Scorching summer produces beautiful blooms in Hackney

Hackney in Bloom winner

The hot summer may have left residents wilting but these green-fingered gardeners have kept their plots blooming lovely this year.

The winners of the Hackney in Bloom competition will celebrate next week (8 October) as they are lauded by the Council at a special ceremony. Each year the free competition gives Hackney residents, schools and businesses the chance to display their gardening skills and help maintain the borough’s image as one of the greenest and brightest in London.

This year’s colourful competition was an astounding success, with 24 winners sharing the glory. The categories awarded were best front garden, best business premises, best community project, best container garden, best newcomer award, best food growing project and the young and green fingered award.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
The quality of this years’ entries were of an extremely high standard. I would like to congratulate all the participators who have taken such pride in their work and once again made Hackney proud.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

Winner of the Best Food Growing Project (Professional) were the Castle Climbing Centre where Ida Fabrizio has helped turn the gardens around since 2009. They grow seasonal produce such as chard, beetroot, squash, pumpkin, kale, cabbage and cucumber to be used in their on-site café.

Paula Yassine, garden manager and senior horticultural therapist from winners of the best community project, St Mary’s Secret Garden, said: “It's a reflection of all the hard work from people that have participated with disabilities and long-term health issues. It's lovely to see that their work is rewarded and it's important to now celebrate.”

Jocelyn Armitage was delighted to have won gold with St Joseph’s Hospice. She said: “It was a wonderful thing to get this prestigious award and nice for patients to share the joy."

There were 10 judges in total, based on criteria such as aesthetic impact, maintenance and condition of plants, sustainability and community engagement.

This year's winners were Best Container Garden Ebrahim Sali, Best Front Garde Anil Chakowa, Best Community Project (Professional) St Mary’s Secret Garden, Best Community Project (Non-professional) Gloucester Square, Best Food Growing Project (Professional) Castle Climbing Centre, Best Food Growing Project (Non-professional) Tatiana and Thomas Parrott, Young & Green Fingered Award Brook Community Primary School and Best Newcomber Castle Climbing Centre.

The event was organised in partnership with Hackney Council and Hackney Homes and was supported this year by the East London Garden Society, Arbortech Ltd, M Parkin Tree Specialist and Greenham.