Blooming marvellous Torbay winners  

Volunteers tending to the gardens at Oldway, Paignton

Volunteers tending to the gardens at Oldway, Paignton - Credit: Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group

Torbay’s winners in the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom South West competition have been announced, as well as the winners of the RHS’s It’s Your Neighbourhood awards 2021.

Local community groups and volunteers worked hard to enhance the Bay with their floral displays, with support from a team of gardeners and cleansing staff from SWISCo, a company wholly owned by Torbay Council that provides a range of frontline services.

The groups taking part in the competition have also been supported in their efforts by Groundwork South, who are working closely with the volunteers at local Friends of groups in partnership with the council and SWISCo to enhance the Bay’s green and open spaces. 

Paignton in Bloom's gold award in the Tesco Cup

Paignton in Bloom's gold award in the Tesco Cup - Credit: Paignton in Bloom

In the It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards, several local Friends of groups - Stoodley Knowle, Torquay, Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group, Paignton, and Indigo’s Go Green, Brixham - were in the top 10 best in the West country out of more than 350 entries.

Indigo’s Go Green, Brixham, were also runners up in the competition.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and culture, said: “Congratulations to all the winners in Torbay for their excellent effort - and to all those who entered the competition.

"We are proud of all the hard work local volunteers have put into making the Bay look beautiful, with support from staff from SWISCo, and from Groundwork South.” 

Keeping Oldway gardens in shape - mowing the lawn

Keeping Oldway Gardens in shape - Credit: Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group

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Tim Eley, who co-ordinates Torbay’s entries in the competition and is chair of Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group and Babbacombe Bay Bloomers, said: “A fantastic set of results for Torbay in this year's South West in Bloom competition.

"Well done everybody and thanks for all your help in achieving these results.

"It is especially pleasing to see the public sector working with the private sector voluntary groups and shows what can be achieved."

South West in Bloom winners 

  • Torquay in Bloom – Gold award in the Champion of Champions 
  • Paignton in Bloom – Gold award in the Tesco Cup 
  • Brixham in Bloom – Gold award 
  • Babbacombe and St Marychurch – Babbacombe Bay Bloomers – Gold award.

In addition, winners in Torbay included:  

  • The City of Bath Trophy (Landscaping) for the Sunken Gardens in Torquay 
  • The London & Manchester Trophy (Outstanding contribution to an environmental initiative) for the Pollinator Patches 
  • Barry Cruse Trophy for the Best Web Site – Babbacombe Bay Bloomers 
  • The Cary Arms was Best Runner Up in the Sean Cregan Trophy (Best Floral Pub) 

Torbay was also put forward for 14 South West in Bloom Discretionary awards for the following projects: 

  • Sunken Gardens, Torquay for the City of Bath Trophy (Landscaping) 
  • Babbacombe Bay Bloomers for the Michael Gahey Trophy (Exceptional community effort) 
  • Brixham Moorings Reach for the Bruford Cup (Best Horticultural Display – non Municipal) 
  • Pollinator Patches for the London & Manchester Trophy (Outstanding contribution to an environmental initiative) 
  • Paignton for the South West Tourism Salver (Best Portfolio) 
  • Brixham, Indigo’s go Green for the Gordon Ford Trophy (Best IYN) 
  • Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group for the Gordon Ford Trophy (Best IYN) 
  • Friends of Stoodley Knowle, Torquay for the Gordon Ford Trophy (Best IYN) 
  • Pollinator Patches for the West Country TV Cup ( Outstanding specific project) 
  • Brixham, Berry Head for the Monk Trophy (Best use of Native Plants) 
  • Cary Arms, Babbacombe for the Sean Cregan Trophy (Best Floral Pub) 
  • Cary Arms, Babbacombe for the Amberol Trophy (Best Business Floral Display) 
  • Skeleton Brixham – Art in the Landscape ( Best Interpretation of Art in the Landscape) 
  • Paignton, Gateway to Westerland Valley – Art in the Landscape (Best Interpretation of Art in the Landscape)  

It’s Your Neighbourhood Award Winners 

Also organised annually by RHS is the It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards, which go up to Level 5.  

