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Hopefuls line up for prize giving ceremony

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 12, 2012

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INVITATIONS have gone out to hopeful gardeners in this year's prize giving ceremony for the Bay Blooms competition.

The presentation evening is this year being held at the Riviera International Conference Centre with more than 100 people expected to attend.

The ceremony on October 10 marks the end of a nail-biting summer for gardeners who have had to contend with one of the wettest on record for 100 years.

Among them is prize-winning gardener and horticultural show judge Ron Doidge.

He has created the Babbacombe Inn's floral display which this year is entered in the superclass category.

Ron has created the displays at the pub for 16 years.

He said: "I really enjoy doing it and I love to hear the comments from customers who really enjoy sitting among the flowers. I like to see visitors stop to take pictures."

Ron's display this year cost £700 in plants with almost 300 plants in one planter alone.

Provisional figures from the Met Office show it is likely to be the second wettest summer across the UK in the national record that goes back to 1910.

Figures up to August 29 show that 366.8mm of rain fell across the UK.

These latest figures follow a record wet April, and an April to June period that was also the wettest recorded in the UK.

August was looking set to be the driest and sunniest of the three summer months across the UK, with 105.5 mm of rain to August 29 and 140 hours of sunshine up to August 28.

The mean temperature for August was 15.7°C, in a month that also saw the hottest day of the year so far on August 18.

Bay blooms organiser Mark Ilsey said: "The number of people short listed for the highly commended, third, second and first places is more than 60. We have a lot of highly commended awarded this year, which proves the high standard of the entrees and what a difficult decision it has been for the judges to award first, second and third places.

"The standard of the entries has been very high this year, especially considering the weather conditions, this just proves what committed and skilled gardeners we are lucky to have in Torbay.

"It would be fantastic to have as many of the people shortlisted for an award to attend on the night to pick up there awards and receive the recognition they all deserve.

"It is always great to have everyone who entered the competition together on the night to celebrate each others achievements ."

Bay Blooms is sponsored by Devon Garden Machinery, Suttons Seeds and Riviera FM, with support from the Herald Express.

Steve Dommett from DGM said: "We are pleased to be involved with a competition that is so closely linked to our business. We supply equipment for the beautification of outdoor spaces and that is what the competition is all about.

"The enthusiasm shown by Mark Ilsley and his team at Tor2 for the project was the deciding factor in DGM coming on board. They want to see Bay Blooms develop over the coming years and we hope we can be a part of it too."

Bay Blooms is a free competition and has been running in Torbay for the last 30 years.

Each year hundreds of local residents and businesses enter Bay Blooms to try and win their category, or simply gain recognition at the annual awards ceremony held on October 10.

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