Every year Liphook in Bloom enters the South and South East in Bloom competition which has been generously sponsored since 2002 by Southern Water.
We have a pretty impressive track record for winning prizes. We have won a prize every year for the past 11 years - at least one for every year we have entered. We have won a Gold award for the last three years running. In 2008 as well as winning Gold, we were Best in Category and were invited to enter Britain in Bloom which is sponsored by the RHS.
This year, 2009, in the South and South East in Bloom competition we also won Best in Category (Liphook is classed as a small town), a Best Sustainable Community Award for community involvement over continuous years, and we won the County Award for the most points gained above all entrants in Hampshire including cities and large towns which was sponsored by Archant Life who are the publishers of Hampshire Life Magazine.
The aim of the competition is to encourage towns and villages to increase the civic pride felt by inhabitants whilst at the same time bringing benefits to the community and the environment. It's not just about gardening and horticulture, although no prizes would be won if those were not top notch! Other factors come into play when the village is marked for its entry. Judging is carried out by a panel of judges who visit towns and villages across the South and South East for two weeks during the month of July. Prizes are presented in September at an Oscars-style award ceremony.
Environmental sustainability, managing drought and saving water are key factors. We recycle the bulbs from our display beds and replant them in verges throughout the village. Nothing is wasted. We have also built our own compost bins where we put spent bedding plants and weeds from the village beds. This in turn provides us with excellent compost for the flower beds.
Another aim of the South and South East in Bloom competition is to raise awareness of what we are doing around gardening for the village. It aims to promote the health benefits of gardening to people of all ages and encourage them to get involved. It also helps to boost the local economy by encouraging visitors to come and see our wonderful displays.
The schools competition is a key element of the competition. Our schools have always done well. Last year the judges were stunned by the quality of the gardens at Bohunt School. Schools are marked on cultivating flowers, growing fruit and vegetables and conservation generally. It is always encouraging to see the young people of the village getting involved and inspired!
We always hope that the high profile of our participation in South and South East in Bloom will inspire a greater number of volunteers to join Liphook in Bloom. We also hope it will inspire pride in the village and encourage villagers to make a contribution in other ways, for example, by helping to keep litter to a minimum and keeping their own gardens tidy so that the village as a whole looks lovely. You can all do your bit on your own doorstep!
Finally, it's all about having fun. We enjoy what we do and if we win a prize that's all well and good. We take pride in making the village a better place to visit, live, work and play. But it's the getting together of the community and the taking part that are the real rewards.
If you would like more information about the South and South East in Bloom Competition or its sponsor Southern Water, please visit the official website for the competition at www.sseib.com
South and South East in Bloom is one of 17 regional competitions making up Britain in Bloom - Europe's largest horticultural competition, which is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society. Their website can be found at www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom
If you would like more information about Liphook in Bloom please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|The Liphook in Bloom web site is sponsored by Dark Group Ltd|
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