Islington & London in Bloom

London in Bloom 2021 results:            

 Small conservation area – Myddelton Sq. – silver gilt

 Conservation Area of the Year – Gillespie Park – GOLD and Category Winner

 Small Park Category A – Duncan Terrace – GOLD and Category Winner

Park of the Year – Caledonian Park – silver gilt

Park of the Year – Rosemary Gardens – GOLD

City of the Year – Islington Gardeners – GOLD and joint category winners

Islington in Bloom 2021 – to see some of the winning entries:

Best community garden: Gardens of Wedmore

Best Back Garden: Barbara Holliman (a member of Islington gardeners)

Best Front Garden: Garry McQuinn

Best Container Garden: Louise Souter

Best Window Box: Patricia Jordan

Best Children’s Planting: Pooles Park Primary School

Best House Plant: Pooles Park Primary

Best Tree Pit: Pamela Berham

Children’s Poster Competition: Lillia Keighley-Toop

Islington in Bloom 21 also saw the debut of the Best Edible Garden category, with the Octopus Community Plant Nursery being recognised as the Borough’s most nutritious garden.

The horticultural competition is also part of the Council’s ongoing efforts to boost ecological diversity, to ensure that people across Islington are able to enjoy using the Borough’s green spaces.  This year, 2021,  there were 177 entries and the standard was very high.        Gary McQuinn, (best front garden winner) said ” It’s fantastic how gardening has improved and enhanced our community relationships.  I see people walking past and they stop for a chat.  Our circle acquaintances and friends has grown significantly – just through being in the front garden”.

Gardening is known to have a positive impact on mental health, which is particularly important at the moment. ​Furthermore, gardening helps to boost ecological diversity in the borough, as the council continues to work to increase the amount of green space in Islington.

Islington in Bloom gave all residents, whether an expert gardener or a budding enthusiast, the chance to benefit from the therapeutic pastime – by sprucing up their gardens, creating a colourful window display, or by growing gorgeous house plants.

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Islington in Bloom is always such a fantastic celebration of community and, even amidst the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, this year has been no different.

“Islington’s gardeners, amateurs and experts alike, help make our borough such a welcoming, attractive place, and I thank and congratulate this year’s entrants for their hard work. Gardening is such a therapeutic activity, and I’d encourage all our residents to embrace this fun, joyful hobby as they spend more time than usual at home.”

Wonderful news that Islington retained their GOLD medal in the City category of London in Bloom this year, 2020.                                                                                  Islington also received gold for Duncan Terrace and Gillespie Park and Silver Gilt for the new entry Caledonian Park.

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