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Guildford in Bloom

Guildford in Bloom brings together community groups, businesses, schools and residents to promote imaginative ways to make the town and surrounding areas look their best and champion Guildford's natural environment. Find out who are the winners of the 2017 Guildford in Bloom Awards.

Guildhall with flower baskets banner image

Winners of the 2017 competition

In 2017, 257 entrants took part in Guildford in Bloom. The nine categories ranged from allotments and kitchen gardens, to neighbourhood projects and wildlife spaces, horticulture and front gardens.

The awards ceremony took place at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Thursday 14 September 2017. Over 300 people attended, including local school children.

In total 252 prizes were awarded and 40 gardeners picked up the top Gold award.

Best in Show was Snaky Lane Wildlife Area for their entry in the Best Wildlife Garden category.

The 'Best in Category' award winners were:

  • Competition Winner: Snaky Lane Wildlife Area

  • Best School in Bloom: Weyfield Primary Academy School

  • Best Small Front Garden: Peter and Joan Smith

  • Best Large Front Garden and winner of the Best Front Garden Trophy: Rosemary Yvonne Tribe

  • Best Allotment and Vegetable Kitchen Garden: Les and Stella Hind

  • Best Garden for Wildlife: Snaky Lane Wildlife Area

  • Best Pub in Bloom: Gomshall Mill

  • Best Container Garden: Gary Richards

  • Best Neighbourhood Project:  Dagley Lane Community Project

  • Best New Entry and winner of the Dorothy Walden Award:  Peter and Joan Smith

Take a look at the full list of winners.

See the stunning gardens created by our winners in the 2017 Guildford in Bloom video:


Category descriptions

CategoryWhat the judges looked for

Best Front Garden

Gardens had to be visible to the public from the footpath. These gardens were judged on design, colour, quality of plants and all-year-round interest. Gardens were divided into a small or large category.

Best Allotment and Vegetable/Kitchen Gardens

Allotments and vegetable gardens were judged on the variety and quality of vegetables grown, use of good horticultural practice, use of space and sustainable management. 

Best Garden for Wildlife

Open to all gardens including private, businesses and community projects, this category focused on design, choice of plants and management that were especially welcoming to wildlife.

Best Pub in Bloom

The best Pub in Bloom category looked for a well-balanced design, good use of colour and quality planting.

Best Container Garden

This category was for balconies and gardens based on pots and baskets, which were visible to the public.

Best Neighbourhood Project

This category recognised projects that 'greened up' their local area. Judges looked for good design, colour and plant quality as well as input from residents or the community.

Best School in Bloom

The theme for 2017 was 'The Seaside' and judges looked for children's involvement with the design, planting and upkeep.

Best Public Building in Bloom

In this category, gardens had to be open to the public to visit or walk through. Judges looked for a good overall impression, with good design, colour and plant quality.

The Dorothy Walden Award

This award was for the best 'first time' entry into any category.


School Gardening Competition 2018

Our theme for 2018 is 'The World Around Us'. We are looking for imaginatively themed gardens and novel containers.

What we would like you to think about:

  • the world around you locally, or the wider world, perhaps concentrate on one country

  • the plants you will use, we like plants that attract wildlife, especially bees

  • the containers you will use, previously used containers and objects would be great.

Above all, we want you to have fun designing, planting and looking after your gardens.

Competition details 

The competition is free to enter and open to all schools in the Borough of Guildford.

If you would like to enter the competition, please email the Guildford in Bloom Coordinator at parks@guildford.gov.uk or fill out our icon School Gardening Competition 2018 application form [445.14KB] and email it to parks@guildford.gov.uk.

The closing date for entries is: 25 May 2018.

Judging dates are: 4 to 15 June 2018 (we will confirm the exact date with you nearer the time).

If you are using novel containers, up to four will be judged for each entry. The Awards Ceremony will be held at Clandon Park Garden Centre on Wednesday 20 June 2018.

Winners of the School Gardening Competition 2017

The theme of the 2017 competition was 'The seaside'.

Eleven local schools took part and they created fantastic seaside gardens in their school grounds.

See the table below for the results of the competition and watch our short video showing the stunning winning entries.


SchoolResultComments from the judges

Guildford Nursery School and Children's Centre (Hazel Avenue)

Silver Gilt

The children transformed their 'sand area' into a seaside garden. Pots had been planted up with flowers, fruit and vegetables, including mange tout, carrots and beans. The strawberries looked particularly 'yummy'. Children had a good idea of what they had planted. There was a lovely 'Punch and Judy' Theatre and photos of the children planting were used to create bunting. During our visit the children played imaginatively in the seaside garden.

