Judges cast eye over best floral displays in Bailiwick

LOCAL judges have been examining this year’s Floral Guernsey entries.

John Woodward and Dave Stuart have been doing the rounds, looking at entries in the smaller community awards, as well as four main entries in the main competition.

The winners of the latter will be nominated to be the Bailiwick representative of Britain in Bloom.

However, Mr Woodward said there was still some uncertainty as to whether the national competition would go ahead, given the situation with Covid.

Those behind the displays at St Saviour’s, Alderney, Forest and Herm will wait eagerly for the results to be announced at a celebratory dinner.

Judges Dave Stuart, left, and John Woodward. (29736213)

Entry numbers are slightly lower than in previous years, when many parishes and the other islands in the Bailiwick entered, but Mr Stuart said, the popularity of the competition tended to ebb and flow.

‘If you’ve got somewhere where someone is really passionate about making the parish look nice and full of colour, that becomes quite contagious and more people get involved,’ Mr Stuart said.

Mr Woodward said those in the floral community saw it as a great excuse to get outside and be sociable as well.

‘When we’re judging we take lots of things into consideration like how much effort has gone into the area, the level of biodiversity, colour, general aesthetic,’ he said.

‘For our own community awards, it’s just a lovely way to recognise the effort people make around the islands and encourage more people to get involved to make smaller areas look nice.’

The smaller community awards included a number of parish douzaine rooms, as well as retirement estate Rodley Park in St Sampson’s.

Residents formed their own gardening committee after years of enjoying making their estate pretty and tidy.

It all started with Peter Brouard improving the area outside his house and other residents catching on and doing the same.

Now, there is a social area surrounded by shrubs, trees and flowers that a whole team look after.

‘We all pitch in and help each other,’ Mr Brouard said.

‘If there’s someone who can’t get out to water their own plants, I’ll do it or someone else will and they’ll give us a cup of tea or a coffee to say thank you.’

Maggie Domaille said it was a great excuse to get outside rather than being cooped up indoors.

‘Even when the weather’s not great there’s dead-heading to do or pruning,’ she said.

And that is what the group did yesterday before local experts the Floral Guernsey judges arrived.

The strong winds had made the area untidy, but the group got wrapped up in their coats and put things right once again.

For Katina Jones, the planting has not only been a great way to form strong friendships for her neighbours, she has learnt a lot, too.

‘There’s always something to learn in the garden, and that’s one of the best things about it – you can try some things and they might not work or you try something else and it looks really impressive and people are brought out of their houses to have a look around and a chat about it.’

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