Bloom Awards celebrate St Albans’ top gardeners

TALENTED gardeners who have created attractive green spaces across the district during a difficult summer weatherwise received awards for their success last week.

The annual St Albans District in Bloom Awards are organised by the district council in partnership with Aylett Nurseries and provide an opportunity for gardening enthusiasts to showcase their talents.

This year the judges were looking for evidence of sustainable gardening techniques across all the categories and among the winners was June Whetherley of St Albans who won the category Best Sustainable Garden.

She uses water collected in water-butts for her vegetables and flowers and has a pond, bird-feeders and a worm farm in her garden.

The award for Best Front Garden went to Mrs Woods from Harpenden who provided a display of beautiful blooms and an array of roses.

There were winners from right across the district including The Plough and Harrow in Harpenden which won Best Public House Frontage, Redbourn Parish Council which was awarded best Parish in Bloom and Wheathampstead Parish Council which took Best Community Project.

The Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Eileen Harris, who opened the ceremony, said: “These award winners are to be congratulated for all their hard work in making their green spaces look wonderful and for their use of sustainable gardening methods.”

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The judging took place over three weeks in July with the help of four judges – Andy Wight, head of work-based horticulture at Oaklands College; Martin Finney, garden designer at Aylett Nurseries; Don Shortman, qualified steward for the British Fuchsia Society, and Peter Lutman from Rothamsted Research Centre.

All the competition entrants were invited to the awards ceremony held at Aylett Nurseries where director Adam Wigglesworth said: “We are delighted to sponsor the District in Bloom 2012 competition. The competition celebrates people’s achievements in enhancing our local area and, in spite of the inclement weather this year, they have done wonderfully well!”