Birmingham's blooms aim for European Gold

By on 30/07/2013 in Deputy Leader, News

The best of Birmingham was on display at the weekend, as judges from eleven European countries visited the city, which was representing Britain in the ‘Eurovision’ of city horticultural and environmental achievement, Entente Florale.

Set up in the 1970s, Entente Florale involves cities from eleven European countries bidding for a Gold medal for their achievements, not just in floral beauty but in the factors that contribute to quality of life in the city, including tourism, the environment, planning, and community and business involvement.

Countries taking part this year include: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia and the UK. Birmingham is the UK’s sole representative, having been nominated by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), as winners of Gold for RHS Britain in Bloom 2012, where the city was also judged best in the Large City Category.

Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader Birmingham City Council said: “It is a tremendous honour for Birmingham to be chosen as Britain’s representative in this prestigious competition, and I am sure that the judges will have been very impressed by what the city has to offer. Our reputation for horticultural excellence is second to none, but it is underpinned by a real commitment to the quality of life for all of our citizens, and that will be the message that comes across loud and clear.”

And the visit coincided with Birmingham City Council scooping another top gardening honour, with a display celebrating Birmingham's canals.  The display scooped a Gold in the national flower bed competition at the annual RHS Tatton Flower Show.

Earlier this summer, Birmingham City Council's 'Enlightenment' display, which marks the forthcoming opening of the Library of Birmingham in September, won Gold at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show and both Gold and the Best in Floral Marquee award at the BBC's Gardeners' World Live show.

Darren Share, Head of Parks at Birmingham City Council said: “The team have worked incredibly hard on our displays.  I am really proud that this has been recognised with successive wins at Chelsea, BBC's Gardeners' World Live Show and now at the Tatton  Flower Show.”

For Entente Florale, the judges took part in an exhaustive day of assessment of the city’s attractions.

Beginning at Aston Hall, the judges visited: Eastside City Park, Millennium Point, Sarehole Mill, Longbridge, Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston Guinea Gardens, St Philips Cathedral, Colmore Row, Council House, Chamberlain Square, Library of Birmingham, City Centre Gardens, Centenary Square, and finally the ICC and Brindleyplace.

The city's community, voluntary, business and faith groups were also involved, highlighting their involvement and contributions.

Once all judging is completed across all competing cities, the awards ceremony takes place in Belgium on 27th September.

View images of the judges visiting the city and meeting the Lord Mayor, Cllr Mike Leddy

Find out more about Birmingham’s Floral Trail, which formed part of the Entente Florale judge’s tour

For more information please contact Steve McCarthy in the Press Office on 0121 303 3367.

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