Flower bed damaged days before Bloom judgement

The raised flower bed in the Rolle Mews car park was severely damaged by a car last week, just days before judges from South West in Bloom arrived in Budleigh Salterton.

But Budleigh in Bloom organisers insist that it should have no bearing on the competition and judges will be ‘understanding.’

Last Friday, a dark blue Honda collided with the flowerbed just as the driver attempted to exit the district council-owned car park in Fore Street.

The collision not only wrote off the car, but caused a whole corner of the flower bed to collapse, with earth and flowers spilling on to the car park.

These flowers, including cosmos daisies, geraniums, dahlias, lobelias and gazalias, will now be transferred to other displays in the town.

Yvonne Gilbert, of Budleigh in Bloom, said it would not affect the decision of judges, who spent yesterday morning (Wednesday) in the town inspecting displays for this year’s competition.

Chairman of Budleigh in Bloom Pat Prew said: “I really feel for Skippy (a volunteer) - he has tended to the flowerbed every day and put so much hard work into it and now it’s just gone.”

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Council bosses have confirmed it could take some time before the flowerbed, planted by volunteers and sponsored by Budleigh Wines, was repaired.

A district council spokesman said: “It will take time to get estimates for the work and to appoint a contractor to repair the flowerbed so, unfortunately, the feature cannot be restored in time for judging. The local Britain in Bloom volunteers are aware of this and the flowers in this bed will be used to supplement other displays.”