Babbacombe  

  • Babbacombe Downs - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Babbacoombe - Cliff Railway - Level 4  
  • Thriving Babbacoombe - Tessier Gardens Friends Group - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Babbacoombe - The Rose Garden - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Babbacoombe - Millennium Green - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Babbacombe - St Marychurch Precinct - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Babbacombe - Petit Plot Community Garden - Level 5: Outstanding 

Brixham  

  • Middle Street Community Garden - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Brixham - Middle Street Traders - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Brixham - Moorings Reach - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Brixham - St Mary's Park Friends - Level 4  
  • Thriving Brixham - The Old Railway Garden - Level 3  
  • Advancing Brixham - Friends of Furzeham Green - Level 5  
  • Outstanding Brixham - The Edge Bolton Street - Level 4  
  • Thriving Brixham - Indigo's Go Wild Adventure Playground - Level 5: Outstanding 

Paignton  

  • Friends of Clennon Lakes - Level 4  
  • Thriving Paignton - Wild Fox Adventure Playground - Level 3 
  • Advancing Paignton - Shekinah Grow - Level 4  
  • Thriving Paignton - Goodrington Community Orchard - Level 3  
  • Advancing Paignton - Westerland Valley - Level 3  
  • Advancing Paignton - Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group - Level 5: Outstanding 

Torquay 

  • Friends of Stoodley Knowle - Level 5: Outstanding  
  • Torquay - Torre Churchyard - Level 5: Outstanding  
  • Torquay - Torre Abbey Gardens - Level 5: Outstanding  
  • Torquay - Friends of Upton Park - Level 4  
  • Thriving Torquay - Cricketfield Community Garden - Level 5: Outstanding  
  • Torquay - Friends of Victoria Park (Chelston) - Level 4  
  • Thriving Torquay - Our Space Level 3 Advancing Torquay - The Triangle - Level 4  
  • Thriving Torquay - Fort Apache - Level 4 
  • Thriving Torquay - Cockington Memorial Rose Garden - Level 5: Outstanding.
Part of the winning garden for Love Your Brixham Garden built completely from recycled materials

Part of the winning garden for Love Your Brixham Garden built completely from recycled materials, recycled shed covered with a sedum roof - Credit: Brixham in Bloom

Brixham won a gold award in the Portman Cup presented at Weston-super-Mare last week. 

The entry was judged in late July when two judges toured Brixham and enjoyed a lovely sunny day to view Brixham at its best.

Brixham In Bloom is made up of eight local community groups, who each contributed to the town's entry. 

One such group was Indigos Goes Green, who won a runner-up prize in the Gordon Ford trophy for best It’s Your Neighbourhood Award entry against more than 300 entries for the South West.

Another was Mooring Reach, which won the top prize in Best Horticultural Display - non municipal. 

All of the other groups won exceptionally high awards also.

There was even a highly commended certificate for the two skeletons hanging in cages around our harbour for Art in the Landscape. 

Brixham winners of South West In Bloom

Brixham gold award winners of South West In Bloom - Credit: Brixham in Bloom

After everyone had taken to their gardens during lockdown, as part of the Brixham In Bloom entry the group ran a Love Your Brixham Garden competition for residents and businesses.

Support and entry forms were obtainable from Brixham Town Council and Flour Flower in Middle Street.

The judges were very impressed by the standard of entries which ranged from window boxes, through small courtyard gardens to large private gardens and commercial displays.

They were astounded and extremely pleased to see such wonderful gardens in Brixham.

Winners 

Private gardens - Gold: Mr A and Mrs K  Wilson. Silver gilt: Mrs Jill Daw. Silver: Mrs W Smallman. Bronze: Mrs L Read.

Commercial - Gold: Middle Street Traders. Silver: Ella’s Chocolate and Tea House. Bronze: Brixham Town Council for Edinburgh Road Telebug Hotel.

Everyone received a certificate and from the funds raised through the entry fee, prizes were awarded to the top seven winners.

Brixham In Bloom have received great feedback and therefore may well run the competition again for 2022.

Meanwhile, over at Oldway, Paignton, the Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group was celebrating a fantastic result in this year’s RHS South West in Bloom It’s Your Neighbourhood Award competition.

Jo Jones, secretary of the volunteer group, said: "To get an outstanding award at our first attempt is brilliant and to be nominated for a discretionary award in this class means we are in the top 10 voluntary groups in the South West of England out of some 350-plus entrants.

"Well done and a great big thank you to all our volunteers.

"As well as the IYN award, Oldway was part of the Paignton in Bloom entry which I am pleased to report received another gold award this year.

"Thank you to all the volunteers, Friends groups, Swisco, Groundwork South and Torbay Council who made this happen."