Storrington’s In Bloom competition has now been judged and the finalists, in no particular order, are:
1 Love Lane
99 Hormare Cresent
Thyme Cottage, Melton Drive
9 Bramber Avenue
3 Amberley Road
22b Amberley Road
35 Amberley Road
22 Amberley Road
1, Amberley Road
Together with the winners of the public votes in the two categories for businesses, open until July 30, and the two children’s competitions (youth group wheelbarrow competition and grow a sunflower challenge), these and other entrants will be invited to attend Storrington’s Awards Evening at Squires Garden Centre on 17th September, to discover who have won the top prizes for 2015.
As July 21 approached, volunteers in Storrington were ensuring that all the displays in the town were just so, to present a brilliant floral impression to the South & South East in Bloom judges.
The Clean Up Day occurred just 2 days before, with volunteers sweeping, weeding and litter picking before they were happy with the result.
The itinerary for the judging day was meticulously planned by Jo Newington, owner of the Village Florist and coordinator of Storrington In Bloom, with timed stops along a route around the town, including other key volunteers to talk about specific projects.
The judges arrived on time at 10am, and were greeted by Rachel Swansborough, Sue Craig, Pat Mansbridge, David Wright and Councillor Jim Sanson, at Foxmead Court, Manley’s Hill, thanks to the hospitality of McCarthy & Stone. Over tea and coffee, the scene was set by the team, including the group’s plans for 2015/16.
All then alighted the awaiting Storrington Community Minibus, and set off for Rydon Community College, to meet the students that produced the Flower Fairies, the theme for 2015, displayed around the village, and rustic signs.
Onwards to Fryern Dell, Storrington Conservation Society’s major project, where the judges were impressed with the work volunteers are undertaking to restore this 35 acre site to its former glory.
After viewing the village’s memorial pond, Amberley Road Allotments and Matt’s Wood, the Minibus brought the judges to Ryecroft Lane, where they began a walking tour past the Mill Pond, viewing the wildflower ribbon, the wonderful wheelbarrow display, the In Bloom shop in Mill Square, the refurbished telephone box and a couple of local shop window displays before finally reaching the Place Villerest display including the fairies made by Rydon Community College.
After checking out the H2O2Go watering cart’s clever design, essential equipment for any successful flowering display, and the inevitable photocall, the volunteers and judges gathered at the Moon pub for a relaxing lunch in the pub’s garden, and exchanged their many stories of the months before, and the day itself.
It just remains to thank all those many volunteers who have contributed so many hours to the work achieved, Storrington In Bloom’s many sponsors, including Squires Garden Centres, David Wilson Homes, Costa Coffee, McCarthy & Stone, Waitrose, Village Nurseries, Wood ‘n Pots’n Things and The Chanctonbury Lions and hope they will be ‘on board’ for another year of horticultural challenge in 2016!
Report and pictures contributed by David Wright.