Six Scottish communities are donning their gardening gloves as they prepare to battle it out in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) 2019 Britain in Bloom competition.
Now in its 55th year, the fiercely fought contest will see 71 UK finalists put their horticultural skills, community spirit and green credentials to the test.
Representing Scotland will be the riverside city of Perth, the towns of Dunfermline, Haddington, Kirkcaldy and St Andrews and the village of Brig.
Groups are put forward to the finals based on their progress nationally and regionally and will be scored by a team of RHS judges in the summer.
This year, finalists will compete across 12 categories with Perth hand-picked by the judges for the prestigious Champion of Champions category based on their exceptional past performance. They join St Helier, Durham, Kingsbridge in Devon and Castlecaulfield in Northern Ireland to vie for the top title.
The category was won last year by Truro in Cornwall whose exotic and drought-tolerant planting beat the heat and impressed the judges. The city also enjoyed cross-community support from the council, businesses and local residents.
Chair of the Britain in Bloom judging panel, Darren Share said: ‘Britain in Bloom isn’t just about spectacular floral displays and making our villages, towns and cities beautiful to live in and visit. Many of this year’s finalists are on the frontline of tackling some of the UK’s biggest challenges such as climate change, plastic waste on beaches and declining pollinator populations.
‘The thousands of volunteers that will compete in this year’s competition are a barometer for growing trends and the importance and impact of greening our communities. I can’t wait to see their tremendous efforts this summer.’
Juliette Camburn, Community Projects Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful said: ‘We are delighted that six of Scotland’s communities will represent the country in the RHS Britain in Bloom finals in 2019. Together with the RHS, we have supported the work of these communities to make the places they love – be it a city, town or village – clean, green and sustainable and it’s wonderful to see them compete at UK level.
‘We wish the Scottish finalists, all winners in our Beautiful Scotland campaign, the very best of luck for 2019.’
The RHS Britain in Bloom judges will visit the finalists during judging fortnight which starts on 29 July. The winners of each category and finalists’ medals – ranging from Gold to Bronze – will be announced in October.
BBC Two’s Britain in Bloom also returns for a second series in the spring with Chris Bavin visiting communities as they prepare for judging. This year’s groups include three national finalists – Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire, and Llandudno and Prestatyn, both in Wales.
For more information about RHS Britain in Bloom and to search for community gardening groups in your area visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/communities/find-a-group-search-form.