Quay to bloom glory

PUBLISHED: 15:17 03 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:45 10 June 2010

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3: BARELY five years after a group of amateur gardeners from Exmouth Quay dispensed with the services of a gardening contractor and decided to go it alone, they have been honoured as the 'best in the west'. At the recent South West In Bloom Awards 2008, the

BARELY five years after a group of amateur gardeners from Exmouth Quay dispensed with the services of a gardening contractor and decided to go it alone, they have been honoured as the 'best in the west'.At the recent South West In Bloom Awards 2008, the Greenfingers group - which took over the flower beds because members thought they could do a better job - picked up not one but two awards.They became the first group ever from Exmouth to win the coveted Bruford Cup, awarded for the best horticultural display in the entire South West by residents - without the help of a local authority.And, for the second year in succession, they were awarded for their 'outstanding efforts embracing the Britain in Bloom campaign' - last year they received a merit, but this year they surpassed that with an 'outstanding'.The displays, all created by the group, which includes leader Terry Darville, Chris Dowding, George Raciborski, Robert Braydon and Ian Dowell, are centred around several flower beds lining roads including Shelly Reach, Shelly Road and Dock Road. Terry said: "We are really pleased. It's been a community effort. When we found out, we couldn't believe it."He said since they had started doing the work themselves they had won a slew of awards - he collected the Community Gardens trophy in the 2007 Exmouth contest and later travelled to Cornwall to receive a Neighbourhood Award of Merit at the South West division of the Britain in Bloom presentations. They started when they were donated left over top soil from the Exmouth Cycle Track:"We just love doing it," he said. "Seeing it like this and getting recognised makes it all worthwhile. We started doing it ourselves because it was a community effort and, to be honest, they weren't doing a good enough job. We thought we could do better."The judges loved the general overall impression, and they gave a few tips to think about for next year, like putting higher pants at the back to cover walls."RHS judge Jeff Bates said: "The work of Terry Darville at Exmouth Quay was an example to all of us what can be achieved in an unpromising situation.

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