Growing success for Leighton-Linslade

Anglia in Bloom judging in Leighton Buzzard 2017
Anglia in Bloom judging in Leighton Buzzard 2017

Leighton-Linslade has been showered in praise for its beautiful blooms thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers, writes Ian Haynes, Head of Grounds and Environmental Services at Leighton-Linslade Town Council.

The Friends of Leighton-Linslade in Bloom, the Town Council’s own Grounds and Environmental Services team and organisations in Leighton-Linslade all played their part when judges toured the town as part of the annual Anglia in Bloom competition.

Anglia in Bloom judging in Leighton Buzzard 2017

Anglia in Bloom judging in Leighton Buzzard 2017

Everyone behind this year’s campaign is delighted that the town has retained its Gold Award in the regional horticultural contest. (http://bit.ly/2jw9rKv)

This year is probably our best entry into Anglia in Bloom; so many areas look fantastic. The community effort is just amazing and is some of the best in the Anglia region without a doubt.

Cllr Steve Jones said: “The number of individuals and groups who continue to play a precious part in the in Bloom campaign in Leighton-Linslade is brilliant, their untiring efforts do the town proud.”

All of the late night meetings over the winter and months of preparations come down to only 2½ hours to showcase the town.

Anglia in Bloom judging in Leighton Buzzard 2017

Anglia in Bloom judging in Leighton Buzzard 2017

Starting off at the White House for a brief presentation covering work and projects, not on the judging route, it’s off to the Library, where the Knitters display made the Judges smile as they read the book titles. Read the titles to see what amused them.

I Like Weeding by Manual Labour

Ouch by A. B. Stung

Poisonous Plants by Dudley Nightshade

Bad Gardeners by Wilt Plant

Winning the Race by Vic Tree

Murder in the Potting Shed by Ivy Trellis

Raising Flowers by Hand by Flo Wrist

If you haven’t seen the displays based on literature with a gardening theme it is a must. They are in the windows of the Library until September.

We continued to visit our Community Garden in Pages Park where the Judges met John and his band of volunteers from the Friends of Leighton-Linslade in Bloom. As always, the garden looked full of colour, quickly commented on by the Judges as was the quantity of bees and other insects on the flowers. This is one of our Special Award entries again this year.

If you haven’t visited the garden put it on your, to do list as we are sure you will be in for a very pleasant surprise.

From there we went to Steve’s allotment on Weston Avenue. The Judges appreciated the hours that Steve spends cultivating his plot. It’s a garden with vegetables and fruit trees so carefully manicured and laid out. This is also entered for a Special Award. One Judge couldn’t help trying the gooseberries.

Parson’s Close was our next destination to meet some children from Pulfords School who, with Victoria Harvey from South Beds Friends of the Earth, have been completing a bee survey. The pupils’ knowledge impressed the Judges.

Daphne explained about our School Hanging Basket competition as the entries are all displayed along the diagonal path in Parson’s Close. This year Sandhills Rainbows won the competition.

Then it was off to Church Square to see the improved floral display with higher planters to complement the monolith of granite. The new tiered planters looked impressive with their vibrant pink flowers. David explained the history of the area. and the Judges popped in to see the church even though it was off our route.

We drove past the Flypast Monument and River Bridge both looking very special this year. Then off through Linslade to Mentmore Park and Memorial Garden where the Judges met pupils from different years at St George’s Lower School who were completing a bee survey and watched their Waggle Dance.

We moved on to the Tiddenfoot Waterside Park where the Judges were driven around to see the work of the active volunteer group. Tiddenfoot is a Special Award (Conservation Project) and a superbly managed site for wildlife. It is also entered as a Special Award this year.

The new Friends of Leighton-Linslade in Bloom Community Garden site in Linslade Recreation Ground was the next stop. Not much to see in the way of floral display, just a work in progress preparing to be a highlight in future years. With volunteer help next year it should be a riot of colour.

Nearly there, just two more stops. We were dropped at the bottom of the High Street and walked to Peacock Mews. The Judges were interested in the history of the area and how vibrant and lively it is nowadays especially when it hosts an event like the May Fayre, Big Lunch or Christmas Eve Carols.

There was a pleasant bustle of activity for a Thursday but we still managed to pick out features on the Children’s Trail and the various floral displays. The hanging baskets, tiered planters and Town sign all looked great thanks to the hard work done by the Grounds team at the Town Council. Peacock Mews is a hidden gem in Leighton Buzzard. A quaint area with shops and a café so peaceful away from the bustle on the High Street. The floral displays there are impressive. We entered it as a Special Award. If you haven’t visited recently it’s something else for your to do list.

Finally, we went around North Street Roundabout which is looking stunning with its array of barrier baskets. This has also been entered for a Special Award.

On Judging Day this year, the sun didn’t shine very much but the enthusiasm of the volunteers and the floral displays made up for that.

In total this year’s entry sees us submit 12 separate entries including Cemeteries, Parks and local pubs. So to win nine Golds is just fantastic.

Our Town looked better than ever!!!