Europe floral contest judges in Birmingham

image captionEntente Florale judges were visiting the area of St Philip's Cathedral in Birmingham (images: Birmingham City Council)
image captionVisiting St Philip's Cathedral was part of the afternoon schedule
image captionA floral handbag has been on show outside The Mailbox shopping centre
image captionJudges were also visiting the Council House during the day
image captionA floral shoe has been on display on High Street

A floral handbag and a shoe are amongst unusual blooms which can be found across Birmingham's city centre.

And on Sunday 11 judges, one from each country in this year's Entente Florale, took a tour of the city.

Birmingham is the UK's sole representative in the European flower competition, having been nominated by the Royal Horticultural Society, the city council said.

The Entente Florale awards ceremony in Belgium will be held on 27 September.

The competition involves places from the 11 countries bidding for a Gold medal for their achievements, not just in floral beauty but in factors that contribute to quality of life, including tourism, the environment, planning and community and business involvement, the council added.

Birmingham was invited to enter as winner of a RHS Britain in Bloom 2012 gold, when it showcased Olympic floral tributes, such as a wicker Usain Bolt.

Judges were take to sites including Longbridge and Cannon Hill Park, St Philip's Cathedral and the new £190m Library of Birmingham, which opens in Centenary Square on 3 September.

Representatives from community, voluntary, business and faith groups have been in attendance to highlight their involvement and contributions.

Council deputy leader Ian Ward said: "Our reputation for horticultural excellence is second to none, but it is underpinned by a real commitment to the quality of life for all of our citizens, and that will be the message that comes across loud and clear."

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