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‘Islington In Bloom’ blossoms for 2017

Residents and businesses across the borough are encouraged to get growing for ‘Islington In Bloom’ – to help make this year’s competition the biggest and best yet.
 
Joe Swift, from the popular BBC Gardeners’ World programme, is set to open the borough’s annual horticultural competition – on Thursday 6 April at the Angel Business Design Centre – and take part in a special ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’ panel session.
 
Gardening enthusiasts attending the launch event will get the chance to hear about some of the fantastic community gardening projects – such as in Arlington Square and elsewhere.
 
This year, Islington – having won the prestigious Borough of the Year at ‘London in Bloom’ two years in a row – has been invited to compete in RHS ‘Britain in Bloom’, the nationwide community gardening campaign.
 
Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, said: “It’s been seven years since Islington last competed in Britain in Bloom and, as it’s also the 50th anniversary of ‘London In Bloom’, we’re aiming to make a colourful impression.
 
“Islington’s strength is its community, which, year after year, comes together to make our green spaces and neighbourhoods blossom. This makes such a nice difference to Islington’s streets and is a benefit reaped by residents and visitors alike.
 
“These efforts are all the more important because we have the least green space per person in London and that is why we are all so committed to keeping it flourishing.
 
“I’m very grateful to Joe Swift for taking the time to support this fantastic event.”
 
Julie Parish, development manager at Octopus Community Network, said: “We are delighted to be developing and delivering the We Can Grow project in Islington, where green space is limited but the appetite for urban growing is not. 
 
“We strongly believe in great things can happen in small spaces. Islington's communities never cease to amaze us - transforming their balconies, streets, verges and unloved spaces on their estates into thriving urban gardens for pleasure, wildlife and for building social connections through the love of plants and a determination to improve their neighbourhood."
 
Christine Lovett, CEO of angel.london, the business improvement district (BID) at the Angel, said:"London in Bloom brings together all the communities here at Angel and creates a colourful display which brightens the day for residents, workers and visitors.

"Our angel.london businesses will be investing in even more hanging baskets and planters, and cafes and restaurants will have flowers and herbs on their outdoor tables to catch the judges' eyes."
 
Islington In Bloom is open to all residents and businesses – even if you don’t have a window box, container garden, or front garden at home, you could plant a tree pit on your street or estate or in a forgotten corner in your community.
 
Residents are also asked to nominate their favourite gardens and green spaces across the borough via an application form available at www.islington.gov.uk/inbloom once the competition opens on 6th April.
 
The contest is run by Islington Council, in partnership with Islington Gardeners, the Angel BID, and the Octopus Wild Places 'We Can Grow' project. The Big Lottery-funded ‘We Can Go Project’ – working with residents on estates to encourage and support community gardening – is also being launched on the evening.
 
Every entrant will receive a free bag of compost from Camden Garden Centre and winners receive a £100 voucher to spend there. Second and third prizes are vouchers of £75 and £50.
 
Entries are accepted until May 31 and judging takes place from mid-June into July.
 
The entry form this year features a drawing by pupil Tayeba Syeda, 14, from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, who is the winner of a competition run among local schools.
 
For more information on how to enter visit www.islington.gov.uk/inbloom, call 020 7527 6394 or email inbloom@islington.gov.uk - once the competition opens on 6th April. 

For more information contact:

Eugene Grant
Senior Media Officer
0207 527 2530
eugene.grant@islington.gov.uk