Town misses gold bloom award – by two points

Sleaford In Bloom members celebrate their highest ever judges' score. From left - Becky Mayfield, George Oakman, Penny Borrill, Maureen Bramley, Una Watson and Pauline Dobson. EMN-150929-121355001

Sleaford In Bloom members celebrate their highest ever judges' score. From left - Becky Mayfield, George Oakman, Penny Borrill, Maureen Bramley, Una Watson and Pauline Dobson. EMN-150929-121355001

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Sleaford volunteers are celebrating, but kicking themselves at the same time, for falling just two marks short of a first ever gold award in this year’s East Midlands In Bloom competition.

Sleaford In Bloom committee secretary Becky Mayfield said: “The judge’s report is a cause for celebration and pride in our town as we received the highest marks in the history of Sleaford In Bloom.”

The judges spent over two hours on a tour of the town led by committee members in July and made their recommendations for the award ceremony at Rutland Water Golf Club attended by Sleaford members last week.

Mrs Mayfield said: “We try to show as many positive aspects as we can as well as what is being done by voluntary groups and the councils. It is something for us all to keep working on.”

Sadly the garden of Michele Weston, of Millfield Terrace, could not be judged after all as it was a rear garden not on view to the public, but a community garden on Northgate, led by Pauline Dobson in a Sleaford In Bloom initiative to create a space from some dead ground for youngsters from the adjacent flats, came in for praise, as did the “unexpected delight” of Westgate Park, which the judges felt deserved greater emphasis.

The judges particularly praised the partnership working with the community, saying: “The Sleaford in Bloom team work seamlessly with the Town Council and North Kesteven, as well as specific partners such as William Alvey School, Hill Holt Wood Trust, the National Citizenship service and others.”

They were introduced to members of William Alvey School’s Sparkle Club which gives extra suport and an alternative emotional outlet for youngsters through gardening.

Areas for improvement included an urge to fill up vacant plots on allotments and a greater consistency in container plants dotted around the town. Some post boxes, litter bins and railings needed repainting and weed growth on the Galley Hill Bridge was singled out, something the team were encouraged see resolved by the relevant owners.