The judge for this year’s Britain in Bloom contest was taken on a guided tour of Boston last Friday.
Following a year’s worth of effort from a number of volunteers, community groups, organisations and businesses the judging came down to a few hours as Jeff Bates, the judge from the Royal Horticultural Society, was taken on a route through town.
A Boston Borough Council spokesman said the judge ‘was being careful not to give anything away but his coments were full of praise for what he had seen’.
Mr Bates had last toured the town 20 years ago and said his visit showed it ‘had changed beyond recognition and all in good ways.’
He said: “I have been very impressed. The tour has been very well organised – as much of it as possible has been on foot so I have had a good chance to see the place.
“You have demonstrated what you have done and what you will do, which is important. It shows this project has legs.”
The Boston in Bloom group organises the town’s entry into the competition.
Chairman Alison Fairman said Jeff met everyone involved in this year’s efforts, including the council’s park maintenence staff, who she praised for going the extra mile, and Frank Thompson who organises the Veterans’ Way memorial plaques.
She said:“We were delighted to meet the judge. He seemed to appreciate all the hard work the volunteers had put in over the last year.
“He thought the Market Place was absolutely magnificent and he seemed very impressed by the whole of Boston. He thought the history was amazing and said he had not realised how much we had behind us.”
“He also seemed very impressed with the work at the Butterfly Hospice because it is entirely run by volunteer gardeners.”
She said he also loved the sheep on Bargate roundabout and said he ‘hoped to see a whole flock the next time he came.”
This was the first year of the competition for Conservative councillor Claire Rylott, who has portfolio for parks and open spaces, country parks and reserves, playing fields and tree management.
Alison said the councillor ‘thoroughly enjoyed it’ adding: “I think she now realises what a huge amount of work is involved, not just with bloom volunteers but also parks and greens employees.”
Last year, Boston was awarded the Silver Gilt, after missing out on it by one point the previous year.