Petal power pays off for gardeners

Bexhill recipients of awards for South and South East In Bloom competition 2012

Bexhill recipients of awards for South and South East In Bloom competition 2012

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BEXHILL was among award winners in this year’s South and South-East In Bloom event, and last Thursday these were presented at a special ceremony in Fareham, Hampshire.

It was attended by Sandy Melvin, chairman of Bexhill in Bloom; Cllr Stuart Wood, Bexhill’s immediate past Mayor; Sean Towey from John O’Conner grounds maintenance and Barbara Jeub, who looks after the Remembrance Garden at St Mark’s Church, Little Common.

In the Coastal Category, scores were tight and Bexhill-on-Sea received a Silver Gilt, being pipped to the post by a single point which made Herne Bay in Kent this year’s winner.

Little Common gained a bronze medal in the Small Village Category, the winner being Hartfield, while in the Small Parks category The Polegrove - a first time entry for Bexhill - also received bronze. The winner was Kipling Gardens, Rottingdean. In the Large Park Category, Bexhill’s Egerton Park received silver, along with four other entrants. The overall group winner was Boscombe Gardens, Bournemouth. Small City winner was event host Fareham, and Town of the Year was Rustington which gained several accolades, including the Sussex County Award.

Geoff Loader, from sponsors Southern Water, revealed that last year the company had thought of pulling out unless entries increased. He was delighted, therefore, to announce that entries had risen by around a third.

Chris Collins, from BBC television’s Blue Peter, gave a talk mentioning the summer ‘drought’ which had in fact seen lots of heavy rain. This had encouraged slugs and snails and had generally made life difficult for growers.

He said the Blue Peter garden had moved from London to Manchester where he did lots of work with schools. Chris added: “The big buzzword at present is austerity. And unfortunately the first thing to suffer is parks and gardens.”Commenting on Bexhill’s efforts, Sandy Melvin, said: “I’m delighted, Much of the praise for these high awards has to go to Sean Towey of John O’Conner and his team who have made the town look so resplendent.”

Bexhill in Bloom Awards take place on Monday, September 24 at St John’s Church Hall, Victoria Road, with light refreshments from 5.15pm and the opening at 6pm by Brett Mclean.