RHS: In Bloom still benefits trade

Council member highlights the fact that Britain in Bloom's impact is underestimated in the trade.

Garden plan: Wheatley’s design
Garden plan: Wheatley’s design

The garden industry still has much to gain from Britain in Bloom, according to latest RHS research, despite cuts causing local authority bedding schemes to fall by the wayside in recent years.

The RHS, which has run the annual scheme since 2002, is promoting the 50th year of the competition at the RHS Chelsea (20-24 May) and RHS Hampton Court Palace (8-13 July) Flower Shows this year.

Around 2,100 communities take part each year, with more than 200,000 volunteers involved. The RHS surveyed participants and found that they plant three million bulbs each year as well as 185,000 trees and 718,000 shrubs. More than half of them now put in "sustainable" plants rather than seasonal bedding.

RHS Council member Jon Wheatley of Stonebarn Landscapes, a designer and dahlia grower, is behind features for Chelsea, Gardening Scotland (in association with Beautiful Fife) and Hampton Court Palace shows celebrating 50 years of Britain in Bloom. The Sun is co-sponsoring the Chelsea garden and Alan Titchmarsh is also designing a Chelsea In Bloom garden.

Wheatley's 400sq m Hampton Court feature will be "all about environment and community involvement at its best and promises to be something special", he said.

Britain In Bloom's impact is "undervalued", particularly as local authorities pull out of the competition, Wheatley added. "Bloom is underestimated in terms of its impact to the trade," he said. "Everyone involved is buying plants and that's got to be good for the industry."

Wales in Bloom chairman Jim Goodwin exhibited a show feature for the 50th anniversary at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show last month (11-13 April), kicking-off a series of In Bloom gardens at shows nationwide.

"The Welsh Assembly is not giving us money any more so we now charge £50-£250 for entry," said Goodwin. "We've cut classes from 20 to 10, dropping those like railway stations and schools, and we have no cities after Wrexham pulled out.

"Cardiff, Newport and Swansea all pulled out because of financial pressure, but we have lots of towns like Chepstow and Abergavenny and more It's Your Neighbourhood community groups. Local authorities are unlikely to return. It's more community-based now."

Wales in Bloom, which had 42 entries in 2013, is now part of the Bloom Federation of the RHS and 16 Britain in Bloom groups working jointly with the RHS to promote the competition.

Goodwin said the Titchmarsh garden at Chelsea will "give a lot of publicity" to the show and campaign. But he added that his In Bloom colleague Wheatley's Chelsea In Bloom garden has "got overridden by personality" after the RHS asked Titchmarsh to design on the same theme as the previously announced Wheatley garden.

- The impact report is available at www.rhs.org.uk/gardening/ community-gardening/pdf/britain-in-bloom-impact-report.

Key Stat

The number of plants and bulbs planted each year by Britain in Bloom and It's Your Neighbourhood community groups - 21.6 million.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Sargent's Solutions - How to reap rewards from static advertising

Sargent's Solutions - How to reap rewards from static advertising

Planted displays can draw new customers but they entail costs and commitment, writes Alan Sargent.

What do the latest developments in petrol and battery-powered chainsaws have to offer?

What do the latest developments in petrol and battery-powered chainsaws have to offer?

Manufacturers are improving battery and petrol models, with sales on the rise year on year, writes Sally Drury.

Myrtus

Myrtus

Myrtle is a tender shrub so it is a plant for milder gardens, but with our changing climate the limits are being pushed, says Miranda Kimberley.


HORTICULTURE WEEK BUSINESS Awards 2019

The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

BUSINESS LEADs

Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive RANKING of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

PLANT SUPPLIERS GUIDE

Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers
 

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources