Gardeners in Broughshane, Northern Ireland, have scooped gardening’s most prestigious award.The Ulster community was crowned Champion of Champion at the RHS Britain in Bloom awards ceremony, which took place in Guernsey on 6 October.
“All five finalists were exceptional but there was no doubt about the winner,” said chair of the Britain in Bloom UK Judging Panel Roger Burnett.
“There is a sense of pride and involvement of so many people.”
Roger said the 1,200 communities that took part this year had faced “great challenges” from both the weather and financial pressures.
He explained that the 14 volunteer judges had taken account of spring drought followed by a summer of torrential rain, as they assessed displays at 72 UK finalist communities.
“Participants proved to be flexible and resilient in the face of challenges. Britain in Bloom brought people together and lifted their spirits,” Roger told 450 delegates at the ceremony, hosted by BBC One Show presenter Matt Baker.
One local authority manager told AG his budget had been slashed by over 20 per cent due to cutbacks but said it made council gardeners even more determined to triumph.
A record 24 gold medals were dished out, along with 37 silver-gilts, proving that council cutbacks and a dismal summer failed to dampen Britain in Bloom.