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'In Bloom' Taking Pride in Your Patch
The Town Council run Prudhoe in Bloom competition has been going since 2005, with a few changes along the way;
In 2007 the competition expanded to include rear gardens, and in 2008 a new category was created for Churches, and one for Schools. The Prudhoe in Bloom group continue to think of ways to generate more interest in the competition and this year an element of environmental responsibility was created, giving additional points to those gardens that have a bird feeder, pond, water butt, insect-friendly planting or a compost bin/heap.
Sadly there has been a decline in the number of residential entries so the Prudhoe in Bloom Group and Town Council will be looking at ways to encourage more entries; having said that, the standard remains very high. So high that in 2015 we asked our wonderful judge Mrs Vivienne Bolton to avoid any ties, so she was forced to be very picky indeed.
We are proud to say that we have had the same residential judge, Mrs Vivienne Bolton, from the start. Mrs Bolton continues to enjoy visiting the gardens in Prudhoe and describes that horticultural standards have improved each year and clearly entrants try really hard. There is a great effort made by all who enter and we really are very lucky to be able to celebrate and praise such effort.
Our remarkable schools support this competition each year, not being deterred by the judging visit in the very last week of school before the summer break. Vivienne and Dean Readman of Hollybush Landscaping are our school garden judges and they take great pleasure in speaking to pupils about their school gardens; sharing stories of success and garden disasters which is all part of the learning process.
We are so grateful to the schools for welcoming us into their gardens each year and for allowing the children to share their enthusiasm and learning with the judges. Having judged the school gardens last year too, Vivienne and Dean were able to appreciate the huge changes made and in all schools, remarkable progress. Gardening in schools is very educational and the commitment of pupils and teachers is fundamental to the finished and very impressive results. All prize vouchers for the school entries have been donated by Tyne Valley Garden Centre, Mickley.
Vivienne and Dean Readman also judged our church gardens this year, all of which are maintained by volunteers and some of which were visited by our Northumbria in Bloom judges too, as a wonderful example of the town.
Again the vouchers awarded to the winner and runner-up have been donated by Tyne Valley Garden Centre
Due to limited number entering the business element of ‘Prudhoe in Bloom’, a decision was made to extend the judging criteria to include ‘taking pride in your patch’. The group felt it was time to commend those businesses doing their best for the town – brightening up and looking after their small piece of Prudhoe, attracting visitors and impressing residents. This encompasses everything from window displays to floral displays but it is not prescriptive.
Local volunteers Mr Peter Nevin and Mr James Dobson were our judges and although they live in, and actively explore the town, even they found some surprises and hidden gems on route.
This is not a competition whereby businesses are pitted against each other; it is a commendation for effort and achievement for which the awards can be seen below.
In Bloom Working Group
There is an 'In Bloom' working group of the Town Council that meets as necessary during the year, and attracts those keen and interested in the appearance of the town. As well as helping to oversee the Prudhoe in Bloom competition, the group share ideas and present proposals to the town council, for spending on environmental issues. Members are also actively involved in other groups that meet to tidy up the town (Prudhoe Ground Force).
The group is also responsible for the town's entry to Northumbria in Bloom; 2015 saw our re-entry into this competition, following a 2 year break.
In 2012 the Town achieved a Silver Gilt overall, as well as Gold awards for Prudhoe Gardener's Association Allotments and Ferndene Children and Young People's In-Patient Hospital, and Silver Medals for Our Lady & St Cuthberts Catholic Church and Eastgate Manor Care Home, Mickley.
This year (2015) the town received a Silver Gilt Award and the residential gardens of Mr Howdon (High Shaw, Prudhoe) and Mr & Mrs Batey (Park Lane, Prudhoe) that were entered into Best Front Garden, won GOLD awards. This is a great achievement in this regional competition and the pictures below show their beautiful gardens.
Mr Rob Howdon
Mr Rob Howdon
Mr James Batey & Mrs Sheila Batey
Mr James Batey & Mrs Sheila Batey
Please click on the link for full details of the awards made by Northumbria in Bloom.
There are also community groups in the town who are part of Northumbria in Bloom, 'It's Your Neighbourhood', further details can be found on the dedicated website, the results of which are yet to be annouced.