GREEN-fingered enthusiasts were celebrating after winning awards in the South and South East In Bloom contest.
Despite challenging weather conditions, Chichester scooped a number of top awards, including a Gold Award for the third time in a row in the city centre category, in which the city was also named overall winner.
Gold was also awarded to Bishop’s Palace Garden in the Small Park section and to Chichester in Bloom in the Large Town category.
Outstanding awards were given to the Chichester Ship Canal Trust, Parklands Residents’ Association and the Whyke Estate Community Association in the It’s Your Neighbourhood category.
Helen Monckton and Kim Long collected the award for Chichester city centre.
“We’re really pleased to win the gold award for the third year running,” said Helen.
“Since we’ve been entering In Bloom, it’s made an impact on the city centre and surrounding areas.”
More than 320 people attended the awards ceremony in Fareham, Hampshire, where Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins presented the main winners with an engraved glass trophy and gave a certificate to all other entrants.
Selsey also picked up a host of awards and commendations on the night including gold for Manor Green Park, Small Park Category, gold for East Beach Pond, Conservation Area Category, Level 4 for the Manor Green Park Sensory Garden in the It’s Your Neighbourhood Category and Silver for Selsey in Bloom in the Small Town Category.
The Allotment of the Year Award was also awarded to the town, an achievement considering the Selsey Allotment Society only started the site last October.
Several groups were recognised in the It’s Your Neighbourhood category with Bramber Road Community and Graylingwell Park Community Garden, Chichester, classed as ‘establishing’, Chichester Foyer classed as ‘improving’, Summersdale Residents Association, Chichester, classed as ‘developing’ and Manor Green Park Sensory Garden, Selsey, and Marriott House and Lodge, Chichester, classed as ‘thriving’.
Other awards on the night included: Selsey in Bloom, silver, The Wharf, Chichester, silver gilt, Brandy Hole Copse, Chichester, silver gilt, Oaklands Park, Chichester, silver gilt, Litten Garden, Chichester, silver, Jubilee Park Garden, Chichester, silver, and Chichester Crematorium, silver.
The core themes of this year’s competition, sponsored by Southern Water, were horticulture and gardening, environmental responsibility and community participation.
South and South East in Bloom chairman, Peter Holman, said: “Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that we’re all about flowers and hanging baskets, but we’re more interested in the environment and the sterling work of communities.
“Many new people became involved this year, so we must be doing something right.”