South & South East in Bloom is the regions longest running gardening competition. It provides a regional platform for community groups to brighten up their villages, Parishes, Towns & Cities. Many groups report wide-ranging social and environmental benefits.
South & South East in Bloom is recognised as a symbol of excellence in community gardening, strong community spirit and pride of place.
Registered groups benefit from:
- Guidance and support on gardening for that ‘wow’ factor, as well as for maximum benefit to the community and the environment
- An annual visit by an experienced South & South East in Bloom judge(s)/assessor(s), who provide tailored feedback, tips and advice to build on the group’s progress
- Recognition of achievement for all the hard work that your teams have carried out through the year, via Award Certificates & Trophies.
- Joining a network of passionate community gardeners.
- A free print and a digital copy of the RHS quarterly community gardening magazine, Grass Roots, full inspirational stories and expert advice
- The opportunity to purchase affordable insurance cover from the RHS, specifically created for community gardening groups
- Access to the advice in developing a “Bloom” Group and participation in the regional campaign.
How your community could benefit
South & South East in Bloom groups regularly report the following benefits to the wider community:
- Increased visitor numbers and a stronger local economy
- A stronger sense of pride of place, contributing to reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour
- A cleaner and greener place to live and visit, with higher environmental awareness
- New partnerships between local authorities, businesses and community groups
- More funding opportunities to support specific activities
- Higher volunteer numbers, enabling groups to have a bigger impact
Benefits for your community
- Pride of place: public spaces improved by the people that use them allows a sense of ownership and shared learning – for the lasting benefit
- Greener surrounds: more gardens means a cleaner and greener place to live and visit (91.5 per cent of recently surveyed RHS Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood groups listed this as a key benefit to taking part)
- A healthier environment: attracting wildlife with plants could help to boost local biodiversity and tackle air pollution
- Transformation: community gardens can regenerate run-down areas and boost the local economy
- Safer streets: Cleaner, greener environments have been linked to lower crime rates and reduced anti-social behaviour
- Healthier communities: Local food growing can help people make better eating choices, while green exercise is linked to better mental and physical health
Benefits for you
- Less stress: ‘green exercise’ like gardening can help reduce anxiety levels and improve mental wellbeing.
- Get moving: gardening is a great form of aerobic exercise and could help boost strength, stamina and flexibility.
- Better connections: by growing with others you could meet new people and form stronger local networks.
- New skills: gain new knowledge, such as how to grow fresh tasty food, how to support wildlife, how to improve the local environment and more.
- Discover: take the chance to explore new areas of your community and improve them while Each year our team of qualified and experienced judges and assessors visit entries to assess/judge them against the appropriate criteria. Visits last from one hour up to four hours depending on the size of the entry. For mainstream entries (Villages, Towns, Cities etc.) generally, two judges visit and for other campaigns such as Parishes, Its Your Neighbourhood, Parks, Churchyards and Cemeteries it is usually a single judge. Once judges/assessors have visited your community/entry and considered how closely the entry meets the criteria they recommend an award.