Blooming Brilliant!

Calling all Bournemouth gardeners – your town is a finalist in the 2018 Britain In Bloom competition and if you have a garden, great or small, a windowbox or even just a flowerpot you can help us to win this prestigious award.

Now in its 54th year, the nationwide competition pits rural villages, urban corners and city centres against one another across a range of criteria including horticultural know-how, community engagement, efforts to bolster biodiversity and climate change adaptation. The RHS Britain in Bloom judges will visit all the finalists in August. The winners of each category and finalists’ final score – ranging from Gold to Bronze will be announced at an awards ceremony in Belfast on 19th October.

After hearing the news Chris Colledge, Chairman of Bournemouth in Bloom, said, “Horticultural excellence and achievement has been part of Bournemouth’s heritage for many years and it is the greatest honour and privilege to be invited to be part of Britain in Bloom 2018”.

So titivate your garden and plant your pots to help Bournemouth keep its reputation as a blooming marvellous town.

The photograph was taken in 2016 outside Westbourne Library the last time Britain In Bloom judges visited. They are pictured with the mayor at the time, Cllr Eddie Coope, children from St Michael’s School and Bournemouth In Bloom committee members.

WHAT IS BRITAIN IN  BLOOM?                                        

Britain in Bloom is a national horticultural campaign and competition that aims to encourage good management of the environment and inspire local communities to improve their surroundings. Around 1,600 areas around the country enter each year. There are categories for villages, towns and cities and it’s estimated that more than 200,000 enthusiastic volunteers get involved with the cleaning up and greening up of their local areas each year.

Judging of horticultural excellence, environmental responsibility and community participation results in 80 or so communities being invited to enter the prestigious RHS Britain In Bloom finals. Bournemouth is thrilled to be a finalist in 2018 and Bournemouth In Bloom is working hard to make sure we win a prize.

Chris Colledge, chairman of Bournemouth in Bloom, said: “To be invited to be part of the 2018 Competition is something all of Bournemouth should feel very proud of and together with our many volunteers, excellent parks teams, residents and businesses we will strive to meet the challenge of being part of Britain in Bloom 2018 in the large Coastal Town Category”.

RHS Britain In Bloom was first held in 1963 and was initiated by the British Tourist Board. It came about when, during a holiday in France, gardening journalist Roy Hay was thrilled to see fabulous horticultural displays where ever he went. He discovered that President de Gaulle had given orders to brighten up neighbourhoods and, as a result, the French tourist authority re-introduced ‘Fleurissement de France’, a floral campaign originally created to improve residential areas after the First World War.

Apparently the ‘Britain In Bloom’ campaign idea got a lukewarm reception from many communities but gradually it became more popular. In 1983 the Tidy Britain Group took over the running of Britain In Bloom. They expanded the competition categories and organised it until November 2002 when the Royal Horticultural Society was given full control as the organising body of Britain in Bloom.

This year, the 54th year of the competition, a new category has been introduced for town centres recognising the vital role of green spaces in urban areas and their positive impact on health and wellbeing, flood prevention and wildlife.