Tag Archives: Wight in Bloom

Visit Isle of Wight launches 2017 Wight in Bloom Competition

Isle of Wight gardeners are invited to celebrate their work and take part in this year’s Wight in Bloom competition launched yesterday (8th May 2017) in the The Chelsea Garden at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Wight in Bloom is an annual community-based competition that celebrates the Island’s diverse range of gardens – from the small space to the large tourist attraction.

Sponsored by Red Funnel and organised by Visit Isle of Wight, the competition encourages gardeners to create colourful floral displays that will make the Island a brighter place to live and visit.

This year there will be 11 categories including:  Best Small Front Garden, Best Large Front Garden, Best Commercial Garden, Best Senior Citizen Complex, Best Young People Initiative, Best Community Floral Project, Best Small Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Creative Use of a Small Space, Best Edible Garden and New for 2017 Best Water Feature.

Gardens can be entered into the competition from 19th May until the closing date of 30th June.  Judging will take place from 3rd to 30th July when a team of local horticultural experts will visit the gardens to decide the first, second, highly commended and overall winner of The Peggy Jarman Trophy.

Wight in Bloom are supporting the Earl Mountbatten Hospice by purchasing EMH sunflower seed packets to give to entrants of this year’s Wight in Bloom competition. It is hoped that these will be grown across the Island during the summer to support the EMH 35th Anniversary and to brighten up gardens and open spaces.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Wight in Bloom is hugely important; it remind us all that a great deal of the Island is on constant show, and we need to look our best all the time. There are many green-fingered experts living on the Isle of Wight, from TV celebrities to groups of eager school children, all of whom help to make the Island look terrific. This annual competition is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our “Garden Isle” heritage for the benefit of tourists and Island residents alike.”

Entry forms with full details of the categories can be found at the Visitor Centre, The Guildhall, Newport, the Red Funnel website www.redfunnel.co.uk/wightinbloom  Visit Isle of Wight website www.visitwight.pro , the IW County Press Shop and all main Island garden centres.

Wight in Bloom Patron Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL will present the Awards at a garden party ceremony in September.

Wight in Bloom has over the past two years worked with schools to encourage participation into the competition. It has recently developed an initiative to deliver a pilot mentor scheme for new School Garden Coordinators.

Working in collaboration with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening project, Wight in Bloom will assist a team of experienced school garden coordinators and local horticultural experts to provide support to enable less experienced schools to set up a garden project. For further information on how to join the scheme please contact the Wight in Bloom Co-coordinator at bloom@visitwight.org.

Claire Matthews, RHS Campaign for School Gardening said “The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. The direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging. Registration to the Campaign is free and you can join by logging on to https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/register”.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the ever popular Wight in Bloom. The annual competition is a great opportunity for first-time and seasoned gardeners to showcase their skills with categories designed to encourage young people and community groups to take part”.

For further information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

The image shows LtoR:   Nigel Hartley, CEO of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Tom Madge, Head of Marketing at Red Funnel, David Thornton CEO of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd and Nicola Bell and Mel, both volunteer gardeners at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Categories for the competition are:

  1. BEST SMALL FRONT GARDEN (Under 15 metre frontage)
  2. BEST LARGE FRONT GARDEN (Over 15 metre frontage)
  3. BEST COMMERCIAL GARDEN (Public House, Restaurant, Shops, Café, Business, Hotel/Guest Accommodation/Self Catering/ Caravan sites)
  4. BEST SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX (Private and Public Sector, Healing and Meditative gardens)
  5. BEST YOUNG PEOPLE PROJECT (Schools/youth groups)
  6. BEST COMMUNITY FLORAL PROJECT (Community Groups, Parish or town councils, High Streets, Church Grounds)
  7. BEST SMALL TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  8. BEST LARGE TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  9. BEST CREATIVE USE OF A SMALL SPACE (window box, balcony, hanging basket, recycled objects for containers, vertical planting)
  10. BEST WATER FEATURE (Includes area directly surrounding pond/water feature/fountain only) NEW for 2017
  11. BEST EDIBLE GARDEN (mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs, can be a source of food and a decorative display).

