Yorkshire in Bloom Judging comments 2009

Knaresborough Town

Knaresborough House


Railway Station


Category 2C Small Town

Knaresborough Silver Gilt Rose Award
Spring: Silver Gilt Rose Award Summer: Gold Rose Award

Introduction (introductory remarks from the judges):
Despite the torrential rain the summer judging day was filled with surprises, Knaresborough in Bloom along with the Borough and Town Council are working hard to improve this already beautiful market town. Through their efforts the town sparkles, it’s basket lined streets, flower beds and community involvement, especially the enthusiasm of the local children are a credit to all involved, a first rate entry with great potential to go onto greater things.

SECTION A – Horticultural Achievement
Areas of Achievement:
Knaresborough House, the centre of the Broom Groups activities is a stunning floral centre piece to the whole town. The ongoing hanging basket sponsorship scheme is a great way of involving businesses in the bloom effort. The children’s involvement in the Picture Bed at the castle is a great way of getting children involved and interested in their town’s floral features. The inclusion on the tour of the Low Bridge caravan site was a great idea, it is exceptionally well maintained and with a great sense of community spirit.
Areas for Improvement:
With ever tightening budgets maintaining such a high standard of floral displays may become increasingly difficult, perhaps think about adding some more sustainable plants into the displays.
Continue to develop ‘Bebra’ gardens, adding further permanent planting to enhance this town park.
The planted boats although a excellent idea were not quite mature enough to show their full potential, perhaps look at earlier planting or even add more sustainable perennial plants to add interest and height.

SECTION B – Environmental Responsibility
Areas of Achievement:
The inclusion on the tour of ‘Our Lady of the Crag Church’ demonstrated admirably the diverse range of heritage in this historic town. The information given by the Borough Re-cycling Officer was invaluable in assessing the efforts being made towards re-cycling in the Town. The town was spotlessly clean and tidy, a great effort despite the abysmal weather.
Areas for Improvement:
Perhaps try and involve the children in the town a little more with cleanliness initiatives. Continue to expand the art work in various sites and maybe make more of this, as it is a fantastic example of what can be achieved, many similar bloom groups could learn from it.

SECTION C – Community Participation
Areas of Achievement:
The ongoing commitment of the Bloom Group and it’s Borough and Town partners is an excellent example of demonstrating how through such links greater community participation and ownership can be achieved. Knaresborough in Bloom are demonstrating what can be achieved when a community pulls together working all year round and raising funds in kind support through close links to businesses in the town.
Areas for Improvement:
Involving the children of the town is a strong element of Knaresborough in Bloom, capitalise on this and think of other ways of encouraging more to become involved. Continue to promote the excellent initiates already underway, including the Best Kept Gardens Competition and the new Sponsor a Planter Scheme, may be think of extending this to flower beds.

Knaresborough Railway Station Silver Gilt Rose Award
An impressive mix of planting displays, obviously well tended and managed. A good approach to future developments and ongoing plans.
Areas of Achievement:
Hanging Baskets and watering system. The rebuilt carts and their planting. Use of mixed permanent and annual planting. All year round interest. Proposed use of water butt.
Areas for improvement:
Dead branches could have been removed from the woodland garden. Young tree seedlings could be removed. Good to see a bird feeder, shame it was empty. The planting programme is much needed. Signage to promote in Bloom especially on the planted carts.

Knaresborough Castle Gold Rose Award
Introduction (introductory remarks from the judges):
A gem tucked away and well worth discovering
Obviously well used and appreciated by locals and visitors
An excellent blend of formal planting, open space, recreational activities and seating for quiet contemplations
Areas of Achievement:
Overall up keep and presentation was very good, thanks to the permanent gardener.
Flower beds, especially by the bowling green a lovely idea well executed
All the planters were full and well maintained
Well maintained mature trees, hedges and roses
Areas for Improvement:
Signage to promote ‘wild area’ adjacent to the steps at the war memorial
Possible introduction of planters in front of museum building
It will be good to see the proposed display boards

Knaresborough House Gold Rose Award
Introduction (introductory remarks from the judges):
A pleasure to see such lovely planting up close
The community involvement is very obvious
An excellent display
Areas of Achievement:
Very full hanging baskets and window boxes
Use of bee friendly plants and an interesting choice of formal bedding
Good use of the wall by the car park entrance
Contract of formal frontage and open space
Areas for Improvement:
Remove cigarette pack from grass area and cigarette butts from side door
Possible introduction of some long grass to encourage bio-diversity

Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre Silver Rose Award
Introduction (introductory remarks from the judges):
A very interesting and rewarding visit, blending traditional and innovative ideas. The grounds are obviously used by the students in both an active and passive way. The use of sculpture, especially water and humour added to the desire to go round the next corner to explore.
Areas of Achievement: The entrance planters, by the water sculpture, gave an excellent focus to the area. The use of sculpture throughout the grounds. The wild areas both within the formal garden and the wider grounds. The compost display through better use would be beneficial.
Areas for Improvement: The plants for sale were very poor. The car park required litter picking. It was disappointing that no one involved in the projects was able to explain the future plans for the development of the garden.
I would have liked to have met some of the students and learnt about their involvement in the grounds. The overall maintenance of the grounds was poor.