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The Royal Horticulture Society judges return for Clifton in Bloom

Clifton in Bloom is one of 9 finalists vying to win a Gold award in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) national Britain in Bloom competition in the category for Best Urban Community.

Clifton was visited by the RHS judges yesterday, as the group lead them on a tour of the village taking in areas including Bristol Zoo Gardens, Victoria Square and Clifton Hill House as the Bloom group competes in the prestigious competition.

Clifton in Bloom will be looking to impress the judges by showing them the very best of Clifton’s community horticulture. The group’s entry will be assessed across three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility. 

Between them, the many volunteers who participate in Clifton in Bloom have been replanting the garden around the Clifton Suspension Bridge Public Conveniences with a mix of plants  found in the Avon Gorge, shrubs and annuals. Clifton Village will be displaying floral baskets and tubs, together with special multi-tiered planters developed to create new habitats for bees and other pollinators that were introduced last year.

Clifton Village has previously won a host of awards for its spectacular show of flowers and gardens on display; last year the Mall Gardens were awarded an Outstanding Neighbourhood Award and Clifton has won the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Pennant Award and Gold South West In Bloom Awards for the last three years in a row. 

Within the Pennant Entry Clifton in Bloom was also awarded The Gordon Ford Trophy for Town Green Cliftonwood – Best In Your Neighbourhood. The Mall Gardens received Outstanding for Best In Your Neighbourhood and a Gold Award went to Bristol Zoo for Business Leisure and Tourism. In the Bristol in Bloom Awards, Waterloo Street was awarded Silver as a Best Shopping Street.

Sharon Baker, a member of Clifton in Bloom said; “This year our efforts have been concentrated on planting more pollinators to attract bees to the area and to encourage more volunteers from local businesses to get involved. All the volunteers have put in a huge amount of work to prepare for the judges arrival and we are hopeful to achieve Gold at this year’s awards.”

Each finalist will be awarded a Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze medal when the results are announced at the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales on 27 October. There is also an award for being the best in category, as well as special discretionary awards for achieving excellence in particular areas. These include involving children and young people, gardening in a changing climate and overcoming adversity. 

Andrea Van-Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach said: “The Britain in Bloom judging gives groups the chance to showcase all the wonderful work that they do, all year round. 

“Over the past year alone, our national finalists have planted over a million trees, shrubs, bulbs and other plants, making places greener and more sustainable, and providing areas for the whole community to relax and enjoy. I wish all of this year’s finalists the very best of luck.”

Britain in Bloom is the UK’s biggest community gardening campaign – up to 300,000 volunteers are involved in transforming our villages, towns and cities into greener and more pleasant places to live.     

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