The winners of our borough’s favourite gardening competition, Guildford in Bloom, have been announced.  This year was the 39th celebration of the competition and for the first time ever was held online.

Congratulations go to the five category winners in the competition. They are:

Garden Colour: Karen Robinson

Wildlife: Julie Shaw

Vegetables: The Clink

Wonky Veg: Linda Stewart

Blooming Kids: Isabel and Daniel

Overall winner was Karen Robinson’s beautiful night-time photograph of her patio plants, with 65 votes. She receives a £60 RHS Wisley gift voucher, with other category winners receiving an engraved slate to hang in their gardens.

Sister and brother duo, Isabel and Daniel – both pupils at Wonersh and Shamley Green Primary School – turned an unused section of their garden into a superb garden oasis growing all sorts of vegetables and flowers during lockdown. They will receive a family ticket to RHS Wisley.

A total of 138 entries were received, with over 600 photographs being submitted across the five categories by the closing date of Sunday 19 July. A shortlist of the top ten entries was then put to a People’s Vote.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Chairman of Guildford In Bloom (GiB) said: “Well done and thank you to everyone who entered the competition for brightening up Guildford during this difficult time. More and more people have discovered the enjoyment and benefits of gardening during lockdown, and I’m so pleased that we found a way to continue with this incredibly popular and much-loved community competition this year.”

He explained: “Guildford in Bloom has always shown wonderful community spirit and it has been particularly evident during these unprecedented times. We have a deep-rooted relationship with gardening and it’s always a pleasure to see families and businesses come together to take part and enhance our town with amazing colours.  We have been delighted by the reaction this year, especially as we had to be so innovative with the new format, and it was fantastic to be able to add a new category, wonky veg, for which we received an overwhelming response.”

Our borough has over 700 hectares of award-winning parks, playgrounds and countryside, with 10 awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award, which was set up to recognise the best parks and green spaces in the country – the most of any town in South East England.

Lead Councillor for the Environment, Cllr James Steel, said: “It is wonderful to see Guildford in Bloom remaining so popular during Coronavirus (Covid-19) and it has been brilliant to see this community spirit which shows how much many residents value their own gardens and our green spaces. Gardening is known to be beneficial to our health and wellbeing and it can also be great fun.”

Also a special thank you to those who have helped us keep our beautiful borough clean since lockdown. We have had a huge rise in littering this year and our teams are very grateful to everyone who is helping them.

Guildford in Bloom are asking all winners to contact so we can arrange to get their awards delivered to them.  You can also follow Guildford in Bloom on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with competition news and get monthly hints and tips for maintain your garden and preparing for winter.