RHS Britain in Bloom Judging Gets Underway

By on 4th August in Garden

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Judges are about to embark on the finalists judging tour, for RHS Britain in Bloom 2011, supported by Anglian Home Improvements, the largest horticultural campaign in Europe. They will be visiting 76 finalist communities, chosen from 1,000 cities, towns, villages and urban communities throughout the UK.

Green-fingered troops will be deadheading, pruning, watering and putting their final touches to Bloom projects all over the country, in order to wow the RHS judges, score top marks and be announced category winner come late September.

Hanging Basket RHS judging

Roger Burnett, RHS Britain in Bloom UK Judges Chairman, said: ‘It’s an absolute privilege and joy to be an RHS judge involved in this hugely worthwhile campaign. As well as enjoying the breathtakingly stunning displays and seeing the colossal efforts communities have made to make their towns, villages or cities nicer places to be, I also love meeting the people responsible. They are truly wonderful and the passion they have is both inspiring and infectious – I leave each community buzzing with excitement and also slightly disappointed not to have been able to stay longer!’

The panel of RHS Bloom judges are touring between 1-13 August. As always, colourful, creative and beautiful floral displays await them, but visual impact is only part of it. Environmental responsibility will also be scrutinised, with sustainable planting, efforts to encourage wildlife and good use of resources being among the criteria. On top of this, judges will be reviewing community participation by measuring how much local people are aware of and actively involved in the campaign.

Together there are six pairs of horticultural experts travelling tens of thousands of miles around the UK and meeting thousands of volunteers from the 76 finalist communities. They will be assessing many hundreds of community projects and around 1,140 acres of public green space, more than 3 Hyde Parks.

Each year, an estimated 200,000 volunteers (2012 London Olympics will have 70,000 volunteers for comparison) contribute an average of around 44 hours a year each to the local Britain in Bloom activities, planting hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs and plants to green-up and clean-up almost a million acres of public space.

Roger Burnett adds: ‘One thing I would say to those preparing for our arrival is: just relax and enjoy the experience – this is your day and it is an honour for us to see first-hand the phenomenal things you’ve achieved.’

Yellow flowers RHS judging

Martin Troughton, of Anglian Home Improvements said: ‘Congratulations to all the finalists for reaching this prestigious stage.  RHS Britain in Bloom has once again captured the imagination of the nation with thousands of volunteers up and down the country putting considerable time and energy into creating some of the most colourful and sustainable community spaces in the UK.  We therefore wish everyone the very best of luck with the all-important judges’ visit.’

Each community will be hoping to come out smelling of roses from the judges’ post-tour deliberation, and an award ceremony for RHS Britain in Bloom 2011, supported by Anglian Home Improvements, will be held in St Andrews, Scotland on 25 September. Each finalist will be awarded an RHS Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver or Bronze medal and there is also an award for best in category, as well as special discretionary awards given for achieving excellence in particular fields.

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