Blooming success for Scottish BiB entrants
Perth was crowned Champion of Champions, while Category wins for Bridge of Earn, St Andrews and Haddington and Discretionary Awards for Bridge of Earn, Haddington and Perth made Scotland the most successful nation in 2019 at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) annual Britain in Bloom competition.
Representatives from five of the six finalists, Perth, St Andrews, Haddington, Bridge of Earn, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy, all successful Beautiful Scotland entrants last year, collected their awards and medals from Baroness Floella Benjamin, RHS Vice President, at a ceremony held in the RHS Lindley Hall, London on 25 October. The sixth finalist, Perth, were in the Britain in Bloom final last year before being nominated by the RHS this year in the Champion of Champions category.
A total of 68 groups from across the UK competed in 12 categories with each also vying for a gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medal.
Perth wowed the RHS judges with its urban green spaces, pollinator-friendly planting and campaign to raise awareness of and collect plastic waste. Parks, gardens and biodiversity hotspots line the River Tay, and city-wide, many seasonal bedding displays have been swapped for plants including foxgloves, Salvia and flowering shrubs to provide year-round food for bees and other wildlife.
Jewel in the crown is the volunteer-maintained heather collection in Riverside Park, featuring over 500 varieties and beloved by insects including the buff-tailed bumblebee.
The ‘Fair City’ fought off four other contenders to win: Durham, Kingsbridge in Devon, Castlecaulfield in Northern Ireland and St Helier in Jersey.
The full results for the RHS Britain in Bloom finalists representing Scotland are:
Perth – Champion of Champion Category Winner, Gold Medal, Discretionary award: Parks and Green Space
Bridge of Earn – Large Village Category Winner, Gold Medal, Discretionary award: Involving Children and Young People
Haddington – Town Category Winner, Gold Medal, Discretionary award: Gardening in a Changing Climate
St Andrews – Coastal Category Winner, Gold Medal
Dunfermline - Silver Gilt Medal in the BIDs, Town Centres & City Centres category
Kirkcaldy - Silver Gilt Medal in the Small City category
The Scottish finalists were all visited in late July by a pair of RHS judges to assess their floral displays as well as environmental and community efforts.
Darren Share, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s UK finalists. It’s incredibly humbling to hear about the huge efforts they’ve invested in making our villages, towns and cities greener places to live, work and visit.
“This makes a tremendous difference locally but has a wider impact too. Gardeners are increasingly having to respond to the changing climate, declining pollinator numbers and plastic waste and more communities are galvanizing people around these issues to bring about positive change.”
Catherine Gee, our Operations Director, said: “We’re delighted that winners from our national Beautiful Scotland competition last year were selected to represent Scotland in the RHS Britain in Bloom finals this year. It’s wonderful to see Perth and the other Scottish finalists achieving such success in their categories, and I would like to congratulation them whole heartedly.
“We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in Scotland, and to all other inspirational members of the ‘Bloom’ family across the UK. They make such a positive difference to the places they live in and care for.”
All the UK RHS Britain in Bloom 2019 finalists are highlighted on the RHS website.
Image credit RHS Julie Howden.
26 October 2019