RESIDENTS in Holt are hoping for a blooming great reward for their hard work in entering the Wales in Bloom contest.

The village, which is on the banks of the River Dee near Wrexham, has produced an array of floral displays with a cycling theme this year.

The theme was chosen as the scenic village is a popular stop off point with cyclists enjoying the surrounding countryside.

It was also part of the Tour of Britain cycle race in 2014 and 2019.

Wales in Bloom couldn't go ahead last year due to Covid, so residents have enjoyed getting stuck in this year, with a community effort to produce an eye catching display for both the judges and visitors and residents alike.

Children's artwork

The displays include around 50 floral bicycles, a mural produced by the local Knit and Natter group, a sculpture in Holt Copse and artwork produced by pupils from Holt CP School, which is displayed in front of Kenyon Hall.

Holt Flower Club have been busy working on the village's extensive floral displays, including a display of the Holt in Bloom logo, while many of the plants used for the displays have been grown in the village allotments.

Local businesses and sponsors have also lent their support, funding new planters for the centre of the village and on railings.

Holt's entry in the Wales in Bloom competition, which is the regional element of the national Britain in Bloom contest supported by the Royal Horticultural Society, has been led by Holt Community Gardeners.

Judges visited the village yesterday and Bob Campbell from Holt Community Gardeners said they had already received some positive feedback.

They now have to wait until mid September when the winners are announced.

Floral delight

Posting on the Holt Village Facebook page, Bob Campbell said: "Thought you would like to know that the judging of Wales in Bloom yesterday was very positive.

"We do have to wait until the middle of September for the results.

"There are over 60 entrants this year which is slightly down on previous years.

"We all felt that the village was stunning. Residents, organisations and businesses alike have taken part is a big way and as we walked around I recorded almost 50 floral bikes of all shapes and sizes! I may have missed some.

"Holt Community Gardeners would like to thank everyone for turning our village into a floral delight and we can continue to enjoy this for some time to come."

Community event

Bob Campbell told the Leader: "It's been fabulous. People have been putting out their own plants and bicycles and all the groups in the village have got involved. Everyone has chipped in.

"We are looking forward to finding out the results in the autumn.

"Regardless of the end result, though, it's been hugely positive for us in the village.

"People have been going around smiling and enjoying what they see."

Fellow Holt Community Gardeners member Peter Bostock added: "We were delighted when we heard that Wales in Bloom 2021 would be going ahead following the cancellation of last year’s event due to Covid 19.

"We have chosen a theme of decorated cycles this year for our displays because for many years Holt has had such strong links with the cycling community with the village often being busy with cyclists stopping off for a well-earned refreshment stop.”

Community effort

Philippe Kalkwarf and Helen Done from Cleopatra's Coffee Shop and Bistro in Holt were one of the businesses getting involved with the village's Wales in Bloom entry, with a floral display outside the shop.

Philippe said: "They have done a really good job. I think it's absolutely fantastic.

"What really makes it even better, I think, is that it's pulled the village together and everyone has got involved."