Shropshire Star

'Shrewsbury and flowers go together, don't they?' Town to re-enter Britain in Bloom after a year out

Shrewsbury - 'the town of flowers' - will make its return to Britain in Bloom after an absence from last year's competition.

Shrewsbury will return to Britain in Bloom. Pictured in 2020 is Gary Farmer

Staff shortages meant that the county town did not enter the national competition last year, but thousands of flowers have already been planted to prepare for judging this summer.

These flowers will make up displays and flower baskets which are hung in the town centre, on bridges, and on public buildings.

Around 450 hanging baskets are arranged as well as planting on roundabouts, in the Quarry, the Dingle, and in public places before judges inspect the region in mid-July.

Shrewsbury town clerk, Helen Ball, revealed what preparation has been done, but insisted that the only difference in planting this year is that the town is entering the competition.

She said: "Overall we plant around 300,000 plants. It takes us the best part of four weeks and we've just started.

"Most of the beds have been cleared, with a view to now gear up and plant out.

"There's no difference in the planting from this year to the last.

"We always take the view that we don't plant for competition - we plant for the town.

"The only difference last year was that we didn't enter the competition. There's a lot of work involved in entering in sorting out a route.

"We've been a bit more pro-active this year. We sorted out what we thought the route would be at the back end of last year and stuck to it. At the moment staff are looking at the organisations that we can introduce the judges to on the route.

"We have to show whilst they come for one day a year that this is a 365-day programme.

"It's just not about doing it for the Bloom judges, but for hearts and minds and encouraging people to be proud of their town. To look after it, to nurture it, to grow trees and plants, litter pick, and look after civic buildings."

The town will learn if it has been successful in the competition after September.

Shrewsbury Mayor, David Vasmer, is extremely pleased to see the town back in the competition which it won in 2014.

"It will be great for the town to be a part of this again.

"Shrewsbury and flowers go together, don't they? Shrewsbury has done so well in the past in the Bloom competitions and it's fantastic that we're competing again this year.

"I'm encouraging residents that I speak to both within my own ward and also throughout the town to compete and enter the competitions.

"We've got a fantastic team in the town council who prepare our flowers and they work really hard."