Follow the 15 communities taking part in the annual RHS Britain in Bloom competition in BBC Two’s new series starting next week.
Presented by Chris Bavin from BBC’s Eat Well for Less, each episode tells the story of one community’s first preparations for Bloom right through to the all-important judging day – and it’s about so much more than just pretty flowers.
Starting next week Monday (16 April), the programme will focus on the different communities across towns and villages in the UK as they prepare to enter the prestigious floral competition, which is now in its 54th year.
In February, the RHS announced the finalists – a total of 76 community gardening groups – who will ‘battle it out to be crowned the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful place in the UK’. Five of these finalists – Immingham, Lytham, Shrewsbury, Tewkesbury and Usk – will be featured on the show.
If you’re not already familiar with the awards, Britain in Bloom is the largest community gardening campaign in the UK. Every year up to 300,000 volunteers take part, donating 11.7 million hours of their time to projects that benefit the wider community. Any community, whether large or small, can join, with each competing to win either a Bronze, Silver, Silver Gilt or Gold award.
In each episode, presenter Chris spends time with each community helping them prepare to enter Bloom this year. We follow them right through to Judging Day, when the nervous community takes the judges around the Bloom route they’ve prepared – and we’ll hear the final results given by the judges.
Showing the heart of communities across the country, the series reveals how Bloom has touched many lives and shaped local pride from the smallest villages to the biggest cities.
This year’s finalists will compete across 12 categories, including the illustrious Champion of Champions category.
In 2017, the gold medal winning Elswick in Bloom, from Lancashire, was awarded the top prize of Champion of Champions.
Paul Hayhurst, Elswick in Bloom’s coordinator, said: ‘We started entering Britain in Bloom to improve our village which two decades ago was uncared for and had problems with litter and vandalism. We never expected to win and everyone was absolutely over the moon. Since then, there’s been far more interest – neighbouring areas have been inspired to set up their own groups, we’ve been invited to give talks and we’ve had lots more visitors to Elswick. It’s been incredible.’
Britain in Bloom starts on Monday 16 April, 6.30pm, BBC2.