Organisers of Farnham in Bloom discussed fresh ideas and new challenges at the recent launch of the 2019 campaign at Forest Lodge Garden Centre.
Former councillor Stephen Hill, the outgoing lead member for Community Enhancement at Farnham Town Council reflected on the hard work he has witnessed in his 12 years as a town councillor. He paid tribute to the many supporters who make Farnham in Bloom, which began 29 years ago, such a success.
Speaking at the launch, he said: “It has been such a joy to be part of Farnham in Bloom. Its success is down to a huge army of volunteers, council staff and local businesses who work tirelessly to improve In Bloom year on year – it’s just incredible. I would also like to say a big thank you to our new principal sponsor for the next two years, the Farnham Institute Charity.”
Andrew Lodge, Chairman of the Farnham Institute Charity says: “The trustees of the Farnham Institute Charity are pleased to be supporting Farnham in Bloom as there is no doubt that this is a superb project that benefits the people and visitors of Farnham.
“2019 is a very exciting year for us to be coming on board as principal sponsor. To be invited to enter the national Britain in Bloom awards for the fourth time is a fantastic achievement. I’m sure Farnham will do extremely well in rising to the challenge of competing in the new Urban Community category.”
New for this year, Farnham Town Council is encouraging supporters to look out for the Bloomin’ Friends and Bloomin’ Pix projects. The new volunteers’ group, Bloomin’ Friends, already has 23 hands-on volunteers doing planting-out and other hands-on tasks at the Farnham Town Council greenhouses.
As the arts continues to be an important part of Farnham in Bloom, a new photography competition, Bloomin’ Pix will take place this summer. Both these initiatives will run alongside the existing portfolio of Bloomin’ events, including Bloomin’ Arts, Bloomin’ Kids and Bloomin’ Litter.
Spokesperson for the Farnham in Bloom Community Group, Martin Billet, illustrated the output of Farnham in Bloom in numbers. Among other astounding statistics, he noted that this year’s efforts would amount to 15,000 volunteer hours and that 27,000 plug plants would be planted, tended and watered. Fifty-five Bloomin’ Litter volunteers regularly litter pick the streets of Farnham, 265 hanging baskets, troughs and planters will be tended and displayed, and it is anticipated that children from 19 schools and nurseries will be actively involved this year.
Invited guests at the launch included representatives from the dozens of local sponsors providing finance, people power and resources to make Farnham in Bloom happen. As well as the Farnham Institute Charity, the launch hosts Forest Lodge Garden Centre, The Patio Black Spot Removal Company, Squire’s Garden Centre and Graduate Landscapes are among the leading sponsors for 2019. They are joined by Net Tech Solutions, Bournewood Manor Care Home, Wildflower Turf, Glendale and around another 70 local businesses, organisations and individuals sponsoring the project.
Guests enjoyed refreshments and speeches as well as the opportunity to discuss their plans and ideas for Farnham’s entries to Britain in Bloom and South and South East in Bloom.