Green-fingered Glenarm residents are celebrating after the village scooped its most prestigious horticultural achievement to date.
Just weeks after being crowned Ulster in Bloom champions in the ‘Best Village’ category for the third year running, Glenarm has struck gold at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom, Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign.
The results were announced at a glitzy ceremony in Bristol last Thursday, which was attended by members of Glenarm in Bloom community group, Jackie and Francis Wilson, as well Neil Steward of Larne Borough Council.
A delighted Frances told the Times the award was a “great feather in our cap” and hoped it would help attract more visitors to the village.
She added: “Glenarm in Bloom is made up of a small team of five core members, including myself and my husband Jackie, as well as Charlie and Rosaleen Meban, and Alan Nesbitt.
“Jackie and I were delighted to travel to England to collect the award on behalf of the group.
“Taking part in Britain in Bloom was an honour, but to win an award is more than we could ever hope for.
“Everyone in Glenarm is very proud indeed. The whole village has shown a great civic pride with hanging baskets, window boxes, planters, and new flower beds bringing much colour to previously derelict areas.
“We would like to thank our many generous sponsors and Larne Borough Council for their help in achieving this prestigious award for Glenarm.”
There are more than 3,900 ‘Bloom’ groups throughout the UK. Of these, just 71 finalists were chosen to represent their region in the finals.
Commenting on Glenarm in Bloom’s efforts, RHS judges said: “Although a relatively new group and first-time entry into the national competition, the group has used Bloom to great effect, and as a catalyst to improve the social, physical and economic revitalisation of the area with the help of The Prince’s Foundation and Larne Borough Council.”
The Britain in Bloom awards are a chance to celebrate the work of dedicated volunteers across the UK and to recognise achievement, innovation and a commitment to keeping villages, towns and cities clean, green and thriving.
RHS Ambassador Adam Frost, who has won six gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, hosted this year’s awards ceremony, held at the Bristol Marriott Hotel and attended by almost 400 community gardening champions.