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Judging set to begin for this year's Kingston in Bloom competition
Long-serving police volunteer and keen gardener Jacqueylin Rayner was a winner in last year's Kingston in Bloom competition
The entries for this year’s Kingston in Bloom have now closed after a flood of applications to the popular gardening competition.
Last year Kingston in Bloom was saved by the Surrey Comet after it helped to organise the yearly tradition following Kingston Council’s decision to scrap it due to excessive costs in the Olympic year.
But taking on the roots this year was Surbiton resident Sarah Partridge-Finucane, who owns Kingston based publishing company, Partridge Publishing.
She said: “I have had some really positive comments from people. Some people have said they would even help out next year.
“It is about gardening but it is also about bringing people together – so getting people interested, getting them to meet their neighbours. It is a worthwhile thing. The borough looks nice too.”
This year the competition had six categories: best front garden, best blooming pub, best community space or street, best public building and business premises, best education establishment display and best hanging baskets and containers.
Keeping with a tradition that began last year, the best community space or street award will still be named The Mary Rollinson award in honour of the keen gardener who died of cancer in 2011.
Her husband Graham, Rollinson who continues to garden in her memory, said: “It would be nice to win again – whether I will though I don’t know. The Mary Rollinson award is really important to me. I hope they keep it for years.
“I absolutely loved and admired her, so I do the garden for her. She is my inspiration.”
Judges will be examining entries over the first two weeks of September to choose two contenders to visit for each category.
Mrs Partridge-Finucane also confirmed that some star applicants would be getting surprise visits from judges to show their appreciation.
Those judging the competition this year are the Surrey Comet, retailer John Lewis, park keepers Quadrant and utilities and construction company, Cappagh.
The winning prize for green-fingered residents will be goodies from the John Lewis Outdoor Living range.
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the end of September at the Guildhall.
Mrs Partridge-Finucane said: “It will be lovely to get everyone who entered together at the Guildhall for a hot food buffet and a glass of good wine.”
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