In Bloom hopeful fears foul play

CHRIS BISHOP An 81-year-old gardener believes vandals are trying to sabotage her bid to win her town's annual In Bloom competition for the third time in a row.

CHRIS BISHOP

An 81-year-old gardener believes vandals are trying to sabotage her bid to win her town's annual In Bloom competition for the third time in a row.

When hanging baskets disappeared from outside Dorothy Mills' house in Love Lane, Wisbech, she thought thieves had paid her a visit.

But a few days later, she says she received a phone call from a withheld number, when a woman told her: "You won't win for a third time…"

Mrs Mills said: "I have never known anything like it. It is a bit nasty considering it's only a competition.

"As a family we thought someone had taken them to sell at a car boot sale but when I had this call on Monday I knew it was not."

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Mrs Mills had two hanging baskets stolen last Thursday night, along with a double basket standing near her front door, two tubs and a number of small assorted geraniums and pelargoniums. She is convinced the two incidents are linked.

She said: "They were definitely there that evening because I remember watering them, and whoever took them must have had some wire clippers because the baskets were tied to the hangers by wire.

"But then a lady, on a withheld number, called saying I will not win it for a third time.

"I was going to pull out of the competition because I was so upset, but everyone I told kept telling me not to give in.

"Everyone who passes says the gar-den is really pretty, so I do not know who would do something like this."

Mrs Mills first entered the best small town garden competition, presented by the town's Chamber of Commerce, in 2005 and won it, retaining her title last year. Her garden, along with the other entrants', will be judged on Friday.

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