Perth wins RHS Britain in Bloom 2019

  • Scottish city crowned ‘Champion of Champions’ in UK-wide community gardening competition
  • Perth impressed with new urban green space, superb horticulture and environmental initiatives
  • 68 finalists celebrate success as competition increasingly rewards their environmental and community efforts

The Scottish city of Perth has been awarded top prize and crowned ‘Champion of Champions’ in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) 55th annual Britain in Bloom community gardening competition.

In the same year that environmental and community efforts were given greater weighting in the judging criteria, the ‘Fair City’ wowed RHS judges with its urban green spaces, pollinator-friendly planting and campaign to raise awareness of and collect plastic waste.

Sustainability is at the heart of Perth’s approach. Parks, gardens and biodiversity hotspots line the River Tay, some of which are designed to mitigate flood risk in what has been Scotland’s second wettest summer on record, and city-wide, many seasonal bedding displays have been swapped for plants including foxgloves, Salvia and flowering shrubs to provide year-round food for bees and other wildlife.

The jewel in the crown is the volunteer-maintained heather collection in Riverside Park, featuring over 500 varieties and beloved by insects including the buff-tailed bumblebee. Grey streets have also been transformed with colourful council-installed mini parks known as ‘parklets’ and 700 hanging baskets sponsored by local businesses.

Perth fought off four other contenders to win – Durham, Kingsbridge in Devon, Castlecaulfield in Northern Ireland and St Helier in Jersey – with a total of 68 communities competing across 12 categories that include best village, urban community and city. Each is nominated for the UK finals based on their regional success and judged on their horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility, taking home either a gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medal.

The exceptional standard of Perth’s entry also earned them a gold medal and discretionary award for the quality of Riverside Park. Three other category wins make Scotland the most successful competing nation or region in 2019: Bridge of Earn won the Large Village category, Haddington scooped the Town prize and St Andrews walked away with the Coastal award.

Community food growing, use of upcycled materials and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing were popular themes in this year’s competition with Bath’s Business Improvement District (BID) bursting with edibles such as herbs and salad crops, vibrant floral displays made by children from plastic collected during beach clean-ups in St Helier and a large-scale lunar landscape of low-growing plants in Oldham.

Darren Share, Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “Congratulations to Perth for its forward-thinking environmental initiatives, superb horticulture and far-reaching community support, with its small army of volunteers contributing 5,000 hours every year.

“Britain in Bloom is no longer just about spectacular floral displays, gardeners are increasingly having to respond to the changing climate, declining pollinator numbers and plastic waste and more communities are galvanizing people around these issues to bring about positive change. Perth is a fine example of what can be achieved.”

Perth were presented with their trophy at the RHS Britain in Bloom 2019 awards ceremony, held last night at the RHS Lindley Hall in London.

The full results from the RHS Britain in Bloom 2019 UK Finals are listed below.

RHS Britain in Bloom 2019 UK Finals

Full results (finalists listed alphabetically and category winners highlighted):

Entry Category Region/Nation Award
Amersham Town Thames & Chilterns Gold
Antrim Town Ulster Silver Gilt
Bath Business Improvement District BIDs, Town Centres & City Centres South West Gold
Bexhill-on-Sea Large Coastal South East Silver Gilt
Bicester BIDs, Town Centres & City Centres Thames & Chilterns Silver Gilt
Biddulph Large Town Heart of England Gold & Category Winner
Bridge of Earn Large Village Scotland (Keep Scotland Beautiful) Gold & Category Winner
Canary Wharf BIDs, Town Centres & City Centres London Gold
Castlecaulfield Champion of Champions Ulster Gold
Catterall Large Village North West Silver Gilt
City of Westminster City London Gold & Category Winner
Cranbrook Small Town South East Silver Gilt
Cranleigh Town South East Silver Gilt
Cullybackey Large Village Ulster Gold
Curry Rivel Large Village South West Silver Gilt
Derry Small City Ulster Gold & Category Winner
Desford Small Town East Midlands Silver Gilt
Donaghmore Village Ulster Gold
Dunfermline BIDs, Town Centres & City Centres Scotland (Keep Scotland Beautiful) Silver Gilt
Durham Champion of Champions Northumbria Gold
Farnham BIDs, Town Centres & City Centres South East Gold & Category Winner
Filby Village Anglia Gold
Garstang Small Town North West Gold
Goring-on-Thames Small Town Thames & Chilterns Gold & Category Winner
Green Moor Village Yorkshire Gold & Category Winner
Haddington Town Scotland (Keep Scotland Beautiful) Gold & Category Winner
Hale Village Urban Community London Gold & Category Winner
Halstead Town Anglia Gold
Ham & Petersham Small Town London Silver Gilt
Harrogate Small City Yorkshire Gold
Hunstanton Coastal Anglia Gold
Kingsbridge Champion of Champions South West Gold
Kirkcaldy Small City Scotland (Keep Scotland Beautiful) Silver Gilt
Llandudno Large Coastal Wales Gold & Category Winner
Loughborough Small City East Midlands Gold
Middleton-by-Wirksworth Village East Midlands Silver Gilt
Morpeth Town Northumbria Gold
New Milton BIDs, Town Centres & City Centres South Gold
Newport Town Heart of England Gold
Newquay Large Coastal South West Silver Gilt
Norton in Hales Village Heart of England Gold
Norwich City Anglia Silver Gilt
Oldham City North West Gold
Pateley Bridge Large Village Yorkshire Gold
Penrith Large Town Cumbria Gold
Perth Champion of Champions Scotland (Keep Scotland Beautiful) Gold & Category Winner
Prestatyn Large Town Wales Gold
Randalstown Small Town Ulster Gold
Reading City Thames & Chilterns Gold
Royal Tunbridge Wells Large Town South East Gold
Rugby Small City Heart of England Silver Gilt
Saltburn-by-the-Sea Coastal Northumbria Silver Gilt
Sark Coastal Guernsey Silver Gilt
Sedgefield Small Town Northumbria Gold
St Andrews Coastal Scotland (Keep Scotland Beautiful) Gold & Category Winner
St Clement Coastal Jersey (Natural Jersey) Silver Gilt
St Helier Champion of Champions Jersey (Natural Jersey) Gold
St Just Small Town South West Gold
St Aubin Village Jersey (Natural Jersey) Silver Gilt
Stanwix Urban Community Cumbria Silver Gilt
Tanfield Village Northumbria Gold
Titchfield Large Village South Silver Gilt
Whitby Coastal Yorkshire Gold
Wilmslow Large Town North West Silver Gilt
Wimborne Town South Silver Gilt
Winshill Urban Community Heart of England Silver Gilt
Yeovil Large Town South West Silver Gilt
Ystradgynlais Town Wales Silver Gilt

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