Recipe for success for bedding displays across Torbay

Volunteers help with planting in the pond of Oldway Gardens

Volunteers help with planting in the pond of Oldway Gardens. - Credit: J.Jones/Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group

Take some golden marigolds, mix in a swirl of red geraniums, a dash of pink cosmos, a rainbow of begonias and a sprinkling of blue lobelia.

‘Mix’ these ingredients with a generous helping of compost using some sturdy gardening tools and one very hardworking team from SWISCo.

Water well - not a problem at the moment - and heat with a bit of English Riviera sunshine - we’ve been told it’s due to make an appearance - and hey, presto... a range of scrumptious bedding displays across Torbay!

Admittedly, the above may not quite equate to a TV baking competition, but the results of all this hard work will be subject to some actual judging because after last year’s hiatus due to Covid-19 restrictions, the annual South West in Bloom competition is back, and the judges will be visiting parks, gardens and other green spaces around the Bay.

While a number of locations feature the magnificent planting displays created by the SWISCo team, there are many other sites entered in the contest which are cared for by community groups; parks and gardens that will have had many hours of volunteer time spent on them, on top of any work carried out by the SWISCo team.  

Perhaps surprisingly for a garden-related competition, South West in Bloom is only partly about horticultural achievement.

The judging criteria also takes into consideration environmental responsibility and community participation; in fact, these two elements make up 60 per cent of the total scoring.

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From Babbacombe to Oldway and from the Geoplay Park to Brixham harbour, volunteers have been preparing for the competition for months - even before they submitted their applications in December last year - with the support of local businesses, organisations, and residents alike.

It would seem fitting that the hard work of the volunteers, SWISCo and the wider community be recognised via an award that celebrates not only the visual beauty that our green spaces give us but also the care and effort that has helped them to bloom. 

Fingers crossed! 

To get involved with caring for Torbay’s Green Spaces please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk