Celebrity gardener crowns Rugby in Bloom winners

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Celebritiy gardener Christine Walkden presented the prizes at this year’s Rugby in Bloom award ceremony.

The resident gardener on the BBC’s The One Show was guest of honour at the ceremony, which was held at Blooms Rugby Garden Centre.

Rugby in Bloom celebrates the talents of green-fingered gardeners across the borough, and this year’s contest attracted a bumper crop of entries.

Awards were presented in a number of categories, including prizes for best small garden, best floral container, and best organic allotment.

First prize in the pubs and hotels category went to the Rupert Brooke, in Gas Street, while Cafe Vin Cinc walked away with the top prize in the shops and offices category.

Other winners included Ball Packaging Europe, on the Glebe Industrial Estate, in the industrial category, and Caldecott Park Bowling Club, which won a gold award in the community category.

The 24th Rugby in Bloom contest also included a new award - the Jeffrey Bernhard Young Gardener of the Year Award. The award celebrates the 90th birthday of Mr Bernhard and his legacy to horticulture.

Mr Bernhard started a landscaping business in Rugby in 1950 and a decade later opened the town’s Bernhard’s - thought to be Britain’s first garden centre.

Leamington Hastings Primary School pupil Morgan King won the award for his work at the school’s garden. Morgan’s enthusiasm and knowledge led him to be the expert guide when the Rugby in Bloom judges visited the school.

Cllr Dr Mark Williams, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for sustainable environment, said the Rugby in Bloom awards were a fitting finale to another successful year for the contest.

“Everyone who takes part in Rugby in Bloom helps make the borough a brighter, better place,” Cllr Williams said.

“It’s an event which brings the community together, and I was delighted to attend the award ceremony and congratulate the winners.”

The ceremony took place on Wednesday 25 September. A full list of the Rugby in Bloom winners can be found on the council’s website at www.rugby.gov.uk