Islington in Bloom

Islington in Bloom 2020 is now happening online 

click on the link below for all the details – closing date is Sunday 5 July and winners will be announced in September


This year, with social distancing restrictions in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, the competition has moved online. All residents – including expert gardeners and budding enthusiasts – are being encouraged to take part by sprucing up gardens, creating a colourful window display, or by growing gorgeous house plants. Entries will be judged remotely, with entrants sending one or two photographs of your green-fingered accomplishments to judges via Pictures must total no more than 10mb and you must specifying what category you want to enter along with your name, and email address.

Gardening is known to have a positive impact on mental health and this year’s competition offers a great opportunity for residents to benefit from the therapeutic pastime at this challenging time.

This year’s categories include:

Best front garden
Best back garden
Best house plant
Best window box
Best container garden
Best children’s planting (14 years and under)
Best tree pit
Best children’s garden drawing or model (14 years and under)

Many gardening centres have now moved online and are delivering their products but why not get creative and use household items like coffee mugs and recycled materials as plant holders. You can get more inspiration via the @IslingtoninBloom Instagram page, which also shows gardening tips, fun facts and some of this year’s entries.



Click on this link for a few pictures and a list of all the 2019 winners:

Islington again entered London in Bloom 2019 and the results for that will be announced on 20 September 2019.  Last year we won a silver gilt medal ……………..what’s likely for this year?  IT WAS GOLD – congratulations

Click here for a list of all the prizewinners in London in Bloom > London in Bloom Results 2019

The Islington in Bloom annual awards, held at Islington Assembly Hall each September, are an amazing testament to how green-fingered we have all become – and how much pride we are taking in our neighbourhoods.
Supported by Islington Gardeners and run by Islington Council, the annual event brings together people from all over the borough – schools, community groups, council estates, home-owners and businesses – in a celebration of efforts to make the borough greener and more beautiful.
That is particularly important because Islington has the least green space per person in London.  There were 250 entries this year – the highest ever.

Reactions of the some of the winners to last year’s competition:

“It’s nice to be recognised because we try to grow a garden that everyone can enjoy”  Luciana O’Flaherty (Vice chair of governors, Hanover School)
“Gardening in a public space is extraordinary challenging. We take on all comers – dogs, children & a lot of visitors. That’s what makes it so exciting” (Dianne Browning, chair of Friends of Barnard Park)
“It’s fantastic to win an award. We are very shocked. This is our first year in the competition and we have done well. It’s very encouraging and nice to know that people have appreciated our efforts”             ( Linda Painter, treasurer of the TMO committee, Quaker Court.)
“It’s fabulous winning. It’s our second year of operating the Friends’ Group. The gardening was really hard work. Before we began it was all clay and rubble, now it’s beautiful” (Diane Armstrong and Sharon Barrett of the Caledonian Park Friends Group)
“I think the Pattenden award is really special. It was one of our aspirations to start monitoring the biodiversity of the garden. We had a survey done of the wildlife – the flying insects and the pond life. This is fantastic recognition of our work”. (Phil Wales – chair of King Henry’s Walk garden)


Greenspace – In Bloom
2nd Floor
1 Cottage Road
N7 8TP


The Pattenden Wildlife Award 

Nancy died on the 15th February 2011 just three weeks after her husband, Brian.  Many new members and other people from across the borough may not be aware that it was Nancy who founded Islington Gardeners towards the end of the 1970s.

In the 1950s, Nancy and Brian, both young qualified architects found a house in Halton Road in preparation for their marriage in 1957.  They joined the Islington Society,  whose aims were to preserve Islington Borough’s many outstanding architectural gems.  With great enthusiasm,  Nancy embraced the role of encouraging its citizens to cultivate and above all enjoy their gardens.

Singlehandedly,  she ran the first competitions:  from the advertising, through judging to the presentation of certificates.  All over the Borough her voice could be heard praising;  advising  and suggesting improvements to gardens,  window boxes,  forgotten areas,  estates,  communal homes.  By the late 1970s membership of the Islington Society had grown to the point where the Society felt that in order to spread interest throughout the whole Borough,  Islington Gardeners should form its own committee and thus become independent of Islington Society.

Before long,  and with the help of visits to famous gardens,  winter talks by experts and plant sales these gardeners were rolling off the Linnean double names of plants and were becoming experts in their own right.

They had recognised Nancy’s fairness in judging and responded to her warmth and generosity.

When the new committee took over,  Nancy felt free to pursue her own passions,  one of which was the creation of a scented garden for the blind.  She and Pam Millward (chair of IG during the 1990s) had this garden constructed in the garden of an old peoples’ home off Seven Sisters Road.  Other interests, such as community gardens and the Borough’s trees entailed forging links with Islington Council’s experts in the Parks and Gardens department.  With her unaffected good humour and natural friendliness she found friends instead of officials with whom she could share advice.

Nancy had a wicked sense of humour,  was a Morris Dancer and was a passionate advocate for the preservation of wildlife.

We decided to name the wildlife award that Islington Gardeners sponsors within Islington in Bloom after her  to ensure that her legacy lives on.

Islington Gardeners became involved with Islington in Bloom at the beginning of their involvement with the In Bloom Competitions at the beginning of this century.  It has been an absolute pleasure and a very rewarding experience to be involved with something that makes Islington a brighter and better Borough for everyone that lives here.


Islington in Bloom 2016

Last year’s winners in the best estate category, sponsored by Islington Gardeners, were:

Coltash Court; Bevin Court and Sanders Way. The picture of Coltash Court is missing, but is on the website 20161026inbloomawardswinners2016


Bevin Court


Sanders Way