• Lin Pickford
  • Address:
    Royal Victoria Park Nursery
    Marlborough Lane
    BA1  2LZ
  • E-mail:
  • Telephone:
    01225 396386
  • Fax:
    01225 480072
  • Minicom:
  • Page Updated:
  • Author:
    Lin Pickford
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Bath in Bloom Competition

Improving our local environment for all those who live, work or visit Bath & North East Somerset

Sponsored by Hays and Rotork

Photographs kindly supplied by Bath Chronicle

Bath in Bloom Competition is open to all residents, businesses, schools, institutions or community groups within the boundary of Bath & North East Somerset.

Bath in Bloom is a competition to encourage the community to take a pride in Bath & North East Somerset, making it attractive with flowers, landscaping or an environmental project.



  1. Each entrant may choose one category only from the list below (with the exception of Town or Village and Tallest Sunflower, which may be entered in addition to another category).


Categories for Community Groups
1 Schools or other groups of young people***
2 Floral display by any community group
3 Places of worship
4 Town or Village not entered in South West in Bloom competition*

Category for either Community Group
or Private Individual

5 Environmental project - community group or private individual
Categories for Private Individuals
6 Best horticultural achievement by a school pupil
7 Large garden visible from pavement over 500 square feet
8 Small garden visible from pavement up to 500 square feet
9 Area visible from pavement with container planting
10 Hanging basket visible from pavement
11 Sustainable garden
12 Best allotment
13 All year round garden
14 Large garden not visible from pavement over 1200 square feet
15 Small garden not visible from pavement up to 1200 square feet
16 Tallest Sunflower*
Categories for Businessess
17 Business premises with container planting
18 Business premises with garden
19 Hotels with large gardens

* Town or Village and Tallest Sunflower categories may be entered in addition to one other category

*** Schools and other groups of young people category now incorporates the Cleanest School Competition formerly run by Waste Services.

For the majority of categories the judges will be marking your entry on the following criteria:-

  • Impact
  • Variety and the use of a range of plants
  • Colour combinations
  • Position and profusion
  • Condition and care

There are different judging criteria for schools, town or villageenvironmental project, sustainable garden and allotments which can be obtained by telephoning 01225 396386.


 How to enter

Please complete the entry form and indicate the number and name of the category most suited to your display.  Please email your entry to or post or deliver your entry to Parks and Green Spaces, Royal Victoria Park Nursery, Bath, BA1  2LZ to arrive not later than Monday 30th June 2008.

Judging will begin on Saturday 12th July 2008 with the exception of Tallest Sunflower which will be judged at the end of August.  Only sunflowers over 6ft high will be measured.  Please telephone 01225 396386 if your sunflower reaches this height.

There is no need to be at home, as judges will leave their calling cards to let entrants know they have visited.  The judges decision will be final.



How your make your local community even better!

Community Groups

Schools, youth groups, places of worship, residential areas, sheltered accommodation etc. - work together to enhance your surroundings or take part in an environmental project. 

Private Entrants

Private gardens large and small, an area with container planting (e.g. basement, balcony, window box), allotments, hanging baskets - have fun making the most of your own patch.  We are particularly keen to encourage young gardeners.


Business premises large and small, (e.g. shops, hotels, guest houses, public houses etc.).  Floral displays will enhance your surroundings and it's good for business too!

New for 2008

Town or Village not entered in South West in Bloom competition.  A chance for private individuals, businesses and community groups to all work together to make the very best of your own Town or Village.


Presentation of awards

Award Winners will be invited to a Gala Evening on  Monday 11 August.  Results will be announced at the Ceremony and published in the local press shortly afterwards.

First prize winners will go forward to one of our three winners categories for 2009, these are:-

Best Community Winner
Best Private Winner
Best Business Winner


Judging Criteria

Schools and other groups of young people

Criteria used for judging

1.         General (25 marks)

  • Overall cleanliness (external)
    Grounds will be assessed for cleanliness which includes being free from litter, having tidy borders (e.g. where grass or wood chippings meet pathways) and free from weeds.
    Other factors that will be taken into account include the amount of effort each school has put into promoting a litter free school to the children, parents and local community.
  • Innovation, Recycling
    Alternative use of old materials, rather than using new.
    What you do with recycling and the awareness of the pupils.

2.         Floral Displays (25 marks)

  • Use of a variety of plants, colour combinations, condition and care (dead heading, watering as necessary).  Try to keep design simple and accessible.
  • Provide evidence of all year round planting e.g. photos, diary

3.         Vegetables (15 Marks)

  • Use a variety of vegetables and fruit, look after them and water as necessary.  Try to keep design simple and accessible.
  • Provide evidence of all year round planting e.g. photos, diary

4.         Environmental (25 Marks)

  • Conservation and environmental features
    Water buts, ponds, natural area, water feature, composting area, log/stone piles, bird boxes/feeders, insect boxes, access paths, seating   Try to keep design simple and accessible.
  • Planting
    Planting of native or other plants and grasses that attract insects, small mammals, toads frogs etc.
  • Organic and ecological practices
    Companion planting, slug control, weed control, general awareness of organic and environmental benefits.

5.         Information (10 Marks)

  • Notice board informing pupils and visitors what’s going on in the school and grounds, gardening news what’s to be done, how much litter was picked up.

