Get growing for this year's Hillingdon in Bloom competition
Thursday 13 April 2023: Spring is finally here and Hillingdon Council is hoping for a bumper crop of entries for its popular horticultural competitions, Hillingdon in Bloom and the Autumn Show, with applications now open.
All of your favourite categories have returned, including 'best hanging basket', 'best balcony', 'best window box' and the popular 'park and bloom' section. This year also sees the addition of a special King's Coronation category, rewarding displays of red, white and blue in a garden, pots or hanging baskets. Applications close on Friday 28 July.
Designed to celebrate the horticultural brilliance of growers across the borough, residents can also enter their homegrown produce in the council's Autumn Show. The broad range of categories includes vegetables, fruit, jams, chutneys, flowers, and arts and crafts. Applications for the Autumn Show close on Friday 1 September and a show featuring all of the entries will be held at The Great Barn, Manor Farm, Ruislip on Saturday 16 September.
Both competitions are free to enter, and winners will receive garden centre gift vouchers, rosettes and certificates.
This year's competition launch event took place on Thursday 13 April in the Great Barn and was attended by the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Becky Haggar; Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Residents' Services; and more than 30 participants from last year.
Cllr Lavery said: "Hillingdon in Bloom always brings a welcome splash of colour to the borough and we have seen some fantastic entries in recent years.
"It's reassuring to know so many people care as much as we do about keeping the borough looking pleasant and these competitions encourage residents to get outdoors and keep active, with a bit of healthy competition thrown in.
"If you've not begun cultivating your entry, it's not too late to get planting and growing, so if you're one of our many horticultural heroes, make sure you sign up before the closing dates."
Brenda Gardner, from Ruislip, said she has been "hooked" on gardening since the age of four when her dad gave her a patch of her own among his fruit and veg.
Brenda, who will soon turn 80, last year picked up prizes for her herbs, jam, and vegetable trug.
She enters both competitions every year and says the benefits are huge.
Brenda said: "Gardening is so relaxing and it keeps you fit. And with food you grow something and you can eat it, and it tastes so much better than what you can buy in the supermarkets.
"The competitions are good for the borough and make people think about keeping it looking nice and tidy and making their gardens look good. It benefits everyone.
"So many people enjoy seeing what people have grown and entered, there's so much colour. It's a real community thing.
For more information, the full list of categories, details on how to enter and terms and conditions, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/bloom and www.hillingdon.gov.uk/autumnshow.