Both Leamington and Warwick have struck gold in the regional Heart of England In Bloom competition.
Judges Roger Bache and Mark Wiltshire toured both towns in July and the result has been a third time-in-a-row golden victory for Leamington and a first time ever gold for Warwick.
The results were announced at the Drayton Manor Hotel in Tamworth yesterday (Thursday).
Last year, Warwick did secure a silver-gilt medal but hopes of hitting the jackpot this year had drooped slightly amid rumours of a few problems with the town centre’s watering regime.
Of Warwick’s long-awaited triumph judge Roger Bache said: “A town with the finest medieval castle in England revealed its most recent asset when judging commenced.”
Mr Bache went on to talk of the walk led by town clerk Derek Maudlin and Cllr Mandy Littlejohn, chairwoman of the community and culture committee, which started out from the Old Court House.
The stroll took in not only all the usual favourites like St Nicholas Park and Hill Close Gardens but also Antelope Gardens, Albert Street and, for the first time with pride, the railway station.
Mr Bache said: “An increase in sponsored baskets and some fine planting in St Nicholas Park all underpinned by some truly superlative perennial planting brought the town to life.
“Hill Close Gardens - a must place to visit for any keen gardener - was again a pleasure.
“Antelope Gardens and the work in Albert Street were horticultural community gems in themselves...and a railway station this entry was at last proud to show off.”
Historic Park Cottage in West Street was also praised for its strong showing.
Of Leamington’s hat trick, Mr Bache said: “The Leamington in Bloom committee has worked very hard to introduce the judges to new areas of the town for this year’s tour.
“Improvement was shown across all areas of the criteria, in particular environmental responsibility. The town was extremely clean and is bursting with biodiversity whether it is in formal areas or natural habitat.
“Two new areas of voluntary work on show this year were the Foundry Wood and Dragon Field, which add to the continuing work elsewhere.
“Increasing work with schools is to be admired and the ‘geranium train’ was looking particularly good. The tour finished in the award-winning Jephson Gardens, which is getting better by the year - if that is possible.”
Coventry also won gold as its city centre which was judged the overall winner in that category and the Berkswell Society won silver-gilt in the large village category. Kenilworth did not enter.