It's Your Neighbourhood
The organisers of Downton in Bloom were forced to down-scale plans due to the pandemic - but were nevertheless able to enter the smaller scale 'It's Your Neighbourhood' competition, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society.
The assessment took place in July, and the assessors did a walk about in the Borough, taking in the school boots on the fence, as well as the many flowering tubs and baskets. The topiary cuckoo flew in temporarily, and a select few members of Downton Band were there to provide some musical accompaniment.
The project, initiated and supported by the Downton Society, was adopted by many village organisations and individuals. The Parish Council paid for new self-watering recycled plastic tubs, which were planted with spring bulbs and then summer flowering plants. The Scouts planted one of these up, as well as clearing weeds. The Royal British Legion planted the tubs near the Memorial Hall. Downton Butchers hung hanging baskets and watered the nearby planters. The Co-op donated £200 for planting and enhancing the enviroment and supported the clearing of their car park verges why a team of 20 volunteers. These were then planted up with drought tolerant grasses. The Green Group planted 'bee friendly' tubs and culinary herbs, and organised a litter pick. The Print Effect printed notices about the competition. The children of the Primary School planted up boots, which were hung on the school fence, and they also shared their work on eco-activities. They also held a competition to name the topiary cuckoo - plumping for the name 'Hedgington'.
A spokesperson for the group was very pleased with the way things had gone: 'A successful assessment yesterday, not least as a result of everyone's hard work. The school children with their boots and the ECO project were terrific and the Band played beautifully.'
The assessors results will not be available in September - and in the meantime, Hedgington is due to fly to Chelsea......