Green-fingered businesses, volunteers, allotment gardeners and children will take centre stage on Wednesday (July 15th) when judges of the East Midlands in Bloom competition check out the City’s green credentials.

Judges Richard Stephen and Richard Welburn will spend four hours touring the city to see a range of horticultural highlights and meet some of the people involved in making Nottingham a more attractive place to live, work and visit.  The city hopes to win its 22nd Gold medal in the competition, which is part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s campaign.

The judges will start their four-hour tour at St Ann’s Allotments, where they will meet volunteers involved with the upkeep of Oliver’s Heritage Display Garden, named after Mr Tom Oliver, the last tenant who worked this plot.

From there it’s on to the Arboretum flower garden, and then to see the new planting scheme at Nottingham Trent University’s Waverley Street site, part of their ‘Greening the City’ initiative.

At the Cornerhouse the judges will see beehives sited in the rooftop vegetable garden, tended by a member of staff under the guidance of Nottinghamshire Bee Keepers’ Association.

Highlights of the City Centre will include the floral trail and the Sweepers sculpture in the Old Market Square, both sponsored by Nottingham BID.

In the Hockley area they will meet Sarah Manton and Helen Taylor from the Creative Quarter’s  ‘Articulture’ initiative, which encourages and supports businesses to brighten up their premises with planting, and includes a wildflower ‘bed’ in Cobden Chambers.

They will also visit Debbie Bryan’s Studio and Shop in St Mary’s Gate, nominated for the East Midlands in Bloom Best Retail / Commercial Premises award.

The judges’ tour will then take them to Brewhouse Yard Museum, where they will meet volunteers involved in the upkeep of the grotto and the Dig for Victory patch.  Children from Hollies Day Nurseries will also be there with their sponsored Grass Lion, Scooby.  The children have regularly visited the City Council’s Nursery to help pot on hundreds of plug plants for the City displays.

Highlights at the Castle include the three carpet beds – this year on the themes of Magna Carta, Nottingham’s status as the first-ever City of Football, and the summer art exhibitions.

The tour will finish with visits to two University of Nottingham sites, Jubilee Campus, and University Park, where lunch will be provided courtesy of the De Vere Orchard Hotel.

Councillor Malcolm Wood, Chair of the Nottingham in Bloom Working Group, said: “Nottingham in Bloom works assiduously throughout the year with many outstanding partners, sponsors and individuals.  We look forward to showing the judges the many creative environmental initiatives that improve the city and the lives of the people who live and work here.”

Press and Media will be welcome at the Castle at 12.45pm.