Friends of Norwich In Bloom wow international judges in competition

Judges Ed Hooker III, left, and Bill Ivison, study the garden at the Assembly House for the Internat

Judges Ed Hooker III, left, and Bill Ivison, study the garden at the Assembly House for the International Communities in Bloom competition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A pair of international flower competition judges were shown just why Norwich calls itself the Fine City, as they were given a tour of its many attractions.

Bob Ivison and Ed Hooker III ran the rule over Norwich, as the city competed in the Communities in Bloom competition, and were blown away by what it had to offer.

Volunteers from Friends of Norwich in Bloom dug in deep and their hard work certainly paid off.

Judges Mr Ivison and Mr Hooker both gave glowing reviews of the city and the blossoming welcome they received.

Starting at the castle at 9am, the pair were given a whistle-stop tour of the city, taking in all the key sights as they went.

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Mr Hooker, from Maryland, USA, said: 'Norwich is truly a beautiful city with extremely friendly people and such a wealth of history and heritage.

'We were shown such a fantastic abundance of flowers and plants and given a really warm welcome.'

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He went on to comment that he had been impressed by so much more than just the city's natural beauty, having never visited before.

He said: 'I was most impressed by just how committed people here were to the project and how the community got behind it.

'I only regret I didn't get to spend more time here – I would love to come back.'

Mr Ivison, his fellow judge, went away equally impressed with what he saw.

He said: 'I was impressed by how much the community has invested in improving the quality of life in the city.

'The volume of people that have been involved in making the city as beautiful as it is amazed me.'

He added: 'The dedication of the volunteers and all the city has to offer has really put Norwich in good stead.'

Terry Bane, Friends ambassador, said: 'Our entry is something we have been planning for around three years, so a lot of hard work has gone into it. I think everyone knows by now what Norwich in Bloom is all about and knows how much work we all put in.'

Gareth Stone, chairman of trustees, added: 'I think we can always be confident about our fine city.'

The judges will now visit a number of other cities across the world, before announcing the competition winner in late October.

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