Mid and East Antrim In Bloom community competitions officially open for National Gardening Week

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Peter Johnston, is encouraging green-fingered citizens to help make the borough beautiful with the launch of the 2021 Mid and East Antrim in Bloom community competitions.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 11:02 am
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 11:16 am
The country’s biggest annual celebration of gardening is taking place from Monday, April 26 to Sunday, May 2 2021.

The launch coincides with the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) National Gardening Week, the country’s biggest annual celebration of gardening (April 26 - May 2).

Cllr Johnston said: “Mid and East Antrim has won a string of horticultural awards thanks in part to our Mid and East Antrim in Bloom campaign which encourages everyone who lives in the Borough to think about their local environment and how flowers, plants, trees and gardens can enhance it for people and wildlife.

“As well as environmental benefits, gardening has huge health and wellbeing benefits. Over the last year we’ve come to rely on our gardens and green spaces more than ever. Many of us have rediscovered the importance of connecting with nature for our mental and physical wellbeing resulting in millions more people rediscovering the uplifting power of plants and gardening.

“National Gardening Week is the nation's biggest celebration of gardening and raises awareness of the difference that gardens and gardening can make to the lives of everyone. It aims to inspires more people, particularly the next generation of gardeners, to experience the joy of growing and creating beautiful green spaces. Council support this RHS initiative annually with the launch of our own local competitions.”

RHS Director of Science, Professor Alistair Griffiths, added: “For National Gardening Week 2021 we’re celebrating the feel-good power of plants and gardens, highlighting the scientific links between gardening and wellbeing and sharing easy tips to get your daily dose of 'Vitamin G'.

“Vitamin G is ‘green’, and research has shown that getting a daily dose improves our sense of personal wellbeing. Aim to bring green into your daily life as much as possible for maximum benefits. There are dozens of ways to connect with nature, and you don’t even need to have your own garden to get your Vitamin G. For example, taking a mindful moment in your garden or local green space, bringing the outdoors in with house plants, planting up a container whether in your garden or windowsill.”

Mid and East Antrim In Bloom Community Competitions are a chance for residents to be recognised and rewarded for their gardening skills. "Applications are welcome from all residents of the borough and entry is free of charge. Why not consider nominating a neighbour or friend you think deserve recognition?" Cllr Johnston said.

“There are twelve community competitions in total with great prizes for winners and runners up in each. General categories include Best Kept Front Garden, Best Kept Front Container Garden, Best Kept Allotment Garden, Best Kept Commercial Premises, Best Kept Community Planting Scheme, Gardening for Wildlife Award, Volunteer of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to In Bloom. There are also four competitions specifically for our young residents – Young Volunteer of the Year, Blooming Creative, Best School Gardening Project and the Tallest Sunflower Competition.”