Gardeners strike gold at Rugby in Bloom awards

(Back row, left to right) Chris Worman, Rugby Borough Council's parks and grounds manager, Heart of England in Bloom judges Joe Hayden and Nicola Clarke, the Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Ramesh Srivastava.  (Front) George Cleaver, winner of the Jeffrey Bernhard Young Gardener of the Year Award, and the Mayoress of Rugby, Manju Srivastava, at the Rugby in Bloom Awards
(Back row, left to right) Chris Worman, Rugby Borough Council's parks and grounds manager, Heart of England in Bloom judges Joe Hayden and Nicola Clarke, the Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Ramesh Srivastava. (Front) George Cleaver, winner of the Jeffrey Bernhard Young Gardener of the Year Award, and the Mayoress of Rugby, Manju Srivastava, at the Rugby in Bloom Awards

Gardeners from across the borough have been honoured at the 25th Rugby in Bloom Awards.

Prizes were presented to the winners of the annual contest during a ceremony at Blooms Rugby Garden Centre on Thursday last week.

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

Awards were presented in a number of categories, including best allotment, best organic vegetable plot and best small garden.

First prize in the pubs, hotels and restaurants category went to the Blue Pig in Wolvey, while farmers GA Spencer and Son walked away with the top prize in the industrial category for the firm’s site in Clifton.

Bilton Bowling Club, Caldecott Park Bowling Club and Wolvey Village Square won gold awards in the community buildings and places of worship category, while Wolvey Wetland Reserve, the Great Central Walk’s Ashlawn Cutting and the Friends of Swift Valley Nature Reserve struck gold in the environmental category.

And the winner of the Jeffrey Bernhard Young Gardener of the Year Award was George Cleaver, from Henry Hinde Junior School.

The award honours the horticultural legacy of Mr Bernhard, who 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.

Henry Hinde Junior School was one of the winners at the Rugby in Bloom School Awards, which took place at the Benn Hall on Monday September 15.

The awards encourage youngsters to catch the gardening bug, growing flowers and vegetables in plots at school.

Prizes were presented in pre-school, primary school and senior school categories - with six schools winning platinum awards, 11 gold and two silver gilt.

Cllr Dr Mark Williams, the borough councillor responsible for environmental policy, said: “Everyone involved in Rugby in Bloom plays a vital part in improving our environment and bringing our communities together.

“The contest goes from strength to strength every year, and I congratulate all the winners for helping make the 25th Rugby in Bloom one to remember.”