The event – made possible with the support of Southern Vectis, Liz Earle and the Isle of Wight CP – has attracted over 100 entries in 11 categories, ranging from Best Small Front Garden to Best Care Giving Complex Garden.
Now, keen gardeners across the Isle of Wight are waiting for the shortlisted gardens to be announced, with an awards ceremony to be held at The Green House, Liz Earle’s eco-friendly headquarters in Ryde on July 23, with Alan Titchmarsh
Judges have been working over time to recognise the motivation shown by the Island residents and businesses. The winners will be rewarded with free bus travel from Southern Vectis and botanical beauty products from Liz Earle, who are both leaders in sustainability, which is now embedded in the judging criteria for Wight In Bloom. Wight In Bloom advisor Mike Fitt OBE, Chairman of the Royal Parks Guild, emphasised the importance of sustainability: ‘It’s all about ‘in bloom’, so it suggests flowers, beautiful gardens, but we shouldn’t forget it’s also about sustainability, looking at recycling, looking at wildlife enhancement, putting up a bird box, creating a wildflower meadow. It isn’t just about the best ‘blooming’ garden, it’s many things.’
A spokesperson for the judges were agreed that the standard of entries has been high: ‘The gardens this year have been of an exceptionally high standard. We have been delighted to see new entrants coming forward as well as some old favourites. In this year when we on the Island celebrate our biosphere status it has been particularly good to see the gardens embracing the new sustainability category, which, with 20% of the marks, is now a significant part of the competition.
‘It is perhaps no surprise that some of the highest-scoring gardens have been those that are using water and other resources carefully and considering how they can accommodate wildlife. Well done to all the entrants, and we are, as ever,
so grateful to those many gardeners who continue to make the effort to keep our
beautiful Island in bloom.’
The final challenge for judges is to decide the overall winner who will be awarded the ‘Peggy Jarman Trophy’, in honour of the former Honorary President of Wight in Bloom who passed away in 2016.