Residents in Newcastle are being urged to flood the borough with colour this summer as the area competes in the National Britain in Bloom finals.
Following a 15th consecutive Gold Medal in 2016, Newcastle will represent the Heart of England in the national finals.
The Newcastle in Bloom campaign officially launches in April when council community teams will be out in the area talking to residents and community groups about how they can get involved.
With a Supporting Newcastle’s Bloomin’ Wildlife theme, there’s many ways of participating in the borough wide campaign for summer 2017.
Local competitions are being held to reach out to the whole community, focusing on areas such as residential gardens, hanging baskets, allotments, community gardens, schools, licensed premises, businesses and the best street.
An exciting feature of this year’s campaign will be the unveiling of a third wildlife sculpture in Newcastle by locally based Andy Edwards.
The Honey Bee and Dandelion Sculpture will stand on the A34/Knutton Lane roundabout. The sculptor is working with apprentices from PM Training, Newcastle, to design and build the steel artwork.
Andy Edwards has a growing international reputation and is well known for his commissions in Liverpool, including the Beatles, at the Pier Head, and Cilla Black, outside the Cavern Club. He also sculpted the Stanley Matthews artwork outside Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium. The Honey Bee and the Dandelion follows the completion of artworks in recent years of a trout, on the Nelson Place roundabout, and a buzzard, on the traffic circle at Pool Dam. The sculptures, in common with all Newcastle in Bloom events, are funded by sponsorship from local companies.
Council gardeners will be following the Bloomin’ Wildlife theme this summer. The flower beds at the Queen’s Gardens, Newcastle, will be planted in four colourful sections to depict the wings of a Peacock Butterfly with species including Delphiniums, Coleus, Geraniums, Marigolds, Rudbeckias and Begonias.
The theme for the Grosvenor roundabout gardens is ‘The Plight of the Bumble Bee,’ featuring Sunflowers, Gazanias, Marigolds, Ageratum and Begonias. There will be further floral displays in Newcastle and Kidsgrove town centres and colourful hanging baskets.
The wildlife theme has also been used in the borough’s popular Britain in Bloom children’s painting competition. More than 1,100 entries were received and winners will pick up certificates and prizes from the Borough Mayor at Keele University on 14 June. The artwork will be judged by local artist, Grega Greaves, who has designed subway art in Newcastle. From 26 April to 4 May, an exhibition of winning entries can be seen at The Art Studio Gallery, Newcastle, who are sponsors of the competition.
Entry forms for the local gardening competitions are available from the Guildhall, Civic Offices and the Brampton Museum in Newcastle; Kidsgrove Customer Service Centre and the Madeley Centre. Entries can also be submitted online by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org . The closing date for applications is Friday, 16 June.