Britain in Bloom awakens as hanging baskets and fancy floral decorations shunned in favor of eco-friendly wild hedges as charity strives to make the contest ‘green’
- Britain in Bloom has inspired thousands of people to beautify their cities
- The Royal Horticultural Society changed the judging criteria this year
- Perfectly planted flowers are avoided in favor of messy meadows
- Competitors were told they should consider their carbon footprint
For almost 60 years, the Britain in Bloom competition has inspired thousands of people to beautify their towns and villages with colorful flower arrangements.
But now hanging baskets and flowers planted in perfect formation are shunned in favor of messy meadows and wild hedges as the Royal Horticultural Society strives to make the competition ‘green’.
Beauty will no longer be the main criterion of the competition, the eco-responsible values of green spaces in villages and town centers will prevail.
Competitors will be penalized for excessive use of bedding plants such as pansies, busy lizzies and begonias and instead are advised to plant perennials and herbs as they have a lower carbon footprint.
They will also be asked not to tidy up their town centers too much and to “take into account the needs of the fauna” when maintaining the areas by “avoiding trimming the hedges during the nesting season or leaving the grass. longer at certain times of the year to support the invertebrates “.
Hanging baskets and immaculate borders fell out of favor in the Britain in Bloom competition because they are not considered eco-friendly
Towns and villages will receive additional marks if they take into account the needs of wildlife, while the use of pesticides and herbicides is no longer recommended.
The use of pesticides and herbicides will also be prohibited, as weeds are removed by hand. And walls covered with moss and ivy will be encouraged in polluted areas to capture particles.
The updated rules are likely to change the look of many towns and cities that until now have focused on creating flower beds with spectacular bursts of color.
Britain in Bloom involves around 3,500 community gardening groups and hundreds of thousands of local volunteers who work year round to keep their neighborhoods beautiful and compete for prizes.
It developed from its roots in 1963 as a hanging basket competition and has grown into a national gardening movement. Today, more than 1,600 towns, villages and towns participate each year.
Kay Clark, from RHS, said: “The campaign has moved away from the idea of beautiful flowers and making it attractive to improve the local environment and use plants as a means to do so.”
She added that the horticultural charity, which also hosts the annual Chelsea Flower Show, will offer tutorials for gardeners who want to learn how to be more environmentally friendly.
Miss Clark said: “We want people to grow their own plants or buy from local nurseries instead of using large garden centers.
“We want people to start using green walls and roofs, to plant to create barriers to pollution, to take action to reduce climate change. “
Gardeners will also be invited to conduct nature surveys before and after planting their gardens to see if their work has increased biodiversity.
Miss Clark said: “We really think about wildlife. They have to consider creating habitats – we say they should include hedges and ponds, fit them right into their plantation.
The last time the competition was held in 2019, before the pandemic, Perth in Scotland was crowned champion of Britain’s champions at Bloom.
The judges praised the city’s stunning green spaces and the 700 hanging baskets sponsored by local businesses.