How to have a great Britain in Bloom judging day

How to have a great Britain in Bloom judging day

The day the Britain in Bloom judges arrive is the culmination of months of hard work. So whether you’re a small village-based volunteer team or a large local authority-backed task force, it’s understandable to feel nervous about the big day. However it’s important to remember that no matter what award you eventually receive, this should be a day of enjoyment and celebration. And as with any important day, when it comes to taking the stress out of it, preparation is key. 

Perfecting your Britain in Bloom presentation 

Presentations should last a maximum of 15 minutes, so even though it can seem difficult to condense all your hard work into this time frame, make sure the person doing the presentation has identified the key points and rehearsed and timed their presentation. The presentation isn’t judged but it is expected to give a clear overview of all the work that’s been done over the past year and a flavour of what the judges should expect on the tour. It’s your chance to showcase your achievements, so give this task to someone who will be able to clearly convey the whole team’s enthusiasm. 

Looking your best 

The one thing we can never plan for is the great British weather and whether you’re dealing with a heatwave or a rainy spell, this can have consequences for the plants on display. Last minute checks to improve the appearance of are essential before the judges visit.  Many Britain in Bloom groups use Amberol’s range of self-watering planters, hanging baskets and containers to make sure their displays are kept in the best possible condition in the run-up to the event. 

Mapping out the route 

Taking time to plan the best possible route to demonstrate your achievements in horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation is a key part of your preparation. 

The timing of your route depends on your category size. For example, a small city will be allocated three hours, while a small village will only require one hour. This time does not include your 15 minute presentation or the 15 minutes allowed for press opportunities. When you’re walking the route to plan it, remember that the judges will be assessing everything they see, not just high-footfall or standout areas. It’s a great idea to ask someone who hasn’t been involved in the process to walk the route to provide a ‘fresh eyes’ perspective on aspects that may have been overlooked.

Hosting the tour 

A maximum of four people are allowed to accompany the judges on their tour. Ideally these people should not just be knowledgeable about the various projects, they should also be friendly and able to demonstrate their passion for Britain in Bloom as they answer the judges’ questions. Although only four people are allowed to walk with the judges, you can also station people at various points of interest along the way. For example, if your route includes a primary school’s vegetable garden, make sure some of the children involved are on hand to talk to the judges. 

Practical planning 

Giving the judges a map, detailing points of activity both public and private is a must. If your route passes through areas that will need development in the future, identify these too. If your judging route involves locations a significant distance apart, make sure you’ve arranged for ample transport to be in place to save time. It’s also important to brief the local press well in advance about when and where the judges will be available for questions and photo opportunities. And finally, don’t forget to produce the required number of portfolios, detailing your year-round work, in accordance with the guidelines.

For more information on Amberol’s wide range of self-watering containers, please call us on 01773 830 930 or email us at

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