Bloom winner Frances sees his bold ambitions flower

Organisers are celebrating the best year yet for Wight In Bloom, the Island’s own gardening competition, with the overall winner recipient of the Peggy Jarman Trophy being 90-year-old Frances Brett of Binstead.

More than 100 people and organisations entered this year’s competition, sponsored by Southern Vectis. The awards ceremony was held at the Liz Earle head office in Ryde.

Alan Titchmarsh, TV presenter and patron of Wight In Bloom, handed out the prizes.

Alan said: “We can all do our bit and it doesn’t matter how small your patch is, or if there’s no patch at all. Window boxes, even hanging baskets, pots – do something to cheer people up, to cheer yourself up.”

Winner Frances said: “I wanted to come in to this competition, and I wanted to win it because it might be the last year I put all the effort in. But I think without it, without the garden, I’d be so bored and go downhill.”

Other winners included Robin Hill as Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden and a first, second and third place for Shanklin in the Best Small Commercial Garden category, as the Clifton took top place ahead of the Carlton and Havelock Hotels, while Haven Hall in Shanklin and the Royal in Ventnor tied first place for the Large Commercial Garden award.

Broadlea Primary School, with their display at Lake train station, won the Line in Bloom competition; St George’s School in Newport were winners of the Best Young People’s Initiative, and Abbeyfield Clifton House, Cowes, the Best Care-Giving Complex Garden.

Richard Tyldsley, General Manager at Southern Vectis, said: “We’re really proud to be sponsoring Wight in Bloom in 2019. We really welcome community projects at Southern Vectis and anything to help the Island be more bright and attractive, whether you’re on top of an open top bus or you’re just going for a walk, anything that makes it greener, brighter and adds some colour is really fantastic for the Island.”

Will Myles, Managing Director at Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Recent research that Visit Britain put out that showed that gardens and garden tourism is on the huge increase, and obviously, being on the Island, people refer to us as the Garden Isle. We are that green space, we are that place where people can come and recharge their batteries, and we’re the place where people can come and see all the great work that people are doing on the Island.”