Tunbridge Wells In Bloom to be judged next week – despite heat browning gardens

PC Andrew Baldry

Searing heat has proved a ‘challenge’ to Tunbridge Wells’ efforts for Britain in Bloom honours, but organisers will not be withdrawing.

Temperatures, which topped 30°C at times in the last week, have led to gardens and hanging baskets on display being parched to the extent that Bearsted Parish Council cancelled the Kent village’s own event.

Michael Bollom, the parish council’s Chairman, said: ‘We had a number of applications that were withdrawing, saying their hanging baskets are not in the state they should be in and their gardens are just straw. We agreed with our sponsors it should be cancelled until next year.’

Royal Horticultural Society [RHS] judges are inspecting Tunbridge Wells as part of the national In Bloom competition to find the most impressive ‘large town’.


They will look at gardens of residents to have put themselves forward, parks and community flower beds around the town. Tunbridge Wells in Bloom is jointly led by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Royal Tunbridge Wells Together.

But any anxiety organisers had that the heat could damage their chances were eased in communication with the RHS, who said they would understand if gardens looked ‘a little stressed’, due to the heat.

Helen Timms, the borough council’s Parks and Sports Team Administrator, said organisers are taking comfort from that fact ‘everyone is in the same boat’.

‘We have not cancelled it,’ she told the Times. ‘Everyone is suffering in the head and nobody is getting much rain.

‘The RHS wrote to reassure us that they would understand if the displays looked ‘a little stressed’.

‘It has been a challenge as some of the crops have suffered in the heat, but we have to make sure we keep watering.’

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