Swale Tourism
24th May 2023

The proud ancient market town of Faversham has been confirmed as one of the ten finalists in the ‘large town’ category.

In total, 44 finalists of the 2023 RHS Britain in Bloom UK Finals competition have been announced by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), as groups prepare to impress judges with their stunning sustainable displays and vie for the chance to win the UK’s largest gardening competition.

Large Town Category Finalists

  • Bonnie Blantyre and pals, South Lanarkshire
  • Coleraine, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
  • Faversham in Bloom, Kent
  • Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
  • Kendal, Cumbria
  • Market Harborough, Leicestershire
  • Oswestry, Shropshire
  • Rawtenstall Civic Pride, Lancashire
  • Truro in Bloom, Cornwall
  • Wokingham, Berkshire

The finalists, selected from across the UK, will compete to be crowned the winner in one of ten categories, and will also be looking to secure an RHS gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze award. Category winners will then be put forward to be named RHS Britain in Bloom Overall Winner for 2023.

Group’s efforts will be judged according to criteria that looks at their commitment to improving the local environment, community engagement and horticultural excellence.

The RHS predicts that 2023 will see groups opting for more drought tolerant planting, bringing blooms to their community while reducing the need for watering. Thirsty containers and baskets are likely to be swapped for drought-tolerant, aromatic favourites such as lavender and rosemary, interspersed with bright spring bulbs and hanging baskets brimming with bright, heat-loving pelargoniums.

Bringing people together remains a key theme amongst the 2023 entrants. Bonnie Blantyre and Pals, first-time finalists from South Lanarkshire, have planted a community orchard and built community gardens that grow a host of edibles for distribution to those in need in the local area. Crops like potatoes, tomatoes and beans as well as easy-to-harvest salads will be shared with local food banks by some of this year’s finalists.
Planet-friendly gardening and the use of plants to help tackle environmental issues also continues to be high on the agenda for community groups. Suffolk finalists Brandon in Bloom are ensuring their displays have a dual purpose, brightening the town with colourful blooms and selecting perennial plants that absorb air pollution from traffic. While Exmouth in Bloom are creating displays using salt-tolerant, sustainable plants, with added interest from palms and bright subtropical species for their coastal location.
Kay Clark, RHS Community Development Manager, said: “Across the UK, groups are enjoying the benefits gardening brings to both their local communities and their own wellbeing. These groups are also trailblazers, trialling innovative ways to tackle environmental issues and engage their wider communities in today’s most pressing challenges.”

There are 17 Bloom Regions that all hold their own Bloom competitions, from which they nominate their highest-performing entries to compete in the UK Finals. Each of the finalists will be visited by a pair of Britain in Bloom judges in summer 2023, and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in the autumn.

Please visit this link for more information about Britain in Bloom or to find a community gardening group near you: https://www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/community-gardening

Faversham in Bloom