Everyone who helped their streets and neighbourhoods bloom this spring and summer have been applauded for their good work.
Floral displays sprung up this year for the first East in Bloom competition. Based on the annual and thriving Northumbria In Bloom, East in Bloom was launched earlier this year to give everyone time to plan, plot and plant their entries and be ready for judging in the summer.
The competition was organised by the City Council’s East Area Committee. It helps oversee community work and projects in the Doxford, Hendon, Millfield, Ryhope and St Michael’s electoral wards, and in the city centre. East is one of five area city committees alongside Coalfield, North, West and Washington.
Ryhope councillor Martin Herron is chair of the committee and said: “We had a tremendous response from residents, businesses and community groups for our first East In Bloom. This is definitely a project and pleasant initiative that we all want to grow!
“The displays were colourful, well-tended and looked after, and show how so many people love their gardens, their flowers, window boxes, and their planters. The displays all helped brighten up our streets and neighbourhoods and bring us more cheer.
“East in Bloom shows how by working together we can all help with creating a cleaner and greener Sunderland, and it’s a very big thanks to everyone who took part and made the effort.
“The TLC that people put into their work is very much appreciated and on behalf of everyone in the East area well done to all.”
East’s six winners were presented with £250 vouchers to spend at Thoburn’s Plants, Trees and Shrubs in Hendon.
Lynsey Thoburn said: “The East In Bloom competition is a great idea, we should celebrate more often what is good about where we live. We offer high quality affordable plants and top tips on gardening, to help everyone from beginners to experts, so it was lovely meeting all the winners at City Hall. I look forward to meeting them again when they pop in to get their plants for next year.”
Overall winners were:
• Best Kept Garden, Margaret Nicholson, Hollycarrside, Ryhope
• Best Yard, Michael Wass and Ian Deary, Ashbrooke, St Michael’s
• Best Container Display, The Box Youth and Community Project, Doxford
• Best School Gardening Project, St Mary’s RC Primary
• Best Community Effort, Thornhill Park
• Best Kept Commercial Premises, Wadham Court Independent Living
• Best Volunteer Gardener of the Year, Tracy Thompson
Michael Wass, Winner of the Best Yard, along with partner Ian Deary said: “We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and the chance to show our achievements. We converted our concrete yard into a green oasis, encouraging insects and pollinators to visit our bug hotel, whilst supporting the environment. You don’t need to be an expert to have a go at gardening, just use your imagination and go for it.”
A further nine entries received an East in Bloom Certificate of Achievement.