This year’s top Bloomers hail from all corners of the UK, from the picturesque coastal village of Sark in the Channel Islands, to the urban heart of London, Canary Wharf and the Northern Irish city of Derry. There are 71 entries in the UK Finals competition for 2019, which include seasoned entrants such as Harrogate, in Yorkshire, following a year’s rest for the group, and first-time entrants Bexhill on Sea, in East Sussex.
The coastal holiday town of Whitby will be hoping to impress judges with its new Alice in Wonderland-themed garden, created in honour of the author Lewis Carroll who regularly stayed in the town. Meanwhile Norwich in Bloom, which re-entered this year after a year off, will be hoping that its microclimate and rich cultural heritage will help to create impressive displays in the City category.
Champion of Champions entries
This year’s Champion of Champion category entries, for former winners and recognised high-achieving communities, exemplify the huge breadth of the competition. These include Kingsbridge in Devon, the 2018 Small Town category winner, which this year is celebrating 800 years of its thriving market, with plans to mark this with a large willow arch that honours local wildlife and the region’s honey bees. There is also Perth in Scotland (pictured above), which won Large Town as well as the Parks and Green Spaces award for its stunning Riverside Park; St Helier from Jersey which won in the Large Coastal category in 2018; Castlecaulfield from Ulster which shone in the Village category and finally, Durham, which came top in the Small City last year.
A word from the 2018 Champion of Champions
In 2018, the Cornish city of Truro was crowned Britain in Bloom Champion of Champions (pictured above). Truro in Bloom’s Chair, Leslie Lawson-Kinross has said that the group’s win “was absolutely amazing and completely unexpected. We call Truro our ‘great little city’ and are really proud of where we live and keen to show it off. Everyone put so much hard work in all year-round to keep the city looking its best with over 200 volunteers, the council parks department, schools and local businesses all involved. It’s a fabulous place to live with such community spirit.”
2019 marking criteria
The UK Finalist marking criteria has been updated for 2019 to reflect the increasing importance of community involvement and environmental stewardship. From this year, 40 per cent of all marks will be awarded to efforts in horticulture, with 30 per cent each devoted to community and environment, instead of the previous split of 50, 25 and 25.
The RHS Britain in Bloom judges will visit each of the finalists in August with the winners of each category announced at an awards ceremony in the autumn.
Check out the full list of 2019 Britain in Bloom finalists.
Be inspired by Bloom
The BBC Two series that followed this quintessentially British competition in 2018 is also set to return this spring, featuring three of the 2019 UK Finalists - Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire, and Llandudno and Prestatyn, both in Wales.
If you're interested in getting involved in Britain in Bloom, find out more.