Two judges from the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign visited Perth on Tuesday 30 July to assess the City for the Champion of Champions category of the 2019 Awards. They were welcomed by our Chairman John Summers OBE, and Provost Melloy of Perth & Kniross Council. Photos of the tour are now available on our Flickr site - click here to see them.
Beautiful Perth volunteers, who work hard all year round to keep the City looking lovely, met the judges along the way. Many other people also gave up their time freely to meet the judges on their tour, including young beaver scouts talking about litter picking, a beekeeper with children in bee costumes explaining the importance of pollinators and nursery pupils singing a little song about their garden projects.
The judges were shown the grounds of a local care home, and local residents welcomed the judging party into their own gardens. Experts outlined aspects of Perth’s built, natural and horticultural history and even the Fair Maid of Perth made an appearance! Staff from the Council’s Westbank plant nursery, with its two horticultural trainees, showed the judges their work at Needless Road and in the Rodney knot garden. Other highlights included Perth station’s ‘Secret Garden’ with its WWII themed welcome (including cakes made from ration book recipes) and the Friarton educational ‘WebWalk’ where the judges heard about recycling statistics and the Zero Waste Perth project, and saw the newly installed fish sculpture which is promoting the message about the dangers of plastic pollution.
The tour culminated in Riverside Park where the judges seemed very impressed with Rodney Gardens, with the beautiful and moving Compassionate Friends garden and of course the heather collection. Our volunteers led a guided walk around the heather beds, which were looking stunning in the sunshine. And to give the judges (who are from SW England and Yorkshire) a Scottish finale, three little highland dancers performed a special dance they had created to the tune of ‘Marching through the Heather’ sung by Beautiful Perth Chairman John Summers himself!
The judges look for evidence three things when they are assessing the finalists – excellent horticulture, environmental good practice and community involvement and they saw many great examples of all three yesterday morning. Being in the Champion of Champions category means we are up against the best of the best, so we know the other four candidates are also excellent. We will have to wait until October to find out how we have done, but we know that the judges saw Perth at its very best yesterday, thanks to the efforts of so many people, groups, businesses and organisations in our Fair City. They experienced a City that is a great place to live, work and visit thanks to truly community-based efforts, and that really seemed to impressed them. Fingers crossed for October!
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