Garry McQuinn (pictured) won the Best Front Garden prize in Islington in Bloom 2021

Borough’s brightest blooms recognised in annual rewards

Islington’s favourite gardening competition has come to an end, with the borough’s best blooms being recognised with awards.   

Islington in Bloom is an annual celebration of the physical and mental health benefits of gardening, bringing local people together through the joy of growing.   

The horticultural competition is also part of the council’s ongoing efforts to boost ecological diversity, to ensure that people across Islington are able to enjoy using the borough’s green spaces.   

It is open to all residents, including seasoned gardeners and budding enthusiasts, and this year there were a total of 177 entries from around Islington.   

The quality of this year’s entries ‘ex-seeded’ all expectations, and the winners were as follows: 

  • Best Community Garden: Gardeners of Wedmore 
  • Best Back Garden: Barbara Holliman 
  • Best Front Garden: Garry McQuinn 
  • Best Container Garden: Louise Souter 
  • Best Window Box: Patricia Jordan 
  • Best Children’s Planting: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School 
  • Best House Plant: Pooles Park Primary School 
  • Best Tree Pit: Pamela Berham 
  • Children’s Poster Competition: Lillia Keighley-Toop 

Islington in Bloom 2021 also saw the debut of the Best Edible Garden category, with the Octopus Community Plant Nursery being recognised as the borough’s most nutritious garden. 

Winners, runners-up and third-placed entries in each category receive a National Garden gift voucher, and all entrants have been given a compost voucher for the Camden Garden Centre to encourage them to continue to grow. 

Garry McQuinn, who won the Best Front Garden category, said: “It’s fantastic how gardening has improved and enhanced our community relationships.  

“I see people walking past and they stop for a chat. Our circle of acquaintances and friends has grown significantly, just through being in the front garden.” 

The standard of gardening across the borough continues to be high, with Islington also gaining well-deserved recognition in the London in Bloom awards. Gold and category winner awards were won by Gillespie Park, Duncan Terrace, and Islington Gardeners in the Conservation Area of the Year, Small Park Group A, and City of the Year categories respectively.  

Meanwhile, Rosemary Gardens won a gold award in the Park of the Year category, while Myddelton Square and Caledonian Park earned silver gilts in the Small Conservation Area and Park of the Year categories respectively.  

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Islington in Bloom is always one of the highlights of the year, helping to bring people from across our borough together as a community to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of gardening. 

“As we face an ongoing climate and ecological emergency, the council is working hard to create a cleaner, greener, healthier borough for all by improving green spaces and encouraging biodiversity. The Islington in Bloom awards highlight the vital role that local people can play in achieving this, and emphasise again the importance of Islington’s green spaces. 

“Congratulations to the worthy winners, and to all those that took part in this year’s Islington in Bloom competition. We'd also like to thank all those that make such a valuable contribution to Islington’s biodiversity - whether that be by taking part in community gardening projects, volunteering at our ecology centre, or by having fun growing gorgeous plants.”

Islington in Bloom 2021 would not have been possible without the competition’s sponsors, including Islington Gardeners, The Islington Society, Billy Davis Funfairs, Partners for Improvement, The Angel Association, NSL, and Camden Garden Centre. 

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