London in Bloom 2018
London in Bloom is in its 51st year and is a London wide competition which recognises and supports horticultural initiatives and community engagement.
There are several categories within the scheme ranging from borough and city awards to community focused schemes like It’s Your Neighbourhood, supported by the RHS.
This year the community gardeners at RBKC entered 16 kitchen gardens and community spaces as part of It’s Your Neighbourhood judging. It’s a great way to acknowledge and recognise the hard work plot-holders, residents and volunteers achieve throughout the borough’s 75 community kitchen gardens and growing spaces.
Each year a selection of the gardens is entered into the scheme and the RBKC community gardeners, Lisa Wilkinson and William Rallison, take the judges around to see what has been achieved and also provide a background to each project and discuss particular issues. It is also a wonderful opportunity for plot-holders to come together to prepare for the judging period with communal tidying sessions and sprucing-up often helped along with a shared lunch hosted by individual garden clubs.
Gardens entered this year include Henry Dickens Court, St Quintin’s Avenue, Olympia, Russell Road, Cultivating Kensington and Chelsea, Russell Road, Worlds End, Elkstone Road and Wornington Green.
The judging results are announced at the London in Bloom Awards in September and this year they will be hosted at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. The reports that the judges give out to the individual gardens with their awards offer advice and support and seek to encourage and engage rather than criticise.
Last year’s RBKC It’s Your Neighbourhood community kitchen garden entries received a good standard of awards with two at least gaining the top level 5 award. We are looking forward to hearing how our judges will consider our entries for 2018!