Sidmouth In Bloom – hope springs eternal for later in the year

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 March 2020

Sidmouth in Bloom was awarded Gold and the Sargent Cup in 2019. Ref shs 42 19TI 2404. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth in Bloom was awarded Gold and the Sargent Cup in 2019. Ref shs 42 19TI 2404. Picture: Terry Ife


This year’s Sidmouth In Bloom competition has been cancelled because of the coronavirus, but organisers are sowing the seeds for better times in the future.

Sidmouth In Bloom volunteers, the Sidplanters   Picture: Lynette TalbotSidmouth In Bloom volunteers, the Sidplanters Picture: Lynette Talbot

The Royal Horticultural Society has announced that it will not be running the regional or national awards

The Chelsea Flower Show, where Sidmouth was going to exhibit for the first time, has also been called off.

But Sidmouth’s keen gardeners are still planning to cultivate the seedlings they started before the virus crisis hit, and plant them out in the town, so far as the restrictions allow.

The secretary and treasurer of Sidmouth In Bloom, Peter Endersby, said: “The Sid Planters cleaned out our polytunnel over winter and carried out some spring refurbishment in preparation for growing on plants already sown by us in our greenhouse.

Sidmouth In Bloom's Peter Endersby   Picture:  Lynette TalbotSidmouth In Bloom's Peter Endersby Picture: Lynette Talbot

“The tunnel is isolated and hopefully will be able to receive the specialist plants for the 3D marine displays and the return of an old 3D planted favourite of Sidmouth – all to be planted out by ourselves (with due regards to restrictions) this year due to rising costs.

“We hope that work will be enabled to go ahead as planned in the tunnel and in parks and gardens in time for summer planting out in the town.”

The full statement from Sidmouth In Bloom can be seen on the Herald’s letters page.

Last year Sidmouth won a gold award in the regional contest, along with the Sargent trophy for outstanding effort and dedication.

This year the town was in the running for national glory after being nominated for a national gold award in the Large Coastal Town category, along with Bexhill-on-Sea, and St Helier in Jersey.

Local awards were planned, in the spring competition, in which the judges were looking for ‘tidiness, quirkiness, and obvious enthusiasm and pride’ rather than conventional horticultural expertise.

Although that contest has been called off, Mr Endersby said: “We hope that things will have settled down by July for our summer competition judging, leading up to our Town Award evening in September.”

Sidmouth in Bloom is still looking for sponsorship and support for this year’s work. For details of how to contribute, see the Herald’s letters page.

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