Devizes and Roundway have launched their campaign to retain the gold medal in the South West in Bloom Awards.

Members of the committee who will oversee the floral displays that adorn the town during the summer assembled at Hillworth Park to encourage residents and businesses to join in.

Carole Berry, Devizes Town Council’s direct services manager, said: “It is hoped we will repeat our success of the past few years with a third gold award for the town in the South West in Bloom 2013 competition.

“We can do this with the support of everybody in the town – community groups, schools, businesses and individuals. Just pick up a leaflet to get started.”

The competition this year will include categories for clubs and local heroes – people who have gone out of their way to improve the environment and unsung heroes nominated by the public.

To raise awareness of the joys and rewards of gardening, the new open gardens initiative begins this year, taking place over the weekend of June 15 and 16.

Zena Robson, chairman of the Devizes and Roundway in Bloom committee, said: “We will be starting to send out leaflets about the event and advertise for people to open their gardens to the public from this week.

“We will be leafleting in The Brittox on Saturdays through March. The cut-off date to volunteer to be an open gardener will be April 2.

“People can come to the town hall, or email “All open gardeners will be visited by committee members and assisted with posters and to go up on the days.

“We will have a summer this year, so let’s get ready.”

Money raised from the open gardens weekend will go to the town mayor’s charities, which have yet to be chosen.

Schools are being encouraged to join in a What’s the Buzz project to plant flowers to encourage bees and butterflies into gardens.

For more information on how to join in, call the town hall on (01380) 722160.