Farnham In Bloom's band of volunteers and Farnham Town Council pulled out all the stops this week to ensure the town was in tip-top condition and ready for the judging of its entries into the Town Centre and Large Town categories of South and South East in Bloom.
In preparation for the judges’ arrival on July 7 and 12, a task force was out and about making sure the judging route was free from litter, graffiti and fly-posting and that the grass was cut, weeds were removed and the plants were healthy.
Councillor Matthew Brown, the town council's lead member for the environment, said: “The theme for this year’s planting is bold! We’ve challenged convention by starting to move away from traditional bedding plants and replacing them with big showy alternatives.
"We’ve mixed up the flowers so you will see lupins and hostas alongside geraniums and impatiens in the troughs and planters and, in Downing Street, you’ll even see trailing strawberries in the hanging baskets. Our vision was to create a cheery, cottage style vibe which people can replicate at home.”
Despite the challenges of the dry weather, the plants are thriving. This is mainly due to action that Farnham in Bloom has taken to be more environmentally-friendly.
Ten per cent fewer bedding plants have been used this year and more perennials have been planted which require less watering and maintenance, are more sustainable and attractive to pollinating insects.
The Farnham in Bloom team also continue to conserve water. River water is used as an alternative to drinking water when watering the plants, all troughs and baskets have a reservoir so no water is wasted, and mulching locks in moisture reducing the need for watering.
Councillor Brown added: “There’s no doubt that without the loyal support of our volunteers and the financial and in kind support from sponsors we wouldn’t be able to achieve half as much as what we do.
"My special thanks go to our 2023 Gold sponsors who are The Patio Blackspot Removal Company Ltd, BBS Ltd, Squire’s Garden Centre and the Wildflower Turf Company.”
Farnham will discover the In Bloom judges' verdicts later this summer.