Entries mounting for Kingston in Bloom
Entries are mounting for this year’s Kingston in Bloom as gardeners welcomed the return of the competition.
The closing date for entries is fast approaching, but there is still time to put forward your gardens in the three categories – best back garden, best front garden and best community garden – before final submissions on July 16.
Kingston Council was forced to cancel the competition, which cost £5,000, due to “unprecedented financial pressure” on spending.
But thanks to Kingston Orchard Project, which agreed to help us judge the competition, John Lewis and Homebase, which both agreed to put up a prize, the competition is back on.
Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey was the first to congratulate us on the return of Kingston in Bloom.
He said: “Kingston is a beautiful town and it is great the Comet is keeping it blooming.”
Richmond and Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith echoed the Liberal Democrat and said he was pleased the competition was back on.
He said: “Congratulations to the Comet, and thanks to the Kingston Orchard Project and John Lewis.”
Kingston Council said it could no longer justify the £5,000 expense and 20 days’ officer time each year that it took to run the gardening competition, but it has agreed to offer advice.
John Lewis agreed to donate two top gardening prizes for this year’s Kingston in Bloom.
It initially offered to put up the eco-friendly Wiggly Wigglers Worm Cafe, which costs £120, but has now added the Cloudburst Water Butt as well.
A third prize, a New York Pedestal BBQ, has also been donated by Homebase.
Lene Wood, community liaison coordinator for John Lewis Kingston, said it was a competition it was happy to back.
She said: “We hope our prize will encourage many green-fingered gardeners to get involved and get Kingston in Bloom back on track.”
If you can help call reporter Tom Barnes on 020 8744 4273 or email him at tbarnes @london. newsquest.co.uk.