RHS announces Britain in Bloom finalists for 2024

A Red Admiral butterfly making the most of Bonnie Dundee's wildflower area next to the city's Customs House

THE Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has today revealed the 52 finalists of the 2024 RHS Britain in Bloom Finals, in the 60th anniversary year of the UK’s biggest gardening competition.

The finalists, selected from across the UK, will compete to be crowned winner in one of 11 categories, and will secure an RHS gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze award. One of the category winners will then go on to be named RHS Britain in Bloom Overall Winner for 2024.

Judges will assess each group according to criteria that evaluate their commitment to improving the local environment, community engagement and horticultural excellence.

Among this year’s finalists in the Small City category is Bath in Bloom, who were the first ever winners of the competition in its inaugural year, six decades ago. Celebrating horticultural excellence and sustainability, the group grow their plants in-house to ensure quality and variety. They take cuttings of native plants from locations across the city to be grown in their own dedicated nursery.

Amongst the chosen, Scotland is represented by Lauder as a ‘Large Village’ finalist, Forres in the ‘Town’ category, North Berwick in the Coastal category, and the Bonnie Dundee network as a City finalist.

Kay Clark, RHS Community Development Manager, said: “While planting trends may change and environmental practices evolve, the belief that plants and communal green spaces are important for creating healthy and happy communities endures. Britain in Bloom groups across the UK work to enhance the local environment, share skills and knowledge, and create opportunities to improve local wellbeing. In this special anniversary year, we’ve chosen the theme of friendship, to highlight the way in which community gardening can bring people together and enrich lives.”

As part of this year’s anniversary celebrations the RHS will be sharing ‘friendship flower seeds’ to all of the Britain in Bloom groups to celebrate the enduring friendships made through caring for plants as a community and a love of gardening. Over 2 million flowers, including sweet peas, cosmos, nigella, gypsophila, rudbeckias and zinnias will be sown and planted by Bloom groups to create spectacular displays of cut flowers for everyone to enjoy. 

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 2024, and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in the autumn.

If you are inspired to get involved in community gardening in your area find out more at www.rhs.org.uk/community

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