Some actions schools have taken to promote awareness:-

  • Clean Teams, litter monitors and litter picks
  • Active participation in recycling schemes
  • Setting an example
  • Litter patrols and reporting littering
  • Litter education (including Eco Schools)
  • Environmental groups and School Councils
  • Posters
  • Assemblies
  • Whole staff and caretaker involvement
  • Parental involvement/PTA and local community/village involvement
  • Punishing bad behaviour through litter picking
  • Caring proactively for the school grounds by making them look nice, (conservation areas, flower beds allotment area etc)
  • Secondary pupils employed by school to keep it clean (incentive to keep it tidy in first place)
  • Set clear up times
  • Putting litter out themselves

Town or village not entered in South West in Bloom competition

Criteria used in Judging

Floral Displays - Design and quality of features and displays, standards of maintenance, including lawned areas.  Evidence of spring displays and autumn colour will also be considered.

1)         Impact/overall impression (20 marks)

2)         Residential and communal gardens and business premises (for example, pub, shops, places  of worship) (15 marks)

3)         Sprecial floral features including town/village entrances and focal points (10 marks)

4)         Community involvement (for example, design, planting, maintenance etc.)  Encouragement of young people, as appropriate. (15 marks)

Permanent landscaping, including shrubs – Design and quality of plantings and standard of appropriate maintenance, including grass cutting.

1)         Open spaces (for example parks, village greens, grass verges, ponds etc.) (25 marks)

2)         Residential and communal gardens, business premises and town/village focal points. (20 marks)

3)         Community involvement including tree and roadside planting, design and maintenance.  Encouragement of young people, as appropriate. (15 marks)

Conservation and recycling – This section contributes to Local Agenda 21 and sustainable development.

1)         Management of natural areas, as appropriate to the local environment (for example, hedgerows, woodlands, river banks etc.)       Other nature projects – designated areas created to encourage wild flowers (for example, meadows, verges, etc.) and the general encouragement of wildlife (for example, gardening with wildlife in mind, bat and bird boxes etc.)   Appropriate on site information (for example, fingerpost, notice board etc.) (15 marks)

2)         Domestic and garden waste management (for example, kerbside recycling, composting etc.)(15 marks)

Local Environmental Quality – Absence of litter, dog fouling, graffiti, fly-posting and other associated factors.

1)         Cleanliness of town/village (including lack of litter, dog fouling, graffiti, fly-posting, vandalism etc.)  Treatment of weeds in hard landscaped areas, as appropriate, and condition of street furniture. (20 marks)

2)         Community involvement to encourage improved cleanliness.  Encouragement of young people, as appropriate. (10 marks)

Public Awareness – Publicity and promotion of local “in bloom” activities.

1)         Communication of information (including media coverage, newsletters, websites, articles, town/village hall notices, posters etc.) (10 Marks)

2)         Organisation and innovation in attracting sponsorship/raising funds and other support including “in kind” benefits. (10 marks)

The marks shown are the maximum available for each item.

Environmental project

Criteria Used in Judging

1.         Environmental impact of project, taking scale and setting into account.

2.         Water features and conservation – does the project incorporate water conservation measures or provision for attracting wildlife into the area using water e.g. pond or bog area?

3.         Environmental features – does the project incorporate features such as log piles, bird boxes, composting areas etc.

4.         Natural planting – does the project incorporate a range of native plant types in order to attract as wide a range of wildlife as possible?

5.         Innovation in reuse, recycling and material selection – does the project include examples of materials that have been reused or recycled and have new materials been carefully selected to minimise the environmental impact of the project?

Up to a maximum of 20 marks will be awarded for each of the criteria.

Sustainable garden

Criteria used in Judging

1.         Composting (20 marks)

  • Composting helps to recycle your garden and/or kitchen waste and reduces the need for peat.
  • Do you regularly compost your kitchen and/or garden waste?
  • Perhaps you compost more unusual items or have built your own compost heap or maybe you have a wormery.

2.         Natural Features (20 marks)

  • Do you strive to encourage wildlife in your garden?
  • Do you apply organic principles to your gardening?
  •  Are there ways in which you encourage native/natural species to grow in your garden?

3.         Water Features and Conservation (20 marks)

  • Have you looked at ways to conserve water within your garden?
  • Do you use a water butt or do you strive to make use of rainwater in preference to hosepipes?
  • Have you added water features (such as ponds) to your garden to attract wildlife?

4.         Reuse/Recycling (20 Marks)

  • Do you reuse things within your garden?
  • Perhaps you reuse old plant pots and containers?
  • Do you share tools or other equipment?
  • Perhaps you’ve built structures from old materials or have innovative uses for old items.

5.         Produce (20 marks)

  • Do you grow your own fruit and/or vegetables?
  • Perhaps you grow a variety or concentrate on just growing a few things.

The marks shown are the maximum available for each item.


Criteria used in Judging

1.         Maximum use of plot (20 marks) – are all areas fully used?
2.         Quality of produce (20 marks) – the quality and condition of produce.
3.         Variation of produce (15 marks) – are a good range of plants grown?
4.         Appearance of plot (10 marks) – the overall visual impact
5.         Features (10 marks) – are there any interesting features that enhance the overall plot?
6.         Organic/ecological practices (10 marks) – is there evidence of any?
7.         Condition of paths (5 marks) – recently cut and edged?
8.         Plot number board (5marks) – is it clear and in good condition?
9.         Compost heap (5marks) – is it being used and in good condition?

The marks shown are the maximum available for each item.




Entry Form

Bath in Bloom Competition Entry Form (RTF - 884kb)