Bury St Edmunds has blossomed in the Anglia in Bloom Awards, partly because its floral efforts have been ‘green’ in both senses.
Bury in Bloom won Gold in the large town category, improving on last year’s Silver Gilt Award and the Abbey Gardens were joint winners for the Best Local Authority Display.
Nowton Park won the overall award for large parks, while it and the Abbey Gardens took Gold in that class.
The judges praised the Abbey Gardens for changing its flower varieties to more insect friendly ones and the work of Rebecca Davis, the borough’s horticultural officer.
Damien Parker, St Edmundsbury’s leisure and cultural services manager, explained: “The plants are more bee friendly and wildlife friendly than a lot of the hybrid plants that are usually used.”
Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom coordinator, said the judges’ praise had confirmed the wisdom of Rebecca’s policy. She also felt the range of awards reflected the efforts made across the town.
She added:” It’s brilliant Nowton Park has got the award, too – it’s a first for them.”
The Risbygate Roundabout, with its steel St Edmund sculpture, was also shortlisted for the best sustainable roundabout.
Bury In Bloom’s Certificates of Merit scheme, where 60 volunteers under project leader Elizabeth Clement judge gardens across Bury and award certificates, was named Best Community Project.
St Edmundsbury Mayor Patrick Chung said: “I’m delighted with the town and Melanie and the team who gave us such a great opportunity.”
Bury in Bloom chairman Alan Jary said: “We’re delighted to receive another top award and we’re looking forward to entering our 30th year next year with all guns blazing.”