+  Overall Winner of the The Peggy Jarman Trophy

About Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a wide range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2017 Charity of the Year is Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

For further Red Funnel press information contact:

Isle of Wight/Hants
Amy Grinstead
Carswell Gould
redfunnel@carswellgould.co.uk
023 8023 8001
 

About RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening work with schools has shown that the direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging:

  • Improves physical and mental well-being
  • Builds life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication
  • Enhances literacy, numeracy and oracy skills
  • Enriches the entire curriculum from science, maths and geography, to art, design and languages
  • Encourages a better and healthier lifestyle
  • Teaches about the environment and sustainability
  • Helps young people engage with their surroundings better and develop a sense of responsibility

 

 

Gardens galore in Wight in Bloom competition

Wight in Bloom – the annual gardening competition that showcases homegrown grown talent and helps provide a stunning floral welcome for visitors – has attracted another bumper crop of entries this year.

Over 100 gardens from across the Island are currently being judged to become winners and runners-up in each of the following categories:

1. Best Small Front Garden
2. Best Large Front Garden
3. Best Commercial Garden
4. Best Senior Citizen Complex
5. Best Young People Initiative
6. Best Community Floral Project
7. Best Small Tourist Attraction Garden
8. Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden
9. Best Creative Use of a Small Space
10. Best Coastal Garden
11. Best Edible Garden

Managed by Visit Isle of Wight and sponsored by Red Funnel Ferries, Wight in Bloom has once again proved to be very popular. This year 14 school gardens have been entered into the competition.

David Thornton CEO VIOW said:

“We’re especially pleased that this year so many school children have got involved in the competition. Developing those green fingers at an early age is good news for the Island, we hope many go on to develop stunning new garden displays to wow visitors and locals alike. I know Alan is passionate about encouraging young people to take up gardening, and, with the help of some committed school teachers, I feel we’ve really made some great progress in that area this year”.

Judges are in the process of selecting the best of each of the categories and shortlisted garden owners will be notified by the beginning of August, when they will be invited to attend the Awards ceremony at Northwood House in early September. Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL Wight in Bloom patron will be presenting prizes to the winners and runners up.

Kevin George CEO, Red Funnel said “We are delighted to sponsor Wight in Bloom again for the 4th year. The competition remains as popular as ever and it is great to see more entries from schools. Wight in Bloom helps to ensure the ‘Garden Island’ looks its best for summer visitors and on behalf of Red Funnel I would like to thank everybody who has entered”.

Other sponsors include Fiskars who will be giving gardening equipment to each of the category winners, James Karanicolas UK National Account Manager, Fiskars said” We are delighted to support Wight in Bloom. Our premium product Quantum™ Pruners are Scandinavian designed for performance, comfort and lasting quality and will be a beneficial garden tool for the winners.”
Other sponsors will be announced during August.

 

Isle of Wight set to blossom as Visit Isle of Wight launches 2106 Wight in Bloom competition

Residents, community groups, tourism businesses and schools are being encouraged to enter the Island’s 2016 Wight in Bloom competition, which was officially launched at the National Trust’s Mottistone Gardens on Monday April 18th.

Wight in Bloom is an annual gardening and community competition that celebrates our fabulous Island and the efforts of our green-fingered community.

The free to enter competition, sponsored by Red Funnel and organised by Visit Isle of Wight since 2015, encourages and rewards those who take pride in their environment and make the Island a colourful and vibrant place to live and visit.

Wight in Bloom is part of Visit Isle of Wight’s Garden Isle marketing campaign, which this year coincides with Vist England’s Year of the Garden 2016 and the 300th anniversary of the birth of the 18th century garden designer, ‘Capability’ Brown.

