Northumbria in Bloom judges get a taste of Middlesbrough

Green-fingered volunteers served up a treat to judges as they toured a spectacular Middlesbrough community garden.

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10 Aug 2022

Galloway Gardens in Thorntree welcomed judges from the prestigious annual Northumbria in Bloom competition, where the project is competing for The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) It’s Your Neighbourhood award.

Housing provider Thirteen is working in partnership with Community Ventures and MVDA, who are being supported by You’ve Got This, MIND, Home Education, Middlesbrough Environment City and Middlesbrough Borough Council, to give volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills, such as growing and cooking fresh vegetables, with the project offering horticulture training to interested volunteers.

On the home-grown menu, judges tried the delicious fresh potato soup and tomato bruschetta. 

Fruit and nut trees have formed an attractive orchard, with vegetables including parsnips, chillies, tomatoes, potatoes and strawberry plants, to provide food and an improved environment for the residents.

The community wellbeing project has seen the communal land off Rainham Close in Thorntree brought back to life and transformed into a tranquil outdoor space, with recycled materials used to build planters and seating areas, including a sensory garden and the team have created compost heaps habitats to attract wildlife.

Thirteen’s environmental specialist John Woods said: “We’ve seen the community spirit go from strength to strength since we started this project.

“We’re very proud to welcome the judges, to show what a community can achieve when they all work together. We’re extremely grateful to the volunteers for everything they’ve done to make this project what it is today.

“We’ve listened to the volunteers and residents and everything we’ve done here is from their feedback, with everyone having an opportunity to lead on this fabulous adventure. This project brings so many benefits to the community. We know that connecting with nature is great for people’s mental health and wellbeing - this is a place to meet new people, make friends and learn, while making a positive difference to the environment.”

The awards will be announced at a presentation event in September.