A FITTING tribute was paid to one of the area’s most beloved gardeners who helped Rustington escalate to international acclaim.
David Luscombe, the former owner of Ferring Nurseries, died last year after a valiant fight against an aggressive form of leukaemia.
He had been instrumental in brightening up Rustington in preparation for the village’s Entente Florale win and In Bloom bids.
And as this year’s South and South East In Bloom competition kicked off, the village used it as a moment remember David – known by friends and family as Dutchy.
As judges visited Rust- ington on Tuesday, a commemorative plaque was unveiled to David behind the town’s First World War commemoration garden, in Ash Lane.
David’s wife, Sylvia, alongside In Bloom judge Vince Gradwell, cut the gold ribbon to officially open the plaque – which was also celebrating Rustington’s 2012 Entente Florale victory.
Sylvia said: “I didn’t expect anything like this. He would have been very proud of all the work this year.”
The In Bloom competition aims to shine the spotlight on communities helping to brighten up their area.
This year saw Angmering launch its fourth bid for gold, having secured a silver during the three previous attempts.
And although the weather during the judges’ visit on Friday was dismal, Angmering’s spirit certainly wasn’t dampened.
This year has seen more people from the community than ever before joining the competition to show their support. Once again, there was a strong showing from all three village schools, St Margaret’s, St Wilfrid’s and The Angmering School, as well as local businesses and community groups.
However, this year saw the village’s In Bloom committee joining forces with Angmering’s youth groups, like the Scouts and Brownies – with excellent results.
Julia Phelon, chairman of the Angmering In Bloom Committee, said she was thrilled with the Scout’s First World War-inspired display at the corner of Lansdowne Road and Arundel Road.
She added: “This year has really seen the whole village uniting and pulling together.
“I’m thrilled with all the displays. Hopefully, this year we will get the gold award.”
Rustington and Angmering will discover whether they have won the coveted gold award later this year.