Organisers of Wight in Bloom are keen to attract a bumper crop of entries from gardeners at all levels and in all 11 categories, especially from children – a sentiment expressed by Wight in Bloom’s patron and TV gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, who has said that he would like to see more kids in the garden this summer and beyond because he thinks it is vital children are connected to the earth.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said:  “Without question, Wight in Bloom brings communities together and everyone involved does such a great job in transforming towns and villages and creating a blaze of colour across the Island.

“This year we want the Island to look even more fantastic and I very much hope that we get lots of new entrants, especially from younger people and those involved in the Island’s tourist industry.”

This year sees 11 categories in the competition, including Best Small Front Garden, Best Large Front Garden, Best Young People Initiative, Best Commercial Garden, Best Senior Citizen Complex, Best Community Floral Project, Best Small Tourist Attraction, Best Large Tourist Attraction, Best Creative use of a Small Space, Best Coastal Garden and Best Edible Garden.

The closing date for entry into Wight in Bloom is 30th May.  Judging will take place from 27th June to 25th July when local horticultural experts will tour the Island to assess the variety of floral displays, community projects and school gardens.  There is a limited amount of funding available to support parish and town councils purchase plants.  For more information, contact bloom@visitwight.org

Entry forms and the list of 11 categories will be on-line at http://www.redfunnel.co.uk/wightinbloom from 18th April.   Forms can also be picked up at Island tourist information points, including the Guildhall in Newport, and selected Island garden centres.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO, said: “As 2016 is the Year of the English Garden and the 300th anniversary of the birth of 18th century garden designer ‘Capability’ Brown, we are hoping Wight in Bloom 2016 will be one of the biggest yet. Gardeners of all ages are encouraged to enter one of the 11 categories to help ensure the Island is looking its best this summer.”

The awards will be presented by Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL at a ceremony at Osborne in September.

For further information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

In the foreground:  David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, and Jo Hampson,

Customer Greeter, Red Funnel Ferries.

Behind (in no particular order):  Winners’ from last year’s Wight in Bloom competition:

Heath Morgan from Aspire (Overall Winner and winner of Best Community Floral

Project 2015), Guy Eades, Healing Arts, IOW NHS Trust (Best Senior Citizen Complex 2015),

Ann Bunney, the Havelock Hotel (Best Accommodation Garden 2015), David Mansfield (Best

Small Front Garden 2015), Mandy O’Reilly from the Buddle Inn, Niton (Best Public House

Garden 2015), Robert Moore, Head Gardener, Mottistone Gardens (Best Tourist Attraction

Garden – Large 2015) and some of the children and their teacher from Bembridge CE Primary

School (Best Young People Initiative 2015). 

Categories for the competition are

1.         BEST SMALL FRONT GARDEN (Under 5 metre frontage)

2.         BEST LARGE FRONT GARDEN (Over 5 metre frontage)

3.         BEST COMMERCIAL GARDEN (Public House, Restaurant, Shops, Café, Business, Hotel/Guest Accommodation/Self Catering/ Caravan sites)

4.         BEST SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX (Private and Public Sector, Healing and Meditative gardens)

5.         BEST YOUNG PEOPLE PROJECT (Schools/youth groups)

6.         BEST COMMUNITY FLORAL PROJECT (Community Groups, Parish or town councils, High Streets, Church Grounds)

7.         BEST SMALL TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)

8.         BEST LARGE TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)

  1. BEST CREATIVE USE OF A SMALL SPACE (window box, balcony, hanging basket, recycled objects for containers, vertical planting)

10.       BEST COASTAL GARDEN (best use of the environment, use of plants tolerant to seaside location, recycling of coastal finds)

  1. BEST EDIBLE GARDEN (mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs, can be a source of food and a Decorative display).

About Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Bestival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, IW Walking Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2016 Charity of the Year is Isle of Wight charity, Ability Dogs for Young People.

For further information or images, please contact Carswell Gould

Amy Grinstead
redfunnel@carswellgould.co.uk
Tel: 023 8023 8001

www.redfunnel.co.uk/media

 

WIGHT IN BLOOM COMPETITION RESULTS ANNOUNCED

Green-fingered Islanders came together at a ‘red carpet’ style awards ceremony, held at The Botanic Gardens in Ventnor today (Wednesday, August 19th), to find out how their horticultural and floral displays had been judged in this year’s Wight in Bloom campaign.

