Islington in Bloom

Islington in Bloom 2021 – The competition will open on 31 March and close on 04 July.

Judging will take place later in July with the winners being announced in September.   The categories for 2021 will be as follows:

Best back garden;  Best front garden;  Best container garden;  Best community garden;  Best Children’s planting;  Best window box;  Best house plant;  Best edible garden;  Best tree pit

Email your photos to:

Islington in Bloom’s Best Front Garden prize winner in 2020 was Pamela Berham
During a challenging year in which many people have had to spend a lot more time at home than usual, the annual gardening competition gave local people the chance to brighten up their living spaces.

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.

In order to adapt to the pandemic and the need for social distancing, 2020’s competition was held online, with entrants submitting images of their efforts. A total of 130 entries were received.

Last year’s winners were:

Best Back Garden – Sally Hull
Best Front Garden – Pamela Berham
Best Container Garden – Robin Don
Best Children’s Planting – Pooles Park Primary School
Best Window Box – Mike Power
Best Tree Pit – Jane, Sarah, Sheila, Rumi and Francisco
Best House Plant – Carmen Alcovedes

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.”

A spokesperson for Islington Gardeners, who sponsored the borough-wide competition and also judged two of the categories, said: “Islington Gardeners were delighted when the council found a way to run Islington in Bloom online and judged by photographs.

“We were very happy to help with the difficult task of judging what turned out to be a large number of entries at an overall high standard. We hope that the many residents of Islington who are new to the joys of gardening during the pandemic will continue to grow plants next year.”

Islington in Bloom ran from ran from Saturday, 16 May until Sunday, 5 July. Winners and runners-up in each category received National Garden Centre vouchers, and every entrant was given a free compost voucher from Camden Garden Centre and an electronic certificate to mark their achievement.

This year’s sponsors were Partners for Improvement in Islington, The Islington Society, Camden Garden Centre, Billy Davis Funfairs, Islington Gardeners and NSL.

Click on the link to see more of this year’s colourful creations, and for gardening tips, head to the @IslingtonInBloom Instagram page.

Contact Islington – or 020 7527 2000

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

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