Why Join SSEIB

South & South East in Bloom is a long-standing gardening competition providing a regional stage for community groups to brighten their villages, parishes, towns, and cities. Many groups have reported a wide range of social and environmental benefits.

South & South East in Bloom is recognised as a symbol of excellence in community gardening, strong community spirit, and pride in place. 

Registered groups benefit from:

Get guidance and support on gardening to achieve a ‘wow’ factor and to contribute to the community and the environment. An experienced judge/assessor from South & South East in Bloom will visit annually to provide tailored feedback, tips, and advice to help your group progress. You’ll receive recognition for your hard work through award certificates and trophies. You’ll also become part of a network of passionate community gardeners and get a free print and digital copy of the RHS quarterly community gardening magazine, Grass Roots, for inspirational stories and expert advice. If your groups register with us, you can purchase affordable insurance coverage from the RHS, explicitly created for community gardening groups. Additionally, you’ll have access from us to advice on developing a “Bloom” group and participating in the regional campaign.

How your community could benefit

South & South East  in Bloom groups regularly report the following benefits to the broader community:

An increase in the number of community participants and a greater sense of community pride and inclusion can be fostered, which in turn can reduce petty crime and anti-social behaviour. The environment can also be improved by promoting greater environmental awareness, resulting in a cleaner and greener place to live, work and visit. By forming new partnerships between local authorities, businesses, and community groups, funding opportunities can be increased to support specific activities. Furthermore, higher volunteer numbers can enable groups to have a more significant impact.

Benefits for your community

Public spaces can be improved by the people who use them, allowing for a sense of ownership and shared learning, resulting in lasting benefits. 91.5% of recently surveyed  Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood groups listed this as a critical benefit. Attracting wildlife with plants could help boost local biodiversity and tackle air pollution, leading to a healthier environment. Community gardens can regenerate run-down areas and boost the local economy, transforming the region. Cleaner, greener environments have been linked to lower crime rates and reduced anti-social behaviour, leading to safer streets. Local food growing can help people make better eating choices, while green exercise is linked to better mental and physical health, leading to healthier communities.

Benefits for you

Engaging in activities such as gardening, also known as “green exercise,” can have a significant impact on reducing anxiety and improving mental well-being, leading to less stress. Gardening is an excellent form of aerobic exercise that can help increase strength, stamina, and flexibility.

Growing plants with others can help you connect with new people and build stronger local networks. It is also an opportunity to learn about growing fresh, delicious food, supporting wildlife, and improving the local environment.

Gardening provides a chance to explore different areas of your community and make improvements. Every year, expert judges and assessors visit entries to evaluate them based on nationally recognized criteria. Depending on the size or category  visits can last from one to four hours. Villages, towns, cities, parishes, parks, and community gardens are usually visited by a single judge or assessor.

After the judge/assessor has evaluated the entry and assessed how closely it meets the criteria, they recommend an award. The annual awards ceremony announces the awards to all participants.


Amberol Greener and Cleaner
John O'Conner Grounds Maintenance