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Celebrating our 2023 In Bloomers!

21 September


The West Park Hotel hosted our 2023 Awards Evening which celebrated the excellent contributions made by local schools, businesses and community groups that keep our floral town looking amazing.
The event was organised in collaboration with Harrogate BiD, who were invited to enter this year's Britain in Bloom competition in the BiD category; Nick Smith, Director of Harrogate Flower Shows, was our compere for the evening and Chris Blundell, owner of The West Park Hotel, presented the Awards.

The Hammond Mann Trophy was awarded for the School Gardens Competition, which was reintroduced this year. The three entrants were Coppice Valley School, Harrogate Grammar School and Richard Taylor School. All three received a Silver Award and Richard Taylor School was chosen to receive the trophy. The school holds an afterschool gardening club, and their garden includes a wildlife pond, raised beds, a polytunnel and a garden for outdoor classes.

The Shop Window competition was run in conjunction with the BiD. There were six entries – Fattorinis, Georgie’s and Sharps Bedrooms received a Bronze Award; Oxfam received a Silver Award; The Yorkshire Soap Company and Helen James received a Gold Award, and the McCrindle Trophy was awarded to Helen James.

The Crowther Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Hotels and Guesthouses Category. There were six entries – West Park Hotel received a Bronze Award; Arden House Hotel and Cedar Court Hotel both received a Silver Award; The Crown Hotel, Shelbourne House and The White Hart Hotel all received a Gold Award, and the category winner was the White Hart Hotel. The judges said the excellent range and mix of seasonal and sustainable plantings gave a high impact, having excellent quality throughout.

The year the Harrogate in Bloom Shield was awarded to the Communal Grounds category. There were four entrants – Low Harrogate Bowling Club and West Park United Reform Church received a Silver Award and Bilton Community Centre and Royal House both received a Gold Award. The winner of the Harrogate in Bloom Shield was Royal House, which has a beautifully designed front garden with a wide variety of shrubs and superb standard roses.

There were five vibrant entries in the Pubs and Restaurants category for the Parks Department Rose Shield. The Giggling Squid and Piccolino’s received a Silver Award and The Coach and Horses, Vivido and The Winter Gardens received a Gold Award. The Parks Department Rose Shield was awarded to The Winter Gardens. The judges said that the floral containers on Parliament Street give immediate impact with excellent colour range and mix in the baskets and planters. The plants were all in good condition.

The Bettys Teapot was awarded for the best Residential Community gardens this year. There were seven entries – Oak Lodge and Wedderburn Lodge received a Sliver Award; Byron Court, Oakhurst Chatsworth Court, The Manor House, Rogers Alms Houses and Swan Court all received a Gold Award, and the winner of the Bettys Teapot was Swan Court. Very attractive gardens surround Swan Court flats, and the new feature garden was designed by one of the residents. There is a wide selection of shrubs and hydrangeas with colourful hanging baskets and containers. At the time of judging, the rose garden was spectacular.

The Edgar Scholey Shield was awarded to Pine Street Allotments at the Harrogate & District Allotment Federation Annual Show in August. The judging is organised in collaboration with Harrogate in Bloom, so the Shield was re-presented to the Secretary of Pine Street Allotments. The Harrogate Borough Council Trophy for the best allotment plot went to Peter Walker of Pine Street Allotments.

The Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce Trophy is a discretionary award, which this year went to Open Country. This charity, which works alongside disabled people, helping them to access and enjoy the countryside, has been very active this year in supporting Hookstone and Stonefall Action Group in laying new footpaths in Hookstone Wood under the guidance of the Council Countryside Rangers.

The President’s Award goes to a person or organisation that is considered to have gone above and beyond the requirements of their job to provide a better service. This year the award was given to the Refuse Collection Team who are responsible for the collection of refuse at Swan Court. The team are always cheerful and ready to help, working well with the caretaker to keep everything clean and tidy.

The final trophy to be presented was the Mayor’s Trophy, which is awarded to a person in one of the community groups who has shown dedication to ‘In Bloom’. Carolyn Rothwell has been outstanding in the time and effort she gives to Harrogate in Bloom – providing the agendas and minutes for our monthly meetings as well as volunteering with Horticap and the Pinewoods Conservation Group and working at Harrogate District Hospital. Carolyn was unable to attend the award ceremony as she was giving a talk in Starbeck Library. However, Christine Brown, who organised the library event, awarded the trophy to Carolyn at the end of her talk.

Pam Grant, President of Harrogate in Bloom, thanked everyone for their involvement in ‘In Bloom’ and in the successful awards evening. She congratulated Jon Clubb on his appointment as the New Head of Parks for North Yorkshire Council and thank him and his team for their work to maintain the floral reputation of Harrogate. Finally, Pam reminded everyone to ‘Keep Blooming!’

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