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Prudhoe in Bloom 2018
Facebook contains a video of the photographs taken during judging visits, please click HERE to view.
Mayor, Councillor Tracy Gilmore welcomed a wonderful collective of residents to the Prudhoe in Bloom 2018 Awards Presentation on Saturday 22nd September.
Cllr Tracy Gilmore described the changes in the competition over the years.
The first big change was introducing an element of environmental responsibility into gardening – bonus points for water butts, compost bins, insect friendly plants and flowers (aren’t they all) and bird feeders and ponds. It was a break from the norm but the 'In Bloom' group felt that it was important to make clear that it’s not just about the attractiveness of the garden, what goes on behind the scenes is also important; recycling, saving water and encouraging wildlife.
The second and most personal change to the ‘In Bloom’ competition was the introduction of the Pauline Howdon Hanging Basket award. Right up to her death in 2015 Pauline was a champion of the Prudhoe in Bloom competition, rightly proud of the beautiful gardens she and husband Rob had achieved. Pauline was a lady who was generous in thought and deed and Rob, who still enters the competition, is very proud that this trophy has been created in her name.
The third innovation was to introduce the ‘community award’. This was born from our friends at Paddock Close, who still support the competition, and although achieving wonderful displays in their front gardens, didn’t want to be pitted against each other. The ‘In Bloom’ group didn’t see this as a problem; they used it as an opportunity and created an element of the competition that would commend those who garden for each other. ‘Taking Pride in Your Patch’ came to life and the hope was that the Paddock Wood posse would inspire others to do the same – they have and community gardening has sprung up in other areas of the town. We are sure there are many more examples of this and hope that every year more people get involved. The Community Award isn’t just about gardening; it’s about the difference it makes in the community and the benefits not just to those involved but to those living nearby.
For the first year ever Prudhoe Town Council and Prudhoe in Bloom agreed that there should be a ‘Community Champion Award’, to be presented to an individual who goes the extra mile, and in this case literally as well as figuratively. Many townsfolk will have seen this person about and thought ‘she deserves a medal'. The winner of the 'Community Champion' award for 2018 is Marion Lewis and she was presented with a glass keepsake by way of thanks for the endless hours litter collecting, slaying Himalayan Balsam and generally being an all-round wonderful human being.
It is clear to see what was a gardening competition has become a celebration of community spirit and pride and the reason for this is the community spirited volunteers who are involved: Moira Wooldridge, Janet Porter, James Dobson and this year Cllr Chris Cuthbert and Cllr Russ Greig who are committed to celebrating what is good about this town.
Please click on the link below to view all the entries and winners, with some photographs from the presentation at the end.