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Judging begins on Kingston in Bloom competition
Contestants for this year’s Kingston in Bloom have done the borough proud by defying the wet weather to enter the competition.
That is the view of Kingston mayor Councillor Mary Heathcote, who will help judge one of the categories, after entries for the gardening contest closed on Monday.
Kingston Council was forced to call off the competition, which cost £5,000 to run, due to “unprecedented financial pressure” on spending.
But the community rallied after reading the story of Graham Rollinson, whose dream of fulfilling his dead wife’s final wish was scuppered when the contest was cancelled, and the competition is going ahead.
Despite the short notice and the unpredictable weather gardeners in the borough rose to the challenge, with the front garden section proving the most competitive.
The category will be judged by a volunteer group who have helped run Kingston in Bloom in previous years, with a first prize of Worm Cafe with Value Pack from John Lewis up for grabs.
A church grounds, two housing estate plots, a garden for pensioners and a scout group HQ, will battle for the Mary Rollinson Community Garden award.
Coun Heathcote, along Mary’s husband Graham and Surrey Comet editor David Rankin, will choose the winner, with first prize taking home a £50 from Homebase.
The back garden award will be contested by grounds in Kingston, Surbiton and Motspur Park, presided over by the Kingston Orchard project, with the winner bagging a John Lewis Cloudburst Water Butt.
Coun Heathcote, who belongs to the ancient gardeners Trades House of her native Glasgow, said that she was proud to be part of Kingston in Bloom and was looking forward to meeting Mr Rollinson.
She said: “I am just delighted to see the community spirit we have seen reflected in so many events this summer has been by residents in Kingston to go ahead with this competition at such short notice.
“I have a special interest in gardening. My father was part of the gardening Trade house and I was one of the first women to speak at one of their events.
“Well done to the Surrey Comet for getting this competition back off the ground.”
Contestants will be contacted to arrange viewings in the next two weeks with winners due to be announced in early August.