Following the town’s prestigious ‘Gold’ and other awards in 2019, Penrith was selected as a 2020 finalist in the RHS Britain in Bloom competition in the ‘Large Town’ Category. However, due to the spread of COVID-19, that competition was sadly cancelled as was the Cumbria in Bloom Competition.
Despite the awful virus that has kept people apart, our ‘Penrith in Bloom’ Group have achieved much to be proud about. A film was commissioned by Penrith Town Council and follows some of the amazing efforts of volunteers and others in town – working albeit at a safe distance – to keep Penrith blooming despite COVID-19.
As the interviewees in the film indicate, this has been an exceptionally difficult year for everyone. However, despite all the challenges, the town has been enhanced by the beautiful beds and planters, lovingly tended by the indomitable Garden of Eden Community Gardeners. The film captures Penrith’s increasingly strong community spirit, volunteer determination and peoples’ genuine love for the town and one another. Care for the environment is central too. If you watch the film, you may feel the raw thread of emotion that runs throughout as well as the notion of working together to get things done and make a difference.
The Town Council is very proud of everyone involved, from the wonderful Community Gardeners to residents in town who have grown beautiful flowers and plants in their own gardens, which have been enjoyed by passers-by as well as themselves. Inspired by the community gardener’s philosophy, one particularly community minded individual has developed her own small patch of garden and has encouraged others on her street to grow and enjoy fruit and vegetables as well as beautiful flowers. That kind of generosity is to be admired and can, hopefully, be emulated by others.
As we look forward to next year, Penrith’s entries for ‘in Bloom’ might be bigger and better, but this year is particularly memorable because of all the Covid-19 barriers and the way in which volunteers and others in Penrith have come together, overcome the challenges and made a difference. While problems may exist, this kind of working together for no reason other than to benefit the local community is priceless. It helps to make Penrith a really great place to live, work in and visit.