Ripon’s record for blooming marvellous flower displays will face its biggest challenge this summer in the national Britain in Bloom competition.
Hot on the heels of winning gold in last year’s Yorkshire in Bloom competition, organisers of Ripon in Bloom are branching out to ensure their success continues to flower when they compete at national level.
Ripon in Bloom chairman Craig Scorer told the Gazette: “There is only a little group of about eight of us, but we will have so much to show the judges when they come to see our displays in late July or early August.”
Despite the chilly weather, Ripon’s horticulture enthusiasts have been braving the elements to work on their flower projects at Temple Gardens on Allhallowgate, Bedern Bank and Goose Common.
After being plucked out from more than 1,000 entrants to take part in the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom UK Finals this year, green-fingered volunteers have been hard at work sprucing up their ongoing projects in the city.
Volunteer Brenda Anderson – who has sat on the Ripon in Bloom committee for more than 20 years and is the longest serving member of the committee – will head out on to the streets of Ripon on Sunday, March 10 to clean up the flower boxes and hang up new baskets.
Mrs Anderson told the Gazette the committee will produce a portfolio of its work before the judges arrive, and spend two and a half hours giving them a thorough tour of the flower displays.
Ripon is one of 80 finalists in the country’s biggest voluntary campaign, which involves more than 300,000 people. It will compete in the Large Towns category.
Temple Gardens has so far been improved with the addition of a new gateway and a pagoda in the central area. Bulbs have also been planted and a litter bin added to combat the problem of rubbish being dropped in the gardens. Shrubs at Bedern Bank have started to flourish and weeding, litter picking and pruning maintenance work is ongoing.
“We feel the flower bed has considerably enhanced the area,” said Mrs Anderson.
Plans are now in place to a build a wild flower patch and a bug hotel – with bird and bat boxes in the trees made by the Walled Garden Scheme – at Goose Common.