Managed by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) and co-funded by the DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation), Red Funnel Ferriesand a range of sponsors, 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.

Wight in Bloom is open to all Island residents and organisations with the aim to make the Island a brighter, greener place to live and visit.

The awards were presented by the celebrity gardener and TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh, who was revealed as Patron of the newly introduced horticultural competition at a “floating garden” launch event held on board Red Funnel’s Red Eagle car ferry in May.

The results come after judges visited Island gardens earlier this summer. Entries were shortlisted for one of the nine awards on offer and judged by a team of volunteers that included Island horticultural businesses, as well as Peggy Jarman, Honorary President of Wight in Bloom.

Winners in each category received gardening vouchers and tools, sponsored by local garden centres and tourism businesses, in recognition for the skill and pride they displayed in their gardens and neighbourhoods.

Ventnor Botanic Gardens were the venue sponsor, while Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare provided gift bags containing beauty products for all of the main winners.  The live music performances were kindly supplied by Classic Isle.  There was also a prize for the overall winner who was presented with a glass trophy, courtesy of The Needles Landmark Attraction.

With more than 100 entrants this year, including small and large front gardens, schools, community groups, towns and villages, the results announced at the prestigious awards ceremony were “blooming” marvellous in each of the nine categories.

WIGHT IN BLOOM 2015 WINNERS

Category 1 – Best Small Front Garden

Sponsored by Care in the Garden, Wootton

1st                                 David Mansfield, Binstead

2nd                                Carol Pryke, Binstead

Highly Commended     Pamela Toms, Northwood

 

Category 2 – Best Large Front Garden

Sponsored by Thompson Plant & Garden Centre

1st                                Hilary Wellsted, Bembridge

2nd                               Mr & Mrs Denness, Sandown

Highly Commended    Mrs J Hinton, Niton

 

Category 3 – Best Public House Garden

Sponsored by Medina Garden Centre

1st                                The Buddle Inn, Niton

2nd                               The Dairyman’s Daughter, Arreton

Highly Commended    Vernon Cottage Tearoom, Tavern and Restaurant

 

Category 4 – Best Accommodation Garden

Sponsored by Busy Bee Garden Centre

1st                                The Havelock

2nd                                Bembridge Coast Hotel

Highly Commended     Heatherleigh Guest House

 

Category 5 – Best Senior Citizen Complex, Nursing Home, Care Home

Sponsored by Jubilee Garden Centre

1st                                 Chemotherapy Garden, NHS Trust, St Marys Hospital

2nd                                 Knights Court, Ventnor

Highly Commended      The Briars, Sandown

 

Category 6 – Best Young People Initiative

Sponsored by Honnor & Jeffrey Garden Centre

1st                                  Bembridge C of E Primary

2nd                                 The Children’s House Montessori

Highly Commended      Northwood Primary School

 

Category 7 – Best Community Floral Project

Sponsored by Ager Farm Nursery

1st                                   Aspire, Trinity Building, Ryde

2nd                                   East Cowes Floating Bridge and Carosal

– Care in the Garden, Wootton

Highly Commended        War Memorial Gardens Bembridge

–      Bembridge Weeders

 

Category 8 – Best Tourist Attraction Garden – Large  

Sponsored by Forest View Nursery                                

1st                                   Mottistone Gardens – National Trust

2nd       Joint                    Osborne House – English Heritage

2nd       Joint                    Ventnor Botanic Gardens

 

Best Tourist Attraction Garden – Small 

Sponsored by Forest View Nursery

 1st                                     Rylstone Crazy Golf & Tea Gardens 

 2nd                                     The Old Smithy, Godshill

Highly Commended          Model Village, Godshill

 

Overall Winner             

Sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction

Aspire, Trinity Building, Ryde

 

Alan Titchmarsh MBE, VMH (Victoria Medal of Honour RHS), said:  “Today it is my pleasure and privilege to present these awards to such worthy winners. You have produced such stunning plant and floral displays which delight so many people on a daily basis.

