The dedicated volunteers behind Harborough’s annual In Bloom bid are urging the town to get behind them as they aim for national glory.
Harborough has been selected for the national section of the Royal Horticultural Society’s prestigious contest this year, the society announced last week.
The town has been chosen after winning a gold award in the East Midlands in Bloom competition last year – and it has only ever reached this stage twice before, on both occasions winning a Silver Gilt.
And Harborough’s In Bloom team is going for gold this time around and is looking for townsfolk to help do their bit.
High Street businesses can sign-up for free hanging baskets to make the town centre look as nice as possible for the judges’ visit in August.
People can also do their bit by making the areas outside their homes even more attractive by planting or keeping grass verges well-groomed.
The town’s In Bloom team has for the last 12 years planned and led the annual efforts to get Harborough looking its best.
In September last year they were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton, with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service– the MBE for volunteer groups.
Harborough has made it to the national finals after leading the way in the East Midlands during last year’s contest.
Chris Etherington, from the volunteers’ group, told the Mail that it is sending representatives to a seminar in Harrogate today (Thursday) to discuss the competition.
She urged the people of Harborough to get behind this year’s bid.
“We’re in need of volunteers,” she said.
“We could do with more people to help us plant as we get closer to the summer. It really doesn’t matter how much or how little time people can give – we’re very appreciative of anything people can offer.
“We’re really excited about this and it’s a wonderful opportunity for the town to gain a higher profile.”
To help the town win the title, the volunteers are offering hanging baskets to all businesses in the High Street this summer free-of-charge, providing the business agrees to water them.
They will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.
Shops interested in one of the baskets can contact Mrs Etherington by phoning 07778 120039 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.