Capturing the power of flowers we gave a special Guildford in Bloom twist to the well-known altruistic gesture of ‘a random act of kindness’. This year we collaborated with Halow Project students to create ‘Acts of Blooming Kindness’ to further promote our popular annual gardening competition, now in its 38th year. Entries for 2019 close on Sunday 17 June.

With support and enthusiasm from Project Aspire and Mayor of Guildford Cllr Richard Billington, last month we potted up and gave away (in acts of ‘blooming’ kindness) 150 geranium plants to local residents in Park Barn, Onslow Village, Bellfields and Shalford. A further 25 geranium plants were given to shoppers in Guildford High Street.

Lead Councillor for Arts, Parks and Countryside, Cllr Pauline Searle explains: ‘Guildford in Bloom is our much-loved annual initiative bringing together community groups, businesses, schools and residents to promote gardening and nature conservation, which helps us enhance our beautiful borough while encouraging everyone to get outside in the fresh air and enjoy time with friends and families.’

She adds: ‘Now in its 38th year, it champions our environment, health, well-being and collaboration while blending the Council’s corporate priorities of community, place making and innovation. In 2015 we had 67 entries, last year we had over 250!’

The free competition is open to everyone, of all ages, living and working in Guildford and closes on 16 June. This year we showcase a lunar theme to mark the 50th Anniversary of the first Moon landing and we’ve launched a new category: ‘Best Site for Nature Conservation’.

The Act of Blooming Kindness giveaway developed from suggestions to raise the profile of the Front Garden category while growing the central annual Guildford in Bloom campaign. Students from Halow potted the plants and decorated the accompanying message with ribbons and stick on bees. Recipients were encouraged to share images of their gift on social media using the hastag #bloomingkindness and #GiB.
The message accompanying each plant read:

Here is a little flowering plant
With love from Guildford in Bloom
We hope it will keep you smiling
Through spring and summer too
It will need a little water and some rays of sunlight
We hope it will inspire you & make your garden bright

With special thanks to those from Halow and Project Aspire for their support with this project.