Mid and East Antrim in Bloom Community Competition prize winners are announced

A growing interest in gardening has been reflected in the diversity of entries for this year’s Mid and East Antrim in Bloom Community competition.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 11:10 am
Gardening for Wildlife winner - Irene McKay, Islandmagee.

And following judging of the many entries for the popular challenge, the Mayor, Councillor William McCaughey, has announced the winners and runners-up.

The categories included: Best Kept Front Garden, Best Kept Front Container Garden, Best Kept Community Planting Scheme, Best Kept Allotment Garden, Best Kept Commercial Premises, and the Gardening for Wildlife Award.

Cllr McCaughey said: “Through council’s ‘In Bloom’ campaign we encourage everyone in the borough to think about their local environment and how flowers, plants and gardens can enhance it for people and wildlife. By actively supporting our ‘In Bloom’ campaign and competitions residents not only make their garden, school or business more attractive but can boost tourism and the economy in their local areas.

Best Kept Front Container Garden winner - Jackie Wilson, Glenarm.

“Although it’s been another strange and difficult year for many of us, there has been a large rise in interest in gardening. With more people still staying at home, many have been spending more time outside in local green space

and in gardens. This is great to see as gardening can have a positive impact on our mental and physical health.

“Gardening can improve cognitive functioning and emotional well-being; can reduce depression, anxiety, obesity and heart disease; increase life satisfaction, quality of life and sense of community; and support recovery from illness, reduce stress, blood pressure and muscle tension. As well as all this, blooming gardens are a delight to the senses for owners and passers-by alike, and bring some much needed cheer.

“I have been really impressed with the quality of entrants to the competition this year from all across the borough. It has been a great opportunity for me to see the variety of horticultural talent we have here. The borough is still in bloom despite a summer of mixed weather.

Best Kept Allotment winner - Christine Gibson, Larne Town Park Allotment Gardens.

“Well done everyone and please keep up the great work.”

The winners (listed first) and runners up are as follows:

Best Kept Front Garden - Sarah Bandy, Islandmagee; Leslie Spearman, Whitehead; Claire Gillespie, Ballymena; Tanya Tweed, Larne.

Best Kept Front Container Garden - Jackie Wilson, Glenarm; Philomena Corey, Carrickfergus; Sheelagh McCool, Carrickfergus; James McMurray, Whitehead.

Best Kept Front Garden winner - Sarah Bandy, Islandmagee.

Best Community Planting Scheme - Tullagh Community Garden, Ballymena; Island Community Garden, Islandmagee; The Olive Tree Community Garden Eden, Carrickfergus.

Best Kept Allotment Garden - Christine Gibson, Larne Allotment Gardens; Sharon Thoburn, Eden Allotment Gardens; Richard Plunkett, Greenisland Allotment Gardens.

Best Kept Commercial Premises - Ballycairn House, Ballygally; SteadyEddie, Larne; Galgorm Care Home, Ballymena.

Gardening for Wildlife Award - Irene McKay, Islandmagee; Christine Harper, Carrickfergus; Stephen Heron, Broughshane.

Best Kept Front Container Garden runner up - Philomena Corey, Carrickfergus.

Cllr McCaughey concluded: “I would also like to remind everyone that the Blooming Creative (Painting, Poetry and Sculpture) and the Best School Gardening Project Competitions remain open until 30 September.”

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Click here to read: Larne gardening workshop supports people affected by brain injury

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Best Kept Commercial Premises runner up - SteadyEddie Noodle Bar, Larne.
Best Kept Allotment runner up - Sharon Thoburn, Eden Allotment Gardens.
Gardening for Wildlife runner up - Christine Harper, Carrickfergus.
Best Kept Front Garden runner up - Leslie Spearman, Whitehead.
Best Kept Community Planting runner up - Island Community Garden, ICDA Gardening Club, Islandmagee.