|Smith and Son - Vaulting Ambition - Gold - but not judged alongside the rest as this was a commercial entry|
Although the flower beds need to be realistic and capable of growing on in a park, these are flower beds with a difference and most will tell a story of some sort. This year the brief had requested a theme of Olympic sports and amongst the various beds, we have a long jumper, yachtsman, two archers, a swimming pool, cyclists, kayaker, surfers and golf (it doesn't become an Olympic sport till 2016 so forward thinking!) Standards are very high and as judges we looked carefully at the quality of plants, the design of the displays, their creativity and the difficulty of achieving the end result. We awarded three gold-medals, three silvergilt's, two silvers and two bronze. Some of the exhibitors showed great initiative such as the huge spreading tree produced by Dumfries and Galloway, constructed with a framework and a huge head of the tiny creeping plant Sagina. The three wheeled bicycle with two cyclists, pedalling away from each other from Lancaster added a touch of fun!
|Lancaster City - Way of the Roses - Silver Gilt|
|Frinton in Bloom - Bullseye - Silver Gilt|
|Darlington - The Long Jumper - Silver Gilt|
|Dumfries & Galloway - Scotland Home of Golf - Silver|
|Partington - Bowman of Bucklow - Gold|
The winning flowerbed is 'Surfing Jersey' by the Parish of St Helier, although my own personal favourite is the Olympic Breeze created by Birmingham City Council. (Judges don't always all agree!) This is just filled with detail and the yacht, jetty and seagulls all 3D carpet bedding. As the yacht flies through the water you can imagine the spray created using white antirhinums, nicotiana and blue and white agapanthus - quite dynamic!
|Parish of St Helier - Surfing Jersey - Gold & Best in Show|
|Birmingham - Olympic Breeze - Gold|
|Another view of Birmingham|
|How about this for detail - a tiny tuft of moss in the rock - Birmingham again!|
|The pole vaulter's derriere! - A Gold Award!|
|The surfer's butt - he's a big lad!|
I was tempted to report this at the judges moderation meeting but resisted the urge as the proceedings were being filmed. I didn't particularly wish to go down to posterity - pun intended - as the judge who had made a bum joke at moderation!