Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Judges impressed with a blooming Watlington

JUDGES for the regional Britain in Bloom contest visited Watlington this week.

JUDGES for the regional Britain in Bloom contest visited Watlington this week.

The town is looking to retain the gold award it won for the large village category in the Thames Valley and Chilterns region competition last year. It was also a warm-up for the national judging which will take place on August 6.

On Monday, three judges were given a tour of the car park, where space has been created for planters, the primary school, the White Mark in Watlington Hill, the care home, Mansle Gardens and the Paddock.

Tim Horton, chairman of the Watlington in Bloom committee, praised residents and businesses for making an extra effort to make the town look attractive for the judges.

He said: “What I noticed is how well everyone has responded by putting extra flowers in the window or cutting hedges. The judges have been full of nothing but praise and it was a wonderful afternoon.

“It’s a rehearsal for our even bigger day next month when we will hope to do well in the national competition. If we do that we will place Watlington on the horticultural map.” The committee also provided the judges with a 40-page portfolio showing the annual cycle of horticultural events that have taken place in the town.

They then gave a presentation in the town hall, which will be repeated to the public in the same venue on October 18.

Cllr Horton said: “We do this afresh every year. The presentation gets to be really quite a sophisticated show.”

Parish council chairman Ian Hill said he was “absolutely delighted” with how good the paddock looked.

“It’s looking its best for years. It’s always been popular but Watlington in Bloom have put in so much effort this year that it’s quite outstanding,” he said.

“The committee really have exceeded themselves this year. They’ve put in hours and hours of work with the odd bit of help.”

Celia Ridley, one of the judges, said she loved the planters in front of the town hall.

She said: “I liked how the evergreen trees are in the same shape as the White Mark in Watlington Hill, which is supposed to look like a spiral of the church.”

The results of the regional competition will be announced in Reading in September.

and the winner of the national competition will be revealed the following month in a ceremony in Lincolnshire.

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