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Boston-in-Bloom judge is on his way

Boston is moving into a higher gear to be ready for this year's visit by the in-bloom judge from East Midlands in Bloom.

He will tour the town on Friday, July 8 - earlier than in previous years - to decide whether enough has been done to hold onto last year's gold medal.

Alison Fairman, chairman of Boston in Bloom, appealed for everyone to make a big effort to present the town at its best in time for the judging.

Boston in Bloom has just won an award for its focus on the environment.

The in-bloom campaign has gone from success to success since being launched just four years ago when it immediately won a silver award. It was highly commended in the community category of the recent Lincolnshire Environmental Awards, just missing out on the top spot which went to Mareham Pastures Nature Reserve, a project running for more than ten years.

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Alison Fairman, right, and Cllr Claire Rylott, Boston Borough Council's grounds and open spaces portfolio holder, with the environmental award

Following a visit by a member of the judging panel in April, the Boston in Bloom Partnership was selected as one of three finalists in the awards which recognise excellence in environmental work. The presentation to the judging panel, which included Professor David Bellamy, focused on wildlife-friendly planting and habitats at Geoff Moulder Leisure Centre grounds, Fydell House, B&M, Haven Bridge and Witham Way Country Park. Specific environmental features included meadow, orchard, green roof, bug hotels, bee-friendly planting and rainwater harvesting.

A garden in the grounds of the Stump created with the help of schoolchildren is now complete with a sign to acknowledge its sponsor.

The sign, with a sweet pea border, recognises sponsorship by Pelo Hair and Eden Beauty Salon in Wormgate.

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Sponsor Aston Robinson, right, and volunteer Paul Collingwood, with the American-themed garden in the Stump grounds

Aston Robinson, who runs Pelo Hair and Eden Beauty, was the first Boston businessman to dip his hand into his wallet to support this year's Boston in Bloom campaign.

His generous contribution has gone towards the American-inspired cottage-style design in white, grey and green with highlights of pastel pinks and blues and purple, designed by Willoughby Road allotment holder Sarah Bonner and created by volunteers from Willoughby Road Allotment Association and children from Boston's St George's Preparatory School.

The children built two willow obelisks for climbing plants, crafted using branches from their own garden and made using their forest skills. The American styling celebrates Boston's links with Boston, Massachusetts, and those from the congregation at The Stump who left to make their homes in the New World.

As well as a selection of American plants grown from seed by allotment holders, coffee grounds (America's favourite drink) collected from local cafes have been used to mulch and as an organic slug deterrent.

And phase two of a project to improve the Doughty Quay area was completed on Thursday when bee-friendly plants were set in a previously derelict piece of land in the car park next to the electrical substation near John Adams Way.

Both sides of the substation, which can be viewed from the Haven Bridge approach, have now been weeded and planted up thanks to funding from the Royal Horticultural Society and Western Power Distribution, who own the substation on the site.

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Above left: John Bird shovels in pea gravel to mulch the new Doughty Quay plants and to help retain moisture. Right: Volunteer Pat Collingwood plants up Doughty Quay - bees welcome here

Doughty Quay forms part of the RHS's three-year Greening Grey Britain programme, aiming to transform grey spaces into green places.

These projects are just some of the work which goes on all-year round to help make Boston a better place in which to live, do business, shop and visit.

Cllr Claire Rylott, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for grounds and open spaces, said: "I want to thank everyone who is supporting Boston in Bloom. It is a fantastic group to work with and great for our town."

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Paul Collingwood fills in a few gaps at Pilgrims Patch, alongside John Adams Way with Bergenia, more commonly known as elephant ears