Coronavirus forces gardening competition into clever offshoot

Source: South Ribble Borough Council 10 June 2020

SOUTH Ribble Borough Council’s annual gardening competition, South Ribble in Bloom, will take on a new format this year following the fallout from coronavirus.

Unlike in previous years, where judges would visit the competing gardens, this time around entrants will be asked to submit four photos via email, post, or Facebook Messenger.

The deadline to do so is 5pm on Friday 26 June.

The four categories in which you may enter are:

Domestic Front Garden
Domestic Container or Basket
Community Space

You are allowed to submit an entry into more than one category, but your submission to each may not exceed four photos (so you can enter into two different categories, sending a maximum of eight photos).

Here’s how to enter


Email your photos (maximum of four per entry) to [email protected]

Mail your photos to the following address:

South Ribble in Bloom 2020
Community Involvement Team
South Ribble Borough Council
Civic Centre
West Paddock
PR25 1DH

Send us your photos on Facebook via a direct message to the ‘South Ribble In Bloom’ page, which you will find at: and click ‘Send Message’

If you wish, you may write a short description, especially if there are interesting features – for example, wildlife areas, ‘upcycled’ items, or a story behind a particular plant.

You must remember to include your name, address, contact details (including an email if you have one) and phone number.

As already stated, the closing date for entries is Friday 26 June at 5pm.

For more information, please call the council’s Community Involvement Team on 01772 625 377 or email them: [email protected].

Some of the usual categories have been side-lined this year in order to simplify the contest – however, the Young Bloomer category has morphed into something new: The Sunflower Competition, whereby school children have requested sunflower seeds to then grow at home.

The council was inundated with requests and has given out more than 500 seeds to keen young growers. The winner will be the person with the tallest sunflower, with kids submitting their photos of their sunflower next to a tape measure.

Councillor Aniela Bylinski Gelder, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Social Justice and Wealth Building at South Ribble Borough Council, said:

“South Ribble in Bloom has gone from strength to strength every year since it began in 2015.

“We received a phenomenal 122 entries last year and we are aiming to go one better this year with hopefully even more people taking part.

“It’s a massive shame that we cannot run the competition in its usual format – but we think we’ve found a great way to continue with its success in a format that is Covid-secure and fun for all.

“Send us your photos of your best efforts and most of all, enjoy the sunshine and being outdoors.

“The garden centres were one of the first retail sectors to be reopened by the Government, and we know that gardening has become a massive pastime over the past few weeks.

“That’s why we are really hopeful of receiving hundreds of entries – and the format is so simple this year, it could not be easier: just take a few quick snaps of your entries and email them to [email protected] . Good luck!”

How has South Ribble in Bloom had a positive impact on the visual amenity of the borough?

All the towns and villages right across the borough have shown what they are capable of over the years, with some fantastic community projects to spruce up local areas and take pride in your town or street.

Huge thanks must go to the various committees that represent each area of the competition: Penwortham in Bloom Committee; Leyland in Bloom Committee; and Western Parishes in Bloom Committee.

Over the years, they have delivered some really inspiring gardening projects.

For example, Penwortham in Bloom designed a stunning floral display feature for the roundabout off Leyland Road in Penwortham. (photo above)

Meanwhile, the Leyland in Bloom Committee has delivered planting projects at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum, at Leyland train station, and at the Lancashire County Council day centre (all in Leyland). In November 2019, they also created a display for Remembrance Day that incorporated a cascade of dozens of knitted poppies. (photo above)

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