Shrewsbury, home-town of the grandfather of popular gardening, Percy Thrower, has been crowned Champion of Champions in the 2014 RHS Britain in Bloom contest.

RHS judges said they witnessed a “horticultural and environmental renaissance” in Shrewsbury’s parks and gardens, most notably The Dingle (main image, above).

Judges also heaped praise on the Bowbrook Allotment Community site.

The site has 85 organic plots, and nature trails. Gardens have been created to teach youngsters about native plants, conservation and edible growing.

Volunteers have chipped in more than 2,000 hours towards the site’s upkeep.

Gardening community representatives of this year’s 71 Bloom finalists celebrated as the results were revealed at the RHS Britain in Bloom Awards Ceremony in Bristol in October.

It was a special occasion for Bloom, Europe’s largest community gardening campaign, because it is celebrating its 50th year.

RHS chief Sue Biggs said Britain in Bloom was “about championing great community projects that make a difference to lives”.

Sue said: “Communities are uniting to keep our streets and neighbourhoods looking beautiful, green and tidy, rejuvenating derelict land, giving local wildlife a hand and getting to know each other – all through horticulture.”

The RHS claims that, last year, volunteers put 11 million hours into local Bloom activities.

This, it says, equates to almost £70 million at the national minimum wage. Go to www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom for details.

*See the 1 November issue of Amateur Gardening for full details of the 2014 RHS Britain in Bloom category winners.