‘First class’ Sidmouth pulls out the stops to impress in bloom judges

Sidmouth in Bloom with South West in Bloom judges Tony Moore and Ian Murphy. Ref shs 29 19TI 8113. P

Sidmouth in Bloom with South West in Bloom judges Tony Moore and Ian Murphy. Ref shs 29 19TI 8113. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Impressed judges have praised Sidmouth’s ‘fantastic’ horticulture and ‘first class’ community involvement.

Ian Murphy and Tony Moore, from South West in Bloom, took a tour of the town on Monday starting with a presentation at the Belmont Hotel.

The judges had been delayed after rubble and gravel partially blocked Four Elms Hill.

The town is once again competing for the Sargent Cup and hopes to claim another gold after a recent string of success in both the regional and national competitions.

Mr Moore said the town had made great improvements since his last visit some years ago.

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He said: "Today has been fantastic. It's been one highlight after another. The standard of horticulture and community involvement in Sidmouth is just absolutely first class.

"Lynette [Talbot] has changed the tour to reflect that but that didn't detract from the fact the horticulture is absolutely fabulous."

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The judges will visit seven places in the Sargent Cup category including Wotton Bassett and Babbacombe.

Lynette Talbot, chairman of Sidmouth in Bloom, said: "The Belmont Hotel was a great place to start the tour. The judges want the wow factor at the beginning and by going to places like the Belmont or any equivalent hotel on the water front you start with a bang. The sky suddenly went blue, the weather was with us."

During the tour the judges met gardeners, volunteers and member of East Devon District Council StreetScene who all played a part in making the town beautiful.

For the first time Sidmouth Victoria Hospital's therapeutic garden was included on the tour.

The SIB chairman added: "They met a number of gardeners which is important as we want to show its not just Sidmouth in Bloom, its everyone working together to improve the gardens and townscape."

A number of community groups and spaces were viewed as part of the Royal Horticultural Society's Its Your Neighbourhood (IYN) scheme.

The Witheby entrance garden, chairman's garden, Friends of The Byes, Sidmouth Arboretum, Sidbashers, Sidcombers and the sensory garden will be considered for an IYN award.

Sidmouth in Bloom will have to wait until October for the results. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Newquay.

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