Islington in Bloom, a competition for spring

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The Islington in Bloom competition is available to everyone who enjoys good gardening.

The competition is open to anyone, there is no fee to enter and you don’t have to be a professional gardener. It’s so easy that you could be walking by a pub and see a beautiful display of flowers and plants and decide to enter their address in the right category to give them the chance to win a prize.

Islington in Bloom is organised by the Islington Council and Islington Gardeners, which has 300 members. They all share the goal to improve the green spaces in the Borough, and as a result the competition has been going on for over a decade now.

“The first time Islington Gardeners supported the competition was around 2002 and 2003, because at that time the group had stopped having their own competitions,” said Joy Chamberlin from Islington Gardeners.

“Since those first years and since the Islington Housing Council came on board maybe five or six years ago, the competition has really grown in stature,” she added.

The competition is supported by many sponsors such as Islington Council Housing, Islington Gardeners, Angel Association, the Islington Gazette, and many others, all willing to applaud the best ideas in the various categories.

Last year, Islington won the prestigious Borough of the Year at ‘London in Bloom’. That means the Borough has been invited to enter the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition this year, said Chamberlin.

She added that Islington in Bloom – and Islington Gardeners – all came about thanks to a woman known locally as Nancy, who decided to promote gardening in the 1970s as she worried that this pastime could eventually disappear.

The competition boasts 13 categories, including front gardens, balconies, roof gardens and communal gardens. A stunning entry from last year was a collection of elephant hedges on Ambler Road, which won the Best Small Neighbourhood award.

Best Small Neighbourhood - Elephant Hedge on Ambler Road. [Picture from Islington Media]
Best Small Neighbourhood – Elephant Hedge on Ambler Road. [Picture from Islington Media]
When Islington in Bloom ends, the competitors will have to wait until September to attend the award ceremony and find out who the winners are.

To discover what the judges are looking for, how to apply, a list of prizes and other information, visit the Islington Council website at and the Islington Gardeners website

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