in Connaught Gardens was one of his highlights of the tour.

Mr Eley added: “When we walked up the steps and saw this incredible view, it is really nice to look through the arches out to sea behind.”

The judges also inspected community involvement as part of the RHS’s It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme.

Sidmouth in Bloom chairman Lynette praised the work of East Devon District Council (EDDC) StreetScene staff - in particular gardener Alan Fowler - for their help in preparing for the competition.

She said: “They did a fantastic job, the town was looking good. I think they are the unsung heroes.”

Committee member Cheryl Allen added: “Sidmouth in Bloom thank all the members of the Sid Valley who cleaned bus stops, verges and gutters near their homes and gathered every scrap so effectively that judge Bob Sweet said he had never seen such a clean town.”

The results of the competition will be announced at Dartmouth Naval College in September.