The Britain in Bloom awards season came to an end this month with the staging of the national awards which were held on 10th October at the RHS Lindley Hall in London. This year’s event was particularly special as it was the first face-to-face ceremony held since 2019.
Above: Image shows a previous year’s display from Bury in Bloom
As always, it was a welcome opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work of In Bloom groups across the UK who do so much to keep Britain looking beautiful.
Congratulations to the overall winners, Amersham in Bloom who were commended for sustainable gardening practices and for ‘creating an inspirational culture of community connection through horticulture’. Also winners of the Large Town category, the Amersham entry was a true collaboration involving in excess of 1,000 people from the local area who contributed in a variety of ways, from planting trees to running educational events.
Amberol customers also fared well at the awards, taking home a range of accolades, from category winners to Gold, Silver and Silver Gilt awards.
Set up in the 1990s, North Berwick in Bloom has a successful record in Beautiful Scotland and Britain in Bloom, including a Champions of Champions gold medal in 2013. However, while awards are welcome, the group’s main aim is to keep the town looking good for visitors and residents. Events over the last year include a tulip festival and a sunflower challenge, as well as a project to transform the town’s railway station which included using Amberol self-watering planters to brighten the area with floral colour.
The Northern Irish town of Randalstown is also the location for one of the planned RHS community gardens announced earlier this year. Tidy Randalstown has a strong focus on sustainable gardening and ensures that planting schemes are designed to encourage valuable pollinators. The group uses Amberol’s self-watering hanging baskets to help keep the town looking vibrant.
Having been set up in 2010, Rochdale in Bloom is a relative newcomer in Britain in Bloom terms. The group works closely with the metropolitan borough council and involves diverse sectors of the community to fulfil the aim of improving inclusion in horticulture. Announcing the result on Twitter, Rochdale in Bloom explained why so many volunteers dedicate so much time to Britain in Bloom saying: “It’s the impact that our projects have on the people of Rochdale. It's how it makes people feel locally. That’s why we do it year after year.”
The Ulverston BID helped fund their entry into Britain in Bloom using a grant from the ERDF Welcome Back Fund. One of the successful initiatives was planting silver birch and copper beech trees in Amberol’s’ large floor standing containers. BID chair Michelle Scrogham was delighted by the win, saying: “We all know how fantastic our town is, but nationwide publicity acknowledging it does incredible things for the local economy. Green space, floral displays and community engagement has a direct impact on wellbeing and the environment, and we hope that the hard work has been, and continues to be enjoyed by all.”
Kingsbridge has a successful record in RHS competitions, testifying to the group’s diverse range of projects and commitment to sustainable horticulture. Amberol’s self-watering planters and hanging baskets are just one way in which Kingsbridge in Bloom enhance the town. Judges commented that the plants in Kingsbridge were "exceptionally well cared for and still in prime condition at the end of summer". The group’s chairman Graham Price was also named Community Champion. He explained that: “It’s not just about pretty flowers. It's about sustainability, addressing climate change and community involvement, which is so important these days."
The town of Bury St Edmunds is usually awash with colourful floral displays. This year the judges were impressed by the installation of a major rainwater harvesting scheme which enables the group to be self-sufficient when watering almost 500 hanging baskets and floral displays. Bury in Bloom co-ordinator David Irvine commented: "The overall impression we tried to create was one of a floral town tackling challenges in a changing climate while embracing 21st century technology.”
Although competitive, the national awards were, as always, a supportive community affair with many In Bloom groups taking to social media to congratulate successful participants, as well as offering their congratulations at the event itself.
Darren Share, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges congratulated all those taking part, saying: “We enjoyed seeing the forward-thinking ways groups are working to make their planting more resilient to climate change and also contributing to carbon reduction in their communities.”
Many In Bloom groups will now be busy planning for 2023, and Amberol can help. Our wide range of self-watering planters help reduce maintenance time and costs, while our litter bins can help keep public places clean and tidy. And why not take a seat to admire the floral displays on one of our graffiti resistant benches made from recycled polyethylene? Call us on 01773 830 930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.