It's been a steady rise to continued success for Marlborough in the National In Bloom competition. The town started it's journey to become one of the top towns in the UK back in 2012. The then Town Grounds Manager, Richard Beale, wanted to make Marlborough a better place. "So many people are proud of the town," he said. "And I wanted to see if we could improve it."

Since the humble start, Marlborough has risen through the ranks to get a silver in 2015, then three consecutive golds in the competition run by the Royal Horticultural Society. In 2015, months of hard work paid off after the town won the South West Tourism Association Cup and was named best new entry.

Then, as now, the success was down to great community effort.

Then they only had a budget of £200, which was overspent by about £60, but they still won through despite the opposition having bigger budgets. Budgets are bigger now, thanks to fund raising efforts by Marlborough In Bloom. They have about £6,000 in the coffers now, which when added to the Town Council's planting budget for the year, means Marlborough can now punch its weight in the National competition. Community spirit remains strong for the event, as preparations begin for the 2020 showdown. And there is a great deal of collaboration between MIB and the Town Council. Nigel Weatherly took the baton of town grounds manager from Richard Beale, who now leads the charge for MIB.

"We plan for Marlborough in Bloom almost a year in advance," said Nigel. "We plan and also work out by trial and error what plants work well in different areas. Gazelias are good for the sunny side of the street. But we know trailing lobelias don't work so well." He also gets his team to put the begonias inside over Winter, for re-potting the following Spring, giving an extra value for money boost to the displays.