FABULOUS flowers and blooming baskets were proudly on display as Morpeth welcomed the judges for a regional floral competition.
Officials behind the bid are hoping to continue their dominance of Northumbria in Bloom after winning the Best Town trophy for the last six years.
Various locations, including Carlisle Park, the Old Bakehouse Millennium Green, Sanderson Arcade and the Market Place, were in excellent condition.
Morpeth Town Council has co-ordinated planting schemes and projects and the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade has installed hanging baskets and tubs across the town centre.
Further support is being provided by Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre, Northumberland County Council and volunteers.
Judge David Goodchild said: “Everything we have seen is a credit to Morpeth and we were very impressed with the community input from residents. The floral displays are some of the best we have seen so far this year.
“The volunteers, businesses and organisations have worked extremely well together and no one has been seeking any personal gain — it’s all about what’s best for the town.”
Fellow judge Ann Stevens added: “There were so many lovely areas to see and we noticed that there are many events taking place to showcase what Morpeth has to offer.”
New recycled plastic containers featuring artwork from all nine of the town’s schools have been installed in the Market Place.
A new feature has been organised by staff at the MS Research and Relief Fund building in Stobhill.
They have put in petal beds of wildflowers, such as snapdragon, primrose, Californian bluebells and African daisies, in their garden which is currently lacking in colour, and are creating a purple mountain aster mural that symbolises regeneration and hope.
Morpeth Mayor Mark Horton said: “The tour went like clockwork and the judges were very impressed with what they saw.
“With the weather we’ve had over the last couple of months, it’s been tough to get everything spot on for the judging, but the great efforts of everyone involved meant we were able to achieve this in time.
“It was good to see that the company responsible for the former Davidsons Garage site was able to tidy it up following our pressure and the painting work on the boards at the former Benfield Renault dealership.
“One of the judges also commented that he really enjoyed the scenery when driving into Morpeth after coming off the A1.”
The team will hope to make another positive impression on Wednesday when the Britain in Bloom judges come to town.