Time to spruce up your gardens for St Albans District in Bloom

GREEN-fingered residents and flower fanciers have until 10 June to enter the second-ever District in Bloom Awards.

The closing date for entering the competition, which is intended to help make the district greener and more attractive, has been extended from May 20 until June 10 to give as many people as possible the chance to enter. Judging will take place in the first two weeks of July.

Richard Shwe, St Albans council’s head of community services, said: “The awards are designed to highlight local residential, commercial and community projects that contribute towards making St Albans city and district a greener place to live.

“They provide a great opportunity to showcase your front garden or dress up your retail frontage or outdoor space to help make the district more attractive to residents and visitors alike.”

The council is running the awards for the second year in succession and building on the success of last year’s event, four new award categories have been added including best allotment site.

The full categories this year are: best public house rear garden; best sheltered housing garden; best city forum ward garden; best allotment site; best parish in bloom; best school project; best sustainable garden; best retail/commercial frontage; best senior citizen garden

The winners of each category will win �50 of vouchers from awards sponsor Aylett Nurseries and there are also a range of runner-up prizes donated by other sponsors.

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In last year’s District in Bloom Awards 2010, the hard work of gardeners from Harpenden and Redbourn helped their parishes jointly win the best parish in bloom category, while The Boot in Market Place, St Albans scooped the best retail frontage category and Mandeville Primary School the award for best young gardener.

The winners also included Stephen Brooks of West Riding, Bricket Wood, who won best front garden, Helen Kane who took the award for best environmentally-friendly garden and Mr and Mrs Foers of Lancaster Road, St Albans, who won best senior citizen garden.

This year’s awards can be entered by completing an application form and sending it to District in Bloom, St Albans City and District Council, Civic Centre St Peter’s Street, St Albans, AL1 3JE.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Council’s website at www.stalbans.gov.uk/district-in-bloom. Hard copies are also available from the council’s offices at the Civic Centre, the Old Town Hall in Market Place, St Albans, and from Aylett Nurseries on the A414, south of St Albans.

The sponsors of the awards include Aylett Nurseries and the Herts Advertiser.

Adam Wigglesworth, director of Aylett Nurseries, said: “We are delighted to be involved in sponsoring the District in Bloom awards.

“The awards recognise the hard work and care that so many individuals and organisations put into their gardens, in order to enhance our environment. We look forward to viewing this year’s entries.”

Other sponsors include Romans, Villa Plus, Hertfordshire county council, Indos Computer Services, Fairweather Roofing, Sopwell House and Warren Evans who have all signed up to sponsor roundabouts in the district. Money raised from this initiative is being used to enhance the roundabouts and to help fund the District in Bloom awards each year.

Any business or organisation interested in sponsoring a roundabout or becoming a sponsor of awards on their own, should email districtinbloom@stalbans.gov.uk or call the council’s grounds maintenance team on 01727 819366.