When Beeston in Bloom held it’s AGM on 2 March (BC – Before Coronavirus) little did we know what was about to happen.
Plans were made and working parties arranged in preparation for our spring judging. A newly formed Wednesday garden club had worked hard in Cross Flatts Park in remarkably good weather and the Millennium Garden was well prepared.
However, the instruction that we had to stay at home and not gather in groups of more than two people, put paid to all of the best laid plans. Little by little news of cancellations, closures and other restrictions quickly followed and soon everyone was at home with time on their hands.
The members already had a Whatsapp group, and this quickly turned into a lifeline of jokes, videos and chat – even for those identified as key workers confined to working at home.
Everyone was arranging virtual meetings, parties, and pub quizzes all designed to keeping spirits high. I’d cleaned, painted and done as much gardening at home that I could. I was looking for something to do.
I knew how disappointed our group was that their hard work wasn’t going to be judged, so I came up with the idea of doing a virtual tour.
All the evidence is there on Facebook for everyone to see, with commentary, photos and positive comments. I had also put together a Powerpoint presentation for the judges that was a record of all our activities in 2019.
Surely that was worthy of some recognition?
Adapting the format that the Yorkshire in Bloom judges use I scored our virtual route. I realise that I am more than slightly biased, but who can blame me for being generous?
We normally have to wait weeks for the results, but my way was instant – GOLD MEDAL – and I have the certificate to prove it!
I accepted the award at a very simple ceremony – not the usual three course meal at York racecourse – but by raising a glass of wine in my kitchen.
We have no idea when things will start to get back to anything like normal, but we will be doing our best to keep our displays going.
Yorkshire in Bloom won’t be coming in July but I’ll happily step in with another virtual tour. It may even lead to a real life plaque!
This post was written by Linda Stanley
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