Gardeners in the north west are celebrating after winning the top award in community horticulture.
Lytham in Lancashire was crowned Champion of Champions in the 2013 RHS Britain in Bloom contest.
It means the town, which emerged triumphant out of 77 finalists, is officially the “cleanest, greenest and most beautiful location in Britain,” according to the RHS.
Local authorities and community gardeners celebrated at the RHS Britain in Bloom awards ceremony, in Cleethorpes on 12 October.
Bloom judge Jim Knight said: “All five nominees in this category [Champion of Champions] were of an exceptional standard. It was difficult to choose a winner.
“Community spirit and volunteering in Lytham was outstanding. Everything came together perfectly and the quality of horticulture in Lytham was unrivalled.”
Judge Sue Wood, who has visited Lytham four times over the years, added: “They’ve gone from strength to strength over the last few years and now have 130 volunteers who are responsible for so much, from clearing litter to educating young people.”
As well as taking the top gong, Lytham won gold, too.
This year’s Bloom results were seen as a triumph at a time of local authority cutbacks. Through corporate sponsorships, the 77 finalists raised almost £350,000 to help fund projects such as the creation of allotments.
Chairman of Britain in Bloom Roger Burnett led a team of 14 volunteer judges who visited all finalists in July and August.
They marked displays against three main criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.
- For a full report with more pictures of Lytham, and details of all category winners in RHS Britain in Bloom 2013, buy the 26 October issue of Amateur Gardening magazine.