“All our winners would, I am sure, have put their skills to good use without this competition but, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to publicly reward our green- fingered Islanders and say thank you.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Alan’s involvement played a huge part in the promotion and success of the campaign and has meant that entries increased by more than 30% this year.  This is a stunning result and I would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who made a special effort to make the Island look its best.”

Simon Dabell, Chairman of Visit Isle of Wight, who welcomed guests to the awards ceremony, said: “Each individual garden plays its part in making the Island an even lovelier place, both for people who live here and for visitors.

“This year’s competition is particularly special as Visit Isle of Wight will be continuing to put the Garden Isle landscape at the heart of its marketing message in 2016”.

Kevin George, Chief Executive of Red Funnel, said: “Red Funnel is delighted to be sponsoring Wight in Bloom for a second year. The competition has brought vibrancy and colour to the visitor experience and we would like to congratulate the winners and runners-up as well as thank all those who entered”.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

Images attached:

L to R – Kevin George, Chief Executive of Red Funnel Ferries, with the team from Aspire, receiving their award from Alan Titchmarsh.

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, tel: 01983 521555 extension 29, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Judging criteria for the competition is based on a points system and marked on:

Overall impression

  • General design and layout
  • Range and use of plants displayed
  • Use of flower and foliage; colour in design
  • Presentation and maintenance
  • Innovation, creativity in design, colours etc

 

The Overall Winner was selected from the 9 winners of each category, and was the garden with the highest points scored.

WIGHT IN BLOOM SEEKS BUMPER CROP OF ENTRIES

Organisers of Wight in Bloom, who recently launched this year’s event in spectacular style on board a Red Funnel ferry, are asking Islanders to enter the competition to brighten up their gardens, improve the local environment and create a dazzling floral greeting for visitors.

The competition is similar to the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign, which sees local communities work together to plant, prune, and dress local gardens and enhance communal spaces ready to be judged by the competition supporters.

Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – who have taken over management of the competition alongside 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.

Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL has been appointed Patron of the event, while previous organiser, Peggy Jarman, was made President and given an “Outstanding Achievement” Award at a floating garden party on board Red Eagle last week (26th May).   The floating garden created by Ventnor Botanic Garden was unveiled to a packed audience of supporters, including previous winners of the annual competition.

There are 8 categories to choose from and judging will take place early July for prizes that include trophies, gift vouchers and gardening tools.

To inspire both dedicated gardeners and enthusiastic amateurs to fill their towns with brightly coloured floral displays, Parish Councils can apply for a grant of £200. Hoping to make their towns stand out from the crowd this year, Bembridge and Northwood have already entered the Best Community Floral Project category while Godshill has entered this and the Best Young People Initiative categories. For further details on how to apply for the grant email bloom@visitwight.org.

Wight in Bloom categories are:

1 – Best Small Front Garden

Any individual household may enter their front garden.

2 – Best Large Front Garden

Any individual household may enter their front garden.

3 – Best Public House

An individual property which has a large external garden and includes hanging baskets,

tubs and window boxes and other external garden features.

4 – Best Accommodation Garden

Hotel/Guest house/Self Catering/Accommodation provider.

5 – Best Senior Citizen Complex/Nursing Home/Care Home

Open to all public and private sectors to enter the exterior of their complexes.

6 – Best Young People Initiative

Head teachers or youth leaders may enter a group of children/young people, who have undertaken a particular floral or environmental project in the school or community.

7 – Best Community Floral Project

Groups of local people/organisations/town or parish councils may get together and enter

a project which they have undertaken in their area and may involve a floral design, conservation, litter clearance, tidying up of sites, etc. (To include church grounds).

8 – Best Tourist Attraction Garden/ Restaurant/Business

Free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are both eligible to enter this category.

