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Islington In Bloom

Islington In Bloom is your local horticultural competition run by Islington Gardeners and Islington Council.

We want Islington to be greener, cleaner, and healthier, and the competition is a great way for you to work with us towards achieving this vision – as well as discovering the joy of gardeningGardening doesn’t just help to brighten up our shared spaces and makethem more wildlife friendly. It’s also fun and great for health and wellbeing – and for bringing people together.  

The 2021 competition ran from 31 March to 4 July, and we were delighted to receive 177 fantastic entries during that time. Our judges had a difficult time choosing the winners in each category. Congratulations to everyone who entered for helping us to make Islington greener! 

Take a look at the inspiring creations of some of the winners on our Islington in Bloom Instagram page 

Gardening is known to have a positive impact on mental health and this year’s competition offered a great opportunity for residents to benefit at such a challenging time. Explaining why he enjoyed taking part, Best Front Garden winner Garry McQuinn said: Wondering if my business was going to survive [during the Covid-19 pandemic] was a challenge. Getting down into that garden, especially on a lovely, sunny day, and just pottering around was a very healing thing for me.” 

You can read more about his experience on the IslingtonLife blog. 

How did it work? 

With social distancing restrictions in place, submissions for the gardening competition were online again this year. All residents – including expert gardeners and new budding enthusiasts  were encouraged to take part by sprucing up gardens, creating a colourful window display, or by growing gorgeous house plants. 

Entries were judged remotely  entrants sent in photographs of their green-fingered accomplishments by email. 

The results 

Here’s a list of all our fantastic winners and first and second runners-up! 

Best Back Garden: 

  1. Barbara Holliman
  2. Anna McKane
  3. Marco Fossaluzza


Best Children’s Planting:  

  1. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
  2. Willow Children’s Centre
  3. St Mark’s CE Primary School


Best Community Garden: 

  1. Gardeners of Wedmore
  2. Sunnyside Community Gardens
  3. Graham Street Park Gardens


Best Container Garden:  

  1. Louise Souter
  2. Elaine Durack
  3. Jose Fernandez-Gomez


Best Front Garden:  

  1. Garry McQuinn
  2. Pamela Berham
  3. Anne Monaghan


Best House Plant:  

  1. Pooles Park Primary School
  2. Helen Hutt
  3. Priory House


Best Tree Pit:  

  1. Pamela Berham
  2. Jane Kilgannon
  3. Josie Reilly



Best Window Box:  

  1. Patricia Jordan
  2. Leanne Visser
  3. Steve Dutton


Children’s Poster Competition (14 years and under):  

  1. Lillia Keighley-Toop


Thank you to our generous sponsors

Islington in Bloom would not be possible without the competition’s sponsors, including Islington Gardeners, The Islington SocietyBilly Davis Funfairs, Partners for Improvement, The Angel Association, NSL, and Camden Garden Centre.

A representative of Islington Gardeners said: “It was great to see that there are so many enthusiastic gardeners in Islington despite less than ideal weather this summer. The growth of community gardening in public spaces is very heartening and encouraging.” 

All entrants to Islington in Bloom will receive a voucher for a free bag of compost from Camden Garden Centre. 

Next year’s competition 

We hope you are feeling inspired and will consider taking part next year – when Islington in Bloom is expected to open in spring.  

If you’d like to get involved in the meantime, follow us on Instagram @islingtoninbloom for gardening tips, fun facts, and a look at some of the fabulous things happening around the borough. 

For enquiries, email

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A banner surrounded by flowers and leaves. 'Islington in bloom'