Volunteers from local groups join judges and councillors in Bloxwich Promenade Gardens

Blooming Bloxwich could be a winner

Experts from the Royal Horticultural Society continued their tour of Walsall’s five district centres last Wednesday as part of this year’s ‘Heart of England in Bloom’ competition.

This time, Bloxwich and Brownhills were put under the horticultural spotlight, to see if they will go forward to the next stages of the national event.

Before the official walkabout started, judges Graham Redfern and Trish Willetts were joined in the Promenade Gardens, at the northern end of Bloxwich High Street, Walsall’s Mayor, Councillor Kath Phillips and Councillor Julie Fitzpatrick, portfolio holder for community, leisure and culture.  Both councillors represent Bloxwich East. Local volunteers also joined them on their inspection tour, as well as the youngest gardener of them all – Councillor Fitzpatrick’s

Local volunteers from groups including the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix, St Giles Walsall Hospice and the new Bloxwich Carnival Queen plus Council staff also joined them on their inspection tour, as well as the youngest gardener of them all – Councillor Fitzpatrick’s one-year-old grandson.

Ready to rock!

Bloxwich and Brownhills were well prepared though, and with the help of local volunteers, businesses and school children – did their towns proud.

The earlier and dedicated planting, pruning and watering schedule meant that the judges were greeted and treated to a truly groomed and colour splashed landscape, which has been the subject of much comment locally.   All five of this year’s entries are competing in the Urban Community Category and were co-ordinated by Walsall Council’s district centre management team.

Local pride

Councillor Julie Fitzpatrick said “The Mayor and I were very proud to escort the Royal Horticultural Society judges. All the hard work that went into the tour was very much in evidence as Bloxwich and Brownhills were absolutely blooming and brilliant.

“Results like this don’t happen overnight – it takes real community planning, commitment and structure and underlines the importance we place on raising the profile of the five district centres.   I’m sure the Royal Horticultural Society was impressed by the large scale planting projects that we have in place and the infectious team spirit that was out yesterday in spades!”

Judging

The Heart of England in Bloom competition annually attracts over 1,350 entries from small villages to large cities. If successful the five district centres could go forward into the national Britain in Bloom event.

This year’s Judges will be looking at three main categories which are

  • Horticultural achievement
  • Environmental awareness
  • Community involvement.

The Heart of England Regional Awards Ceremony will take place in Aldridge on 15 September 2016 at the Church Rooms Aldridge Green.

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