 

Mike Fitt OBE, Wight in Bloom Campaign Advisor, said: “Wight In Bloom is a competition for everyone to enter, as individuals or in groups, no matter what age or ability. It is not only about beautiful floral displays but also about efforts to make the local environment a cleaner and greener place for all to enjoy, helping to celebrate this fantastic Garden Isle of ours.”

The winners of Wight in Bloom will be announced at a Garden Party in August, where a glass trophy, sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction will be presented to the overall winner of Wight in Bloom 2015.

An application form can be found online at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk or www.redfunnel.co.uk, alternatively pick one up from the IW County Press office, Red Funnel ferry terminals or IW garden centres.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors

Image attached “The Festival of Flower Fireworks now on display at Ventnor Botanic Gardens”

The Festival of Flower Fireworks, part of the 2015 Garden Isle celebrations, focuses on the Botanic garden’s amazing Echium plants, with their huge flower spikes growing over 3m tall.

The Garden’s Mediterranean walk contains hundreds of plants, each with a flower spike containing thousands of flowers with every shade of colour between sapphire blue and dusky pink. The result is a stunning floral explosion likened to a natural firework display that all botanic fanatics visiting the island will simply adore.

Echiums have been grown at Ventnor Botanic Garden for over 30 years, with plants originally imported from the Canary Island of La Palma. Here the plants grow to gigantic sizes in the wild, especially in the dry mountainous upper reaches of the Island, enjoying the warm climate arid terrain. At Ventnor, the original Echium plants have self-seeded in the sheltered sub-tropical micro-climate giving rise to a large collection hybridised plants that flower from the end of May to late June.

The Echium displays are currently exploding into the spotlight, with the Garden open 7 days a week from 10am for visitors to enjoy the magic of these flower fireworks.

 

ALAN TITCHMARSH TO BECOME A PATRON OF “WIGHT IN BLOOM”

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 2106.

Photocall

What:               A “floating” garden cocktail party, provided by Ventnor Botanic Gardens, will take place on board Red Funnel’s Red Eagle car ferry to launch Wight in Bloom 2015.

In attendance:David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, who will announce plans for Wight in Bloom 2015, Jonathan Green, Marketing & Communications Director, Red Funnel Ferries, Peggy Jarman, organiser Wight in Bloom, Mike Fitt OBE, Wight in Bloom Campaign Advisor, along with past winners of the Wight in Bloom competition.

Peggy Jarman who has been running Wight in Bloom for many years is retiring and will be made Honorary President.

(In addition, Simon Goodenough, AHRHS (Associate of Honour awarded by the RHS) has agreed to become a Special Advisor of Wight in Bloom).

Where:            On board the Red Eagle car ferry.

When   :           Tuesday, 26th May

Time:               From 6pm – meet Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight, in the Red Funnel ticket office, Trinity Road, East Cowes. Closest postcode PO32 6RA.

6.30pm –`car ferry departs East Cowes with invited guests

7pm – photocall on board ferry.

8pm – ferry arrives back at East Cowes

Please e-mail michelle@visitwight if you would like to attend this event.

Root out the gardening gloves, go potty with those plants and get growing for the return of Wight in Bloom in 2015.

Residents, schools, businesses, community groups, towns and villages on the Island are invited to don their gardening gloves and take part in Wight in Bloom.

The annual competition 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 8 main categories:

1          Best Small Front Garden

2          Best Large Front Garden

3          Best Public House

4          Best Accommodation Garden

5          Best Senior Citizen Complex/Nursing Home/Care Home

6          Best Young People Initiative

7          Best Community Floral Project

8          Best Tourist Attraction Garden

The 2015 event is organised and sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight and Red Funnel Ferries who are adding their support and financial backing to the event to help create a vibrant and welcoming environment for visitors.

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 8 categories and an overall winner – will hopefully be presented by Alan Titchmarsh.

Alan Titchmarsh said: “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.”

Green-fingered Islanders can join in the floral fun by completing the entry form which will be available in the 22nd May edition of the Isle of Wight County Press.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org