Your chance to make the borough bloom

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Mayor Audrey Wales is urging green fingered citizens to help make the borough beautiful through ‘In Bloom community competitions’.

Cllr Wales said: “Mid & East Antrim in Bloom is your opportunity to make your borough bloom once more! We can all help keep our borough beautiful by filling a hanging basket, planting a tree or just keeping your garden tidy and we are celebrating our citizen’s horticultural talents through our In Bloom Community Competitions.

“Applications are welcome from all residents of the borough and entry is free of charge. Why not consider nominating a neighbour’s garden and other properties that you think are attractive and deserve recognition?

“We have 10 community competitions with great prizes available for winners and runners up in each. Our general categories range from Best Kept Garden to Best Kept Allotment so there is sure to be something for everyone. Our newest competition is the Gardening for Wildlife Award which celebrates urban biodiversity. You can easily help our local wildlife by adding small features to your garden such as bird boxes, a small pond or by sowing wild flower seed which can benefit our bees and butterfly.”

She added: “I’d like to encourage our residents in Mid and East Antrim in Bloom to get outdoors, join in our community competitions and see first-hand how gardening activities have on people’s health and wellbeing.”

The general categories in the community competitions are: Best Kept Front Garden, Best Kept Front Container Garden, Best Kept Community Planting Scheme, Best Kept Allotment Garden, Best Kept Commercial Premises, Gardening for Wildlife Award.

The Young People’s (16 and under) categories are: Tallest Sunflower Competition, Painting Competition, Poetry Competition

and Best School Gardening Project.

Entries to the six general categories must be received by July 20. The entry for the tallest sunflower competition must be received by September 1 and entries for the young people’s painting and poetry competitions and best school gardening project must be received by September 30.

Judging Criteria for the General Categories are: 1) Design and general effect; 2) Plant variety and diversity; 3) Cleanliness and neatness (presentation); 4) Quality of plant growth & produce (husbandry); 5) Special features (e.g. wildlife area, pool etc.); 6) Plants in bloom.

There are prizes for winners and runners up in each category and winners and runners up will be invited to an awards ceremony in October.

Conditions apply for all categories. For further information and tips on growing plants for your garden visit the Mid & East Antrim in Bloom website:www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/inbloom.

For further information or to return your entry form contact: Mid & East Antrim in Bloom, Museum & Civic Centre, Antrim Street, Carrickfergus. t: 028 93358231 or e:inbloom@midandeastantrim.gov.uk