Record entry for In Bloom makes Tunbridge Wells ‘a lovely place to live’

Pam Mills
BLOOMING MARVELLOUS: Best Community Allotment or Garden award went to Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre on Monson Road

The other regional gold winners in the town who are hoping for wider recognition are Dunorlan Park, Grosvenor & Hilbert Park, and Tunbridge Wells Cemetery and Crematorium.

This year there were also a record 285 entries for the Tunbridge Wells in Bloom competition, which raised more than £1,800 for Hospice in the Weald.

PATH TO SUCCESS: Dunorlan won a South &South East In Bloom Large Park Gold award

The awards were presented by Celia Preston, the award-winning garden designer, along with the Mayor, Len Horwood, and his wife Judy.

The organisers thanked those who opened their gardens for the hospice during the summer: John and Sandra O’Callaghan, Grant and Cherry Whytock, Christine and Laurence Smith, Joan and Richard Still, Halliwell Care Home, Sue Daniels, Sandra Swan, and Julie and Bill Brodie.

Royal Tunbridge Wells in Bloom and the Assembly Hall Theatre teamed up to ‘bring the outside inside’ with the help of local photographers, and a collection of photographs will be put on display at the Assembly Hall.

The overall winner of the Schools’ Garden and Sunflower Award was St John’s Primary, who received a gold medal for their floral display and participation of all age groups in the creation of their garden.

SOWING THE SEEDS: St John’s Primary School won the Schools’ Garden and Sunflower award

The tallest sunflower of all, at 167cm, was grown at Oakley School, who won gold for their butterfly-themed allotments, creative planters built with recycled materials and their new classroom garden.

Southborough Pre-School took gold for clever use of space and creating homes for wildlife – all built with the use of recycled materials; and their tallest sunflower was 155cm.

Bishops Down Primary won gold for their refurbished raised gardens, creative use of recycled materials and well-maintained floral displays.

A gold award also went to Brenchley & Matfield Primary School for their raised bed gardens assigned for each class and their wildlife garden with a pond.

St James’ Junior School received a silver award for their clever use of space and selection of native and bee-friendly plants.

Broadwater Down Primary were given a silver gilt award for creating a new school garden and for the participation of the children in its maintenance.

Skinners’ Kent Primary School were highly commended for their spectacular sunflower bed, with the tallest plant being 149cm.

There was also a competition for schools to create artwork on the theme of bees, and awards went to Southborough Pre-School, Brenchley & Matfield Primary School and St John’s Primary.

REFLECTED GLORY: Grosvenor & Hilbert Park won a South &South East In Bloom Large Park Gold award

Cllr David Elliott, Chairman of Tunbridge Wells in Bloom, said: “We had a record number of entries this year, and I’d like to thank all those who took part for their contribution to making the Borough of Tunbridge Wells such a lovely place to live.

“Thanks must also go to Peter Every, Helen Timms and Kasia Olszewska of the Parks Team and the rest of the Tunbridge Wells in Bloom Committee – Jilly Ball, Katharina Mahler-Bech, Neil Jackson and Ian Johnstone – and our volunteers, without whom all this would not be possible.”

South & South East in Bloom winners

Large Town

Gold: Royal Tunbridge Wells

Large Park

Gold: Dunorlan Park, Grosvenor & Hilbert Park

Silver gilt: Calverley Grounds

Common/Open Space

Silver gilt and category winner: Tunbridge Wells Common

Large Cemetery

Gold: Tunbridge Wells Cemetery and Crematorium


Silver gilt: Woodbury Park Cemetery


Silver gilt: Barnett’s Wood Nature Reserve

It’s Your Neighbourhood Level 5

Outstanding: Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park


Champion of Champions 2018

Flats or Street

Gold: 6-20 North Street

Planter, Tub or Container

Gold: Rose Hatt

Patio or Balcony

Gold: Maria McKenna

Wildlife Garden

Gold: Richard Bell

Front Garden

Gold: Marianne Meadow

Back Garden

Gold: Laurence and Christine Smith

Community Garden

Silver gilt: Ashurst Park Care Home

Shop Front

Silver gilt: Morgan Hodges

Pub, Club or Café

Gold: The Nevill Crest & Gun

Business Ground

Gold: Halliwell Care Home

Basket – Residential

Gold: Sue Ashworth


Gold: Ray Copper

Commercial Basket or Planter

Gold: The Barn


Tunbridge Wells in Bloom winners

Best Flats/Street

Gold: Post Office Square

Gold and winner: Calverley Park Crescent

Best Basket Residential

Gold: Mr N Kokash, Pascale Chauvot, Ian Hunter, Mr and Mrs Hooker, Rose Hatt, Sharon Lee, Monica Morgan, Mrs D Reed, Gordon Hammond, Harriette Pike, Fran Guyatt, Alan and Moira Farmer

Gold and winner: John and Sandra O’Callaghan

Best Planter Tub or Container

Gold: Mr and Mrs Hooker, Pat Foard, Nicola Martin and Peter Connell, Suzanne French, Gloria Cummins, Mr N Kokash, Sheila Mulholland, Rosetta Williams, Colin Brace, Ian Hunter, Mr and Mrs Halse, Sheila Wiles, Pascale Chauvot, Mrs D Reed, Gordon Hammond, Eddie Reynolds, Harriette Pike, Monica Morgan, Sue Ashworth, John and Sandra O’Callaghan

Gold and winner: Fran Guyatt

Best Patio or Balcony

Gold: Rose Hatt

Gold and winner: Gordon Hammond

Best Wildlife Garden

Silver gilt and winner: Rachael Cooper

Best Front Garden

Gold: Gordon Hammond, Gloria Cummins, Monica Morgan

Gold and winner: Harriette Pike

Best Back Garden

Gold: Barbara Varney, Sheila Wiles, Suzanne French, Sylvia Westrup, Mrs P E Kemp, Harriette Pike, Philip Cooper, Marianne Meadow, Sue Daniels, Monica Morgan, Abid Bahar, Sue Green, Sheila Mulholland

Gold and winner: Tracy Barclay

Best Allotment

Gold: Richard Bell, John Tapp, Bruno Gallon, Valerie Wilson, Tony Morris

Gold and winner: Suzanne French

Best Commercial Planter or Basket

Gold: W A Turner, Broadwater Lane; Morgan Hodges, 52 The Pantiles; Halliwell Care Home, Kingswood Road; Ashurst Park Care Home, Fordcombe Road

Gold and winner: The Bedford, 2 High Street

Best Community Allotment or Garden

Gold and winner: The Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre, Monson Road

Best Shop Front

Silver gilt and winner: Karen’s Foam Store, Camden Road

Best Café, Pub or Club

Gold: The Bedford, 2 High Street

Gold and winner: The Barn, 1 Lonsdale Gardens

Best Business Grounds

Gold: W A Turner, Broadwater Lane; The Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre, 27 Monson Road

Gold and winner: The Barn, 1 Lonsdale Gardens

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter