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In Bloom: judging criteria

What will the judges be looking for?

Before the judges come to look at all your wonderful gardens, tree pits, hanging baskets and planters, there are a few things you might like to think about when planning your display for Islington in Bloom:

  • Will your display have an overall WOW when the judges first see it?

  • Do you have plants that will provide interest all year round? For example, do you have some evergreen shrubs, climbers or trees?

  • Is your entry well maintained, for example weed free, pruned / trimmed well, watered, looking healthy and pest free?

  • Is there a scheme for your entry – this could just be colours or a particular design and is the planting suitable and works well in its location? 

  • Is there a good mixture of plants in your display; are there different textures, colours and shapes of leaves? 

  • Have you thought about making your planting more sustainable – choosing plants that can tolerate drier conditions, using perennial plants instead of bedding plants, collecting rain water for watering and using mulch to suppress weed and retain water. Have you used any recycled materials?

  • It's becoming very important to have a little place for wildlife. This can be achieved in lots of different ways. Maybe you could have some plants that provide food sources for bees and other pollinators or leave a small area wild for habitat and food for insects and birds. You can put up a bird box or feeder, bug hotel or small water feature that will also add interest to your display.

  • You could try growing some fruit and vegetables, like tomatoes or beans; nothing tastes better than something you have grown yourself.

The most important thing to remember is to enjoy what you do. Gardening is a fantastic hobby, is good exercise and beneficial for your wellbeing, so what’s not to like!

All the very best of luck with your display, your judges are very much looking forward to seeing them all.

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