Bloomin’ marvellous gardens brighten up the borough
Move over Chelsea Flower Show, as the winners of the Tower Hamlets in Bloom gardening competition were announced at a glittering awards ceremony at the Ecology Pavilion.
The Tower Hamlets in Bloom competition gives residents the chance to show off their horticultural skills in the Council’s annual gardening competition and rewards those who help to make the borough bright and beautiful. From balconies, community gardens and allotments to patios, businesses and schools, the competition is open to anyone who makes the most of open spaces. Organised by Tower Hamlets Council the competition is part of a nationwide scheme to encourage people to become interested in plants, wildlife and the environment.
The competition has inspired residents to make the most of green spaces and to turn even the smallest garden into an idyllic haven. This year the competition received a lot of interest with more than 100 entries submitted. The winners were invited to an awards ceremony at the Ecology Pavilion in Mile End Park to celebrate their success.
There were two wildlife gardening categories in this year’s competition, one for residential gardens and one for community gardens. It was a hat trick for Gary Howes and Andrew Whibley who won the award for best residential wildlife garden three times in a row. The pair, whose garden is in Backchurch Lane, also won the overall individual award, which they are seen collecting in the photo above.
Gary said: “But this is not the only reason we have created our wildlife garden. Encouraging nature to thrive in the urban jungle that we live in gives us so much pleasure. And we find it very relaxing especially with the hectic lives we lead. I only hope that more people in our borough are encouraged to do the same.”
The best community wildlife garden award was won by Cable Street Community Garden, beating strong competition from Winterton House Organic Garden, Spitalfields City Farm and Brownfield Community Garden.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “What I love about this competition is that everyone benefits from the hard work of our talented residents. I am pleased so many residents and organisations took part in the competition and they have all helped to keep the borough looking its best.”
Cllr Rania Khan, cabinet member for culture was impressed with the exceptional quality of entries and presented the gardeners with their certificates. She said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the competition for making Tower Hamlets such a green and pleasant place to live, work and visit.”
The gardens were judged during the summer by Council officers Mohammed Raja, Paul Sammut, Katherine O’Brien and Keith Woodard, with assistance from Biodiversity Officer John Archer for the wildlife gardens.