Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom launches for 2018

Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom launches for 2018

13th April 2018

We spoke to Katharina Mahler-Bech driver of Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom. The contest returns to the town in a big way in 2018, following 2017's Gold award.

Launching at the precinct on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 April, the competition, which forms part of the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Britain in Bloom' scheme, aims to create greener and cleaner spaces while developing community pride. Royal Tunbridge Wells certainly lives up to this ambition, as community groups such as Kent High Weald Partnership and Coolings Garden Centre support the scheme year after year and help maintain the town's reputation as a beautiful tourist destination.

This display in Calverley in 2015 was a beautiful showing for Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom.

The contest invites entries from 12 categories, open to all residents of the town, and includes the return of last year's highly successful 'Best Rear Garden'. Entries are open now, for judging to take place in July and August in the following categories:

  • Best basket
  • Best planter/tub/container
  • Best front patio/balcony
  • Best front garden
  • Best wildlife garden
  • Best allotment
  • Best cafe/pub/club
  • Best shop front
  • Best street
  • Best commercial community allotment/garden
  • Best business ground
  • Best/tallest sunflower (town hall)
  • Best rear garden

We spoke to Katharina Mahler-Bech, who alongside her late husband was a driver behind resurrecting the Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom campaign in 2010, has been hands-on as a volunteer and looking after the Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom website, Twitter and Facebook pages ever since.

Katharina Mahler-bech, picture centre, is a key figure behind Tunbridge Wells in Bloom

Katharina Mahler-Bech, centre, has been key to the success of Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom.

Why is the Britain in Bloom competition important for Tunbridge Wells?

Following the great success of the Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom campaign in 2017 (Gold winner of the Large Town category and the Best in Kent!) we have been selected to represent the South and South East region in the Large Town category of the RHS Britain in Bloom competition.

This year Royal Tunbridge Wells has to compete with 8 other towns in Britain, and winning a Silver or even a Gold will put the town on the map!

It will motivate all gardening lovers and encourage all 'green fingers' in town.

What are you most excited about seeing this year?

After last year's record entries, we hope to get on board even more residents and businesses willing to support the BLOOM Team in its campaign this year.

Is there anything judges are quite particular about?

It's all about overall quality. Royal Tunbridge Wells will need to impress the RHS judges with the quality of floral displays and standards of our parks. We will also have to demonstrate the input of local communities and businesses to the Bloom campaign.

What events can we look forward to this year?

As well as the launch this weekend (13 and 14 April), important dates for the competition include:

7 May - Family Day at Grosvenor & Hilbert Park

17 June - Open Gardens Tour in Royal Tunbridge Wells

30 June - Last day to submit competiton entry forms for the 'Best Categories' open to all residents

Early July - judging of the town Royal Tunbridge Wells for South and South East in Bloom

End of July - judging of the Royal Tunbridge Wells for national contest Britain in Bloom

September - Awards Ceremony for local winners at No.1 Warwick Park Hotel

To sponsor the event, enter the competition or for more information, visit

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