Town hoping for success after Anglia in Bloom judge visit
PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:00 07 July 2018
Anglia in Bloom judges visited a West Suffolk town whose residents are hopeful of success in this year's contest.
The judges took a tour of 11 areas of Brandon which are maintained by the volunteer horticultural group Brandon In Bloom.
Founded in January 2014, the group has gone from strength to strength and has an army of 30 volunteers.
They organise and take part in litter picks, plant flowers and trees to help brighten up the town, and adopt areas to maintain and look after.
Rachel Sobiechowski, Brandon In Bloom horticultural advisor and secretary, entered Brandon into the Anglia In Bloom town category for the first time.
After the tour she said: “I am really happy. It has really been talked about in town and people were wishing us luck. It has really brought the community together.
“I am very pleased we entered. So many people have been involved. Residential areas have asked if they can take part next year and we already have ideas for areas next year.
“I am so proud of everyone and their hard work.”
The judges visited areas including Brandon Country Park, Glade Academy and Seymour’s Gardens.
They finished at The Wedge, an area which contains memorial trees, sponsored by residents to remember loved ones, and a number of plants.
There they met nine-year-old volunteer Alfie Keeley and presented him with a certificate.
The youngster, who was recognised at the recent Best of Brandon Awards, spends almost every night watering plants, weeding and keeping the garden bright and cheerful.
His parents, Holly Chapman and Elliot Keeley and three-year-old sister Autumn, also volunteer.
Alfie said: “I enjoy helping Brandon In Bloom to keep the flowers nice.”
Miss Chapman said: “We just thought it was a brilliant idea. We don’t have a garden and we live right next to The Wedge so we thought, ‘this is great’.
“We are so proud of Alfie. He went to the open gardens in Thetford and was making notes on how to improve for next year. He’s even learning Latin terms for the plants.”
Judge Nigel Bloxham said: “We had a pleasant morning. We were very pleasantly surprised with what is here. The Wedge was a star feature.”