Celebrity gardener and TV presenter, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, VMH (Victoria Medal of Honour RHS) has been revealed as Patron of ‘Wight in Bloom’, an annual horticultural competition which is open to all Island residents, with the aim to make the Island a brighter, greener place to live and visit.
Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – who have taken over management of the competition alongside Peggy Jarman – and Red Funnel Ferries, Wight in Bloom 2015 is being developed as a curtain-raiser to VIOW’s Garden Isle campaign, which will coincide with Visit England’s Year of the Garden 2016.
Residents, schools, businesses, community groups, towns and villages on the Island are all being invited to don their gardening gloves and take part in the competitions. Wight in Bloom is open to all Island residents and organisations to show the rest of the Island what they’ve been doing to brighten up their garden and improve the local environment.
To be in with a chance of winning, keen gardeners can choose to enter one of 7 main categories:
1 Best Small Front Garden
2 Best Large Front Garden
3 Best Public House
4 Best Tourism Business
5 Best Senior Citizen Complex/Nursing Home/Care Home
6 Best Young People Initiative
7 Best Community Floral Project
The organisers hope that the appointment of popular celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh as Patron of Wight in Bloom will emphasise the Island’s green credentials and help inspire Islanders to get involved in Wight in Bloom this year.
David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said:
“We’re honoured that Alan has agreed to be our Patron of Wight in Bloom and now plan a major push to encourage more tourism businesses and retailers on the Island to show a bit of flower power this summer.
“The success of the Wight in Bloom is testament to all the hard work and dedication by the organiser, Peggy Jarman, who over the years has worked with Island communities, businesses and local individuals to help create colourful displays at entrances to villages, around bus shelters, in pub gardens and in residents’ own front gardens.”
Peggy Jarman said:
“I am thrilled and delighted that Visit Isle of Wight and Red Funnel have stepped in to support the competition.
“Whether you are a novice gardener or an expert, everyone is very welcome to enter and make our Island a greener and more colourful place”.
Judging will take place in July and entry is free. An awards ceremony will be held in August, where prizes for the lucky winners – one for each of the 7 categories and an overall winner – will hopefully be presented by Alan Titchmarsh.
Alan Titchmarsh added:
“The Island is bursting with natural beauty from its wildflower cliff walks, bluebell woods and orchid-rich fields, to its cottage gardens, horticultural shows and wide variety of public and private gardens.
“I’m therefore honoured to be Patron of Wight in Bloom and look forward to seeing who it discovers next.”