BEAUTIFUL begonias, colourful chrysanthemums and lovely lilies were celebrated at the annual Ipswich in Bloom awards.

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The competition, which began in the 1980s, was responsible for a riot of colour in the town, as green-fingered hopefuls planted and potted away in the hope of landing a gardening gong.

The awards celebration, supported by Ipswich Borough Council and Thompson & Morgan, was held on Thursday night at the Museum Street Methodist Church.

Around 50 people, including Ipswich’s deputy mayor John Le Grys, were at the presentation.

There were ten categories, including best wildlife/environmentally-friendly garden, best community garden and best floral containers.

Entrants were awarded either merit, bronze, silver or gold certificates, with the winners receiving orchids for their horticultural efforts.

Ipswich in Bloom organiser John Bigling, 54, thanked those who took part in the contest.

“There was a riot of colour and well-tended gardens and flowerbeds,” he added. “This year was a bit tricky, it wouldn’t stop raining! It doesn’t cost a big amount in money, but it costs a lot in time.

“We’d like to promote the event more and make a splash.”

“Ipswich is a great town, we should be proud of it. It’s down to the local residents to take a bit of responsibility.”

Ipswich in Bloom chairman Robin Vickery added: “It was a fantastic evening, enjoyed by everyone.

“We would like to thank all the entrants for the high standards in this year’s competition. It is an inspiration to us all to get out and improve our gardens and local patch. We are looking for more support from residents and businesses to really make Ipswich a green and pleasant place to live and work in, and somewhere we can all be proud of.”

The group is already planning the 2013 competition. Visit www.ipswichinbloom.org for more information.

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