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BBC presenter opens horticultural contest

Islington representing the capital in prestigious competition

17 April, 2017 — By Koos Couvée

Pictured, from left: Jennifer Chamberlin, chair of Islington Gardeners; Cllr Claudia Webbe; BBC’s Joe Swift; Anita Gracie, Octopus Communities Network; and Christine Lovett, Angel BID.

BBC presenter and acclaimed garden designer Joe Swift has officially opened Islington in Bloom, the borough’s annual horticultural contest.

Mr Swift, from the popular BBC Gardener’s World programme, opened the competition at the Angel Business Design Centre last Thursday.

With spring finally here, residents and businesses are being encouraged to get growing for Islington in Bloom. The contest is open to all residents and businesses – even those who  don’t have a window box, container garden, or front garden at home.  Everyone is encouraged to plant a tree pit in their streets or estates.

Residents are also asked to nominate their favourite gardens and green spaces across the borough via an application form at

Islington Council’s environment chief, Councillor Claudia Webbe, said: “It’s been seven years since Islington last competed in Britain in Bloom and, as it’s also the 50th anniversary of London In Bloom, we’re aiming to make a colourful impression.

“These efforts are all the more important because we have the least green space per person in London and that is why we are all so committed to keeping it flourishing.”

The contest is run by the council in partnership with Islington Gardeners, the business improvement district and the Octopus Wild Places We Can Grow project.

Having won London in Bloom for the past two years in a row, Islington is representing the capital in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom competition.

Entries are accepted until May 31 and judging takes place from mid-June into July.

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