Today, Thursday July 29, Marlborough’s Town Mayor, Mark Cooper, welcomed Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judge, Rod Pooley to the town. This is the 7th year that Marlborough has entered South West in bloom (SWIB) competition. Marlborough won gold in 2019, but the competition was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
South West in Bloom is one of eighteen regional/national competitions that make up Britain in Bloom, the biggest horticultural campaign in Europe. The aim of the communities that take part each year is to improve and regenerate our local environments, through the imaginative planting of trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping, conservation and recycling projects, and to sweep away the eyesores that blight our streets, such as litter, graffiti and vandalism.
A careful route around the town was planned for Judge Rod starting and finishing at the Town Hall and showing Marlborough at its blooming best. The route zigzagged down the High Street to St Peter’s, through the Priory Gardens, Coopers Meadow, Waterfront Gardens, The Parade, Wye House Gardens and St Mary’s Churchyard.
Clare Harris, Assistant Town Clerk, told Marlborough.news, “We’re really excited. This is the 7th year of entering and at the end of a very long 18 months, it’s something positive for the town. Fingers crossed we go for gold again. A really big thank you to all the people who have helped to make our entry possible.”
Earlier in the week volunteers met in The Parade for the second Tidy Town Day. Nigel Weatherly, Town Council Grounds Manager, was assisting and distributing garden tools. Nigel said, “It has been slightly more difficult this year because of Covid but as always we’re up for the challenge and we’ll try our best.”
In addition to the SWIB competition, the RHS also run ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ which is a unique scheme for volunteer led community gardening projects/groups who are focused on improving their local environment through community gardening. Judges visit, award a rating and a certificate.
Clare Harris commented, “We are very lucky to have some very active local groups already involved in the IYN part of the competition. These groups work tirelessly to keep their areas looking amazing, not just for judging day, but all year round. Why don’t you visit one of our established IYN’s which are dotted all around town?”
Stonebridge Wild River Reserve | The Plume of Feathers Garden | Cooper’s Meadow | The Community Orchard | Wye House Gardens | Wye House Residents | The Victorian Cemetery | St John’s Residents Community Garden | The Merchants House Garden | The Waterfront Garden at Kennet Place | St Peter’s Churchyard | Kingsbury Square | 1st Marlborough Brownies | Marlborough & District Housing Association Community Garden | Preshute School Project | Savernake View Care Home | Highfield Residents’ Garden
The results of SWIB and It’s Your Neighbourhood will be announced at an awards ceremony in the autumn.