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Southampton in Bloom Official Website

Page last updated 02/10/2019

Welcome To Southampton in bloom

Welcome to Southampton in Bloom website.

THE Southampton In Bloom presentation evening was held at Haskins Garden Centre on 26th September in the presence of Cllr Stephen Barnes-Andrews, Mayor of Southampton, who awarded the prizes.

Winner Details are on the Winners page.


Southampton in bloom is run by volunteers.

The aims of Southampton in Bloom are:- A free competition open to residents, businesses and those responsible for various premises in Southampton. The competition encourages colourful summer displays in gardens, balconies, containers and public open spaces. This helps create a better and more enjoyable environment for us all and helps to generate pride in our city.

Admissions and entry forms for 2020 now being prepared, dates  T.B.A.

School closure date 2020: T.B.A





Categories Information 2019


1. Under Sixteens

FREE Plants, compost and container are provided to enable you to create your entry - just come to Mayfield Nurseries on Saturday 27th April (10-3pm), or Saturday 11th May (11-1pm) , or Saturday 4th May (2-4pm) to Townhill Park Community Centre, Meggeson Avenue.
Having created your entry you can take it home to ‘grow on’ and bring it to Mayfield Nurseries on Saturday 6th July (10-1pm) for judging.
(You may bring your entry to Mayfield Nurseries earlier if you will be away on the judging date.)

2. Private Garden

Any size, eye catching and welcoming

3. First Time Entry - Private Garden

Any size or style: don’t underestimate how good your garden is

4. Cottage Style Garden

To include an informal blend of flowers, fruit and vegetables

5. Wildlife Garden

Attractive to wildlife, providing food and shelter 
Use of composting and water conservation is part of this garden

6. Small or Courtyard Garden

For those with limited space no larger than 70 square metres. This can be a front or back garden
You can enter this and another garden category providing they are separate spaces

7. Frontage, walkway or individual balcony - (for those who live in a flat)

Innovative, use of space, may include tubs, hanging baskets, boxes, grow bags and other containers

8. Individual Garden / Communal Area in Sheltered Housing

A garden within a sheltered housing complex of benefit to all residents and visitors

9. Area in a Care Setting

Planted area in a care home or day centre setting
This can be a raised bed, group of containers or a garden area

10. Container including tubs and window boxes

Containers or window boxes and their suitability, position and ease of maintenance
Please choose which container is to be judged

11. Hanging Basket or Wall Container

Any display elevated from the ground
Please choose which basket or container is to be judged

12. Public or Commercial Building

Any display taking advantage of the space available


Special awards may also be given for an outstanding area in a garden or for something worthy of a special mention.



WE had a very pleasant day at the Solent Gardeners Fayre today with almost all of our plants being won by Tombola players. Also many of our Southampton In Bloom entrants from previous years called in to see us and say hello.
Pictured below are some of the Southampton In Bloom volunteers who were there setting up from 7am - from L to R they are:
Glenda, Wendy, Ann, Gareth, Kate, Margaret, Sylvia



Sunday 3rd of June 2018 saw us attending The Solent Gardeners Fayre at Eastleigh with our Plant Tombola. We accumulated hundreds of plants for the day which were either donated by local florists, Mayfield Nursery, Exbury Gardens or the majority were raised by our volunteers. For one pound the lucky winners walked away with a variety of plants from a sunflower to lovely orchids, a wonderful camellia and any number of plants large and small.


We had an absolutely fantastic day made even more so because of the beautiful weather and lovely gardeners. We've already booked our stand for next year ...... and the sunshine so see you there!


There is a presentation evening when the winners receive their awards.

Information Sheet 2018

By entering Southampton in Bloom you can help to create a better and more enjoyable environment. There is a wonderful sense of achievement in watching your plants grow and you are taking part in a healthy outdoor activity.

What the judges are looking for and how to impress them!

First impressions are important – the overall impact should be stunning! Weed, dead head, mow the lawn if you have one and keep the edges trimmed. Know some of your plants and show the judges a special area (if you have one)

Judging criteria

We are looking for and judging the health and vigour of your plants, cultivation and maintenance, choice of plant species, arrangement, groupings of your plants, balance of design and best use of space. The combination and balance of colours, seasonal interest and structural planting are all important. Keep lawns well maintained, paths and non-planted areas clean. You will not lose any points for not watering your lawn!

Private garden entries

Do you have a favourite area in your garden? Make sure you show it to the judges.

This is your opportunity to show off to the judges who are all keen gardeners and love to talk about plants, gardening problems – just anything to do with gardening

Cottage gardens

The judges expect to find a much less formal garden with a good mix of flowers; lots of variety and of course fruit and veg. The flowers are more likely to be in a range of colours and perennials.

Wildlife gardens

Wildlife gardens provide food and shelter by including a variety of plant species to attract wildlife, but without the use of commercial pesticides or fertilisers We like to see evidence of composting, water preservation and natural pest control,  feeding  stations, water and use of natural features.

Small Courtyard garden

The judges are looking for really good use of limited space; an abundance of colour and imaginative design. You do not need to have a lawn, but we do look at the balance of space relative to the planted areas. This garden can be 7 x 10 or 6 x 11; square, oblong an odd shape but not large.

Individual garden/ communal area in sheltered housing

What impact does this garden make on its immediate community? We take into account any difficulties that may be a feature of the site e.g. steep slopes. This is an opportunity for the residents to improve their living environment, to meet their neighbours and to work together.

An area in a Care Setting

This can be quite a small area, but somewhere special for the residents and their visitors.


If your garden is quite small, look carefully to decide which category is best for you. If you are still unsure, you can ring us on the number above or send us a message.

Containers, tubs, hanging baskets and wall containers.

A splash of colour, the  position on the wall or in the garden, the health and vigour of the plants. Do you look at it and want to smile? Do the plants hide the basket? Are they right for the container they have been planted in?

The Commercial buildings

These are judged by a separate team of judges and just like the garden entries, the judges are looking at the choice of plants and their health and vigour. Colour combinations here are very important

Happy gardening and if you can have a water butt, so much the better and if you can avoid using slug pellets and other insecticides, so much the better.

We look forward to seeing your entry from Monday 8th July onwards. We always contact you first to see if you are going to be at home. The first round of judging usually takes two weeks and the second round will happen one day in the week beginning 22nd July.

Our presentation evening will be held on Wednesday 2nd October at Haskins Garden Centre.



Haskins Garden Centre

Mayfield Nurseries

Exbury Gardens

MacGregors Plants,

Treemenders Tree Surgeons

Steve Brookwell

M. Whittaker & S Cottell


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