The annual Oswestry in Bloom awards have taken place this month. With a new venue, time and format, the committee wished to highlight the wonderful work that goes on in our town. With the amazing support of Oswestry Town Council, and the work of all the volunteers Oswestry has been “dressed to impress”.

On Monday evening 16th October, the annual Oswestry in Bloom presentations took place. Over 100 people attended the event in the Memorial Hall in Oswestry. Hosted by ex-BBC presenter James Bond, the hard work of all our gardening residents and businesses were recognised. Commercial awards were presented by Oswestry in Bloom’s greatest supporter, Margaret Thrower (daughter of Percy, the most famous of all TV gardeners). Residential awards were presented by Gareth Manning, RHS Heart of England in Bloom judge.

Oswestry in Blooms tag line “Growing Together” was certainly reflected in the beautiful gardens and commercial premises rewarded on the night. Celebrating community, several short presentations showed how many groups and organisations have come together in this project to make Oswestry “Blooming Marvellous”.

Trophies were awarded:

The mayor’s award for best town centre floral display: Meraki Colour

Best town centre commercial premises: Fat Rabbit

Best industrial estate commercial premises: Midac UK

Best dressed window “Pollinators Theme”: Freda’s Day Centre

Best pub/hotel: The Bailey Head

Best in Bloom school: Bellan House/Oswestry School

Best Community Project: CROP

Best small front garden: Phyllis Hurst

Best large front garden: Brian Barnfield

Best small back garden: Carol Morris

Best large back garden: Mr and Mrs Wilkinson

Best container garden: Doreen Arnold

Best kitchen garden: Olive Morris

Best hanging basket: Madeleine Roberts

New categories were added this year with a popular addition of Young Gardener of the Year which was awarded to Jack Butler from The Marches School by Natalie Bainbridge. The very popular Sunflower Competition saw two awards “Best Sunflower Diary”: Bellan House and “Tallest Sunflower”: Woodside School.

The final award, “The Chair’s Award” for exceptional work” was won by Paul Moss and the Derwen College students.

Chair of the volunteer committee, Natalie Bainbridge said “We were over the moon with the number and standard of entries this year. We have changed some of the categories and added new ones to reflect today’s gardening trends. We are keen to involve young people in our projects. They are the future”. Commenting on the nationwide competitions, she added “The national competitions are great, adding a focus, but are really the icing on the cake. The real success is involving so many people, seeing their commitment and teamwork. I believe Oswestry in Bloom has become a catalyst for linking up organisations throughout the town”.

Oswestry is a finalist in the “Best of Britain in Bloom” this year. On the 23rd of October the winner will be announced at a ceremony in London. Everyone is keeping their green fingers crossed. If you’d like to be one of the first to know the result, then it will be announced on the BBC One Show between 7pm and 7.30pm that evening, so tune in!

Oswestry in Bloom is an established tradition in the town, and this year saw it win Gold (for the 16th year running) and Best Large Town (for the 2nd year running) in the “Heart of England in Bloom” competition. More and more, the community aspect of the competition is becoming prominent, and that is where Oswestry has an advantage. Committee member and director of Oswestry Borderland Tourism, Graham Mitchell said “The town has some wonderful hard-working organisations supporting the local population and making Oswestry a welcoming visitor destination. This in turn supports the local economy and makes the town an even better place to live”.

The more people who are involved, the better the results. Oswestry in Bloom is looking for more volunteers and participants, so have a look at their website to see how you can join. www.OswestryInBloom/