Guildford Nursery School and Children's Centre (York Road)


Different containers were planted up on the seaside theme. The lovely hand-painted wooden beach huts had formed an edging. A boat planted with water underneath with a dolphin and octopus was called HMS York Road! All the flowers were planted from seed. A wonderful homemade lighthouse sat on a rock on a blue lobelia filled tyre. Seaside planted buckets hung on a wall with shells strung on string and there was a 'surfer dude' made by the children.

Jigsaw School

Silver Gilt

The students had planned their seaside garden and it included a submarine, fish and chips and sharks - the Great White and Hammerheads. The 'Jigsaw Titanic' had been beautifully made. Shells had been collected and displayed on a sandy beach. Carnations were used to create white foam and blue lobelia for the sea. Seaside buckets had been planted up with lavender and a small octopus was nestling in a shell.



The idea for this themed garden came from the Gardening Club which meets regularly each week. They had a designated area for their seaside project. Wooden troughs were reused from last year and there was an ice cream kiosk with flowers in cones. Ice cream flavours included strawberry, raspberry ripple and vanilla. There was a dingy made out of a tyre with a handmade sail, which had faces on. Tomato plants were used as palm trees. The boys made figures so that they could enjoy the seaside garden and they had to follow the advice of the sun safety posters.

Peaslake Free School


Containers were dotted around the outside area with seaside coloured plants. Handmade lollipops decorated fencing. Deck chairs and a windbreak were behind a blue rock pool which was filled with sea creatures and colourfully decorated pebbles. The flourishing vegetable patch reminded us of a boat and the children had made beautiful silver fish that dangling over the top of it. There was great community involvement - the school's seaside garden was shown in the Peaslake Open Garden Scheme.

Shalford Pre-School

Silver Gilt

Different areas had been planted up around the school. Shells had been collected by the children and were used to decorate the area around the sand pit. There was great use of recycling. We particularly like the planted swimming costume! Children had conversations about the seaside and quotes were hung from branches on a tree. There was a boat with a pirate flag and tyres surrounded a plot. There was lots of imagination and we were told "It can be whatever you want it to be".

Shawfield Primary School - Year R


A seaside café, selling crafty made ice creams - we tried an ice cream and it was delicious. A blue cloth representing the sea flowing into the sand with a rock pool close by. Pebbles were collected by children on recent seaside trips. Flowers were succulents and planted in pots. Homemade bunting decorated the area. There was a wonderful boat too and a 'flip-flop flower'.

St Joseph's Specialist School and College


The students had planned their garden with lovely art work which we saw in the art department. They created their seaside garden in the allotment area and they started by digging over the plot - hard work but they did it! A beautiful mermaid was sitting on the beach. She had a lovely hand painted tail. Blue lobelia was used for planting the sea and Marigolds for sand. Photographic bunting was hung above the garden showing the students at work creating their special garden.

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School


A lovely seaside area with chairs and an umbrella. Conical shaped hanging baskets were used as ice cream cones. Petunias, strawberries, marigolds and carnations were used as ice cream to fill the cones, representing flavours such as raspberry ripple, strawberry and honeycomb. Children were able to visit Clandon Park Garden Centre to choose their plants. Beautiful hand decorated pebbles lined the outside of the seaside garden.

Weyfield Primary Academy School

Gold and Best in Competition

What a wonderful seaside creation with two distinct areas separated by a beach hut and a boat donated by a sailing club. The boat was full of planted-up pots painted to represent seaside colours. Bird boxes were also painted by children, except for one which had a Wagtail in it. A bug hotel was underneath the boat. A delightful mermaid was relaxing and holding a cone filled with birdseed.

Worplesdon Primary School


The children had really embraced the theme. Great support from parents as children had made miniature themed gardens at home and bought them into school. Great imagination, there was a dinosaur themed one. The outside planters had flowers that had been chosen to reflect seaside colours. A lovely wooden planter was planted up to look like a fish, with the tail being pebbles and shells. Flip-flops were used to hold flower posts and sweet peas will slowly trail up string to represent a sail on a boat.

Photography competition

To celebrate its sponsorship of Guildford in Bloom 2017, White Lion Walk shopping centre teamed up with the Surrey Advertiser newspaper to run a photography competition. 

Six finalists were chosen by a judging panel, then the public voted for the winner via the Surrey Advertiser newspaper. Ezra Rollinson's photograph, entitled Castle Grounds, was the winning entry and he won a camera bag, tripod and high quality lens.

Become a Guildford in Bloom Committee Member

We are seeking new Committee Members. For more information, please email parks@guildford.gov.uk or telephone 01483 444715.

Sponsors for Guildford in Bloom

If you would like to become a Guildford in Bloom Sponsor, please download a copy of our sponsors' application form from the Downloads on the right of this page.

Guildford in Bloom gives you an excellent opportunity to promote your business while helping us keep the borough blooming.

You can sponsor a category, or become the major sponsor for the event.