Blackpool is blooming marvellous

Beautiful Blackpool - St T's nursery - little people were the big winners, l-rL Stephanie Bladwin, assistant manager, left with Andrew Potter two, Alycia Potter, six, at the back Jake James-Donnelly, seven, and Rebecca Harman, nursery practitioner, Mackenzie Torr, four (hiding) , Megan Hanson, three (right) and at the front Milly Corbishley, three
Beautiful Blackpool - St T's nursery - little people were the big winners, l-rL Stephanie Bladwin, assistant manager, left with Andrew Potter two, Alycia Potter, six, at the back Jake James-Donnelly, seven, and Rebecca Harman, nursery practitioner, Mackenzie Torr, four (hiding) , Megan Hanson, three (right) and at the front Milly Corbishley, three
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by Jacqui Morley

You can fly the flag for civic pride in lots of ways. But one of the most effective is to simply say it - with flowers.

Ask the winners of the annual Blackpool in Bloom awards.

Ask the winners of the annual Blackpool in Bloom awards.

Bloom - Masterclass winner Terry Mason's Vicarage Lane garden

Bloom - Masterclass winner Terry Mason's Vicarage Lane garden

All lead by example. Some have created at patch of paradise for their own community - such as the residents of Dunsop Court who won the community garden award.

Others celebrate the life and times of a committed community campaigner through the most vibrant tribute possible - and the Chepstow Community Garden at Grange Park won the very first memorial Maureen Horn Trophy in fitting tribute to the woman who helped shape it,

There are gardeners as young as two and three years old creating a mini gem of a garden at St Teresa’s Nursery at Anchorsholme.

Milly Corbishley, three, and Mackenzie Torr, four, thrilled to bits at their garden “on telly” ... as they described the PowerPoint presentation for the awards ceremony at the Town Hall.

Blackpool in Bloom Winner in the Hotels over 10 beds category - Lyndene Hotel Bairstow Street

Blackpool in Bloom Winner in the Hotels over 10 beds category - Lyndene Hotel Bairstow Street

St Teresa’s won the Special Young Gardeners’ Award.

Jake James-Donnelly, soon to be eight, won an award for working miracles with geraniums grown from seed at the nursery school too. “Give them water, lots of water,” he advises .“Geraniums love water.”

Kindred spirits these gardeners, young and old, commercial and residential, school and community, all united by a love of growing a real sense of identity out of their efforts.

Organiser Elaine Smith, a keen civic champion herself, is encouraged by the fact the awards have seen more first entrants this year too. Including several who have won on their first foray into the floral battle. Such as Yvonne Morgan of Jackson Street, runner up in the residential hanging basket section, and the illuminated garden section, and outright winner in the small residential garden category. A hat trick on her first attempt.

Blackpool in Bloom announced its winners at a ceremony in the town hall.'Finalists gather in the council chamber.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'14-8-2013

Blackpool in Bloom announced its winners at a ceremony in the town hall.'Finalists gather in the council chamber. PIC BY ROB LOCK'14-8-2013

This year has marked a record entry by schools, says Elaine. “So many we spent a day going round them all.”

Bispham Endowed Primary won with a centrepiece boat in blue and red stashed with flowers and shrubs. Christ the King Primary and Boundary Primary were jointly highly commended and Marton Primary as runner up.

Bairstow Street beat off stiff competition from St Chad’s Road to win the floral street category - right in the holiday heartlands off Central Promenade.

Marton Institute won the licensed public house award, the Saddle a worthy runner up and the Auctioneer highly commended.

Mrs Eaves' hanging baskets

Mrs Eaves' hanging baskets

Blackpool Pleasure Beach won best visitor attraction for the greening of the fun park’s largely concrete public areas.Features such as Bella Beaver’s Garden and a contemporary twist on hanging baskets won particular praise. Blackpool Model Village was runner up.

Unicorn Industries on Mowbray Drive in the midst of industrial Blackpool won best hanging baskets for commercial premises.

Residential hanging baskets award went to regular contestants Peter and Jackie Eaves of Countess Crescent - who went for a double whammy by also bagging the best large residential garden award. Jackie later said it was the “cherry on the cake” for she has been fighting serious illness. “I can’t say how much the awards mean.”

Tom and Jean Sanderson of Southworth Avenue won best illuminated garden award.

Somerset Holiday Flats on Barton Avenue won best under 10 bedroom “hotel” section while the Lyndene Hotel on award winning Bairstow Street claimed the best bigger hotel award.

There were two special awards too. The masterclass award went to Terry Mason of Vicarage Lane , a former winner who’s become one of the gurus of the awards.

And the overall winner award went to a delighted Brian Gore of Bennetts Lane - fresh from shoulder replacement surgery after years of enduring chronic arthritis.

Brian’s wife Valerie says her husband has transformed what was effectively a building site on the unadopted lane into a glorious garden.

“Eighteen months ago it really was a building site - Brian’s worked on it for 60 hours a week since. The pain and arthritis didn’t stop him - only the operation.”

And Brian admits: “Gardening’s great therapy. Paradoxically it helps beat the pain. And the results are well worth it. This award is just the tonic I needed!”

The event is sponsored by BEAT (Blackpool Environmental Action Team), the Friends of Stanley Park and Salisbury Woodland, Dahlia’s Kitchen and Blackpool Council. Private sponsors include Sage’s Hardware, Norbreck.

Our pictures show the youngsters of St Teresa’s nursery, Terry Mason’s masterclass winning garden, Jackie Eaves’ hanging baskets, the Lyndene Hotel and the winners assembled for the awards ceremony.

* jacqui.morley@blackpoolgazette.co.uk