Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s green-fingered citizens been praised for their creativity and ingenuity.
The Mayor, Councillor Lindsey Millar, was commenting as the winners and runners-up of this year’s Mid and East Antrim In Bloom Community Competition’s general categories were announced.
Cllr Millar said: “We encourage everyone who lives in the borough to think about their local environment and how flowers, plants and gardens can enhance it for people and wildlife.
“By actively supporting our ‘In Bloom’ campaign and competitions residents have not only made their garden, schools and businesses more attractive but have also assisted Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s entry to the Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition and the Britain in Bloom Competition.
“Our own In Bloom competitions showcase the best of our borough, from front gardens to allotments, local businesses and community groups, all working to enhance our towns and villages.
“There is also the Gardening for Wildlife Award, which celebrates those doing their bit for biodiversity.
“I have been extremely impressed with the quality and diversity of the entries to the competition this year. It has been an opportunity for me to see the quality and variety of horticultural talent we have in our borough – no wonder we are award-winning at a regional and national level!
“Well done everyone and please keep up the great work.”
Community Competition categories included Best Kept Front Garden, Best Kept Front Container Garden, Best Kept Community Planting Scheme, Best Kept Allotment Garden, Best Kept Commercial Premises, and the Gardening for Wildlife Award.
The first citizen continued: “I would like to remind everyone that our Mid and East Antrim In Bloom Children’s Competitions are still open.
“The deadline for the very popular Tallest Sunflower entries is 1 September.
“Our Painting, Poetry, and the Best School Gardening Project Competitions remain open until 30 September.”
Results (winner first, followed by runners up):
Best Kept Front Garden - Janet Ashington, Gracehill; Hilary Reid, Carrickfergus; Chris Hamill, Whitehead. Best Kept Front Container Garden - Brett Harris, Larne; Jackie Wilson, Glenarm; Brice Rea, Larne.
Best Allotment Garden - Robert McComb, Eden Allotment Gardens; Barry Shaw, Greenisland Allotment Gardens; Christine Gibson, Larne Allotment Gardens.
Best Community Planting Scheme - Glenarm in Bloom; Brighter Whitehead; Larne Renovation Generation.
Best Commercial Premises - Castello Italia, Carrickfergus; The Diamond Bar, Ahoghill; Gillaroo Lodge, Larne.
Gardening for Wildlife Award - The Garden Across the Road, Kells; Friends of Ecos Nature Park, Ballymena; Phil Allen, Carrickfergus.
Winners and runners-up will be invited to the Mid and East Antrim In Bloom Awards Ceremony next month to receive their prizes and celebrate their horticultural successes.