Dig in to make your town bloom this year

PUBLISHED: 12:21 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

SPRING is finally here, and that means people are being asked to flex their green fingers once again for the annual Stevenage In Bloom competition. This year s event organised by the In Bloom Forum is bigger than ever before. With even more categories to

SPRING is finally here, and that means people are being asked to flex their green fingers once again for the annual Stevenage In Bloom competition.

This year's event organised by the In Bloom Forum is bigger than ever before.

With even more categories to choose from, everyone can take part - residents, local communities, schools, pubs, businesses - and entry is completely free.

The categories are:

Best garden

It doesn't matter whether you have a postage stamp sized garden or a large garden. You don't need to spend vast amounts of money landscaping your garden. If you keep a well maintained, tidy garden this category is for you.

Best container

This category includes hanging baskets, window boxes, planters and more unusual containers for residents who don't have access to a garden. This category is ideally suited for those living in flats.

Best wildlife garden

For those who manage their garden to encourage wildlife - insects, birds, butterflies, bats, hedgehogs.

Best community project

Whether you live in sheltered accommodation, a flat, belong to a church, or attend Scouts or Girl Guides, this is the category for you if you have achieved improvements to your environment.

Best school project

There are all sorts of exciting environmental projects happening in schools thanks to pupils, staff and parent and teacher associations. Whether it's a nature trail or vegetable garden, show off your project and see how it compares to other schools in the town.

Best pub

An attractive floral display or well maintained garden can help to create a more inviting atmosphere for customers. There are plenty of pubs that provide fantastic displays so why not compete against the rest?

Best small business

For Stevenage businesses with no more than 250 employees. Whether you provide an attractive landscaped area for your staff to enjoy or colourful planters at the entrance to your organisation, we want to hear from you.

Best large business

For Stevenage businesses with more than 250 employees. An attractive landscape just outside of the workplace can improve staff morale and impress partners and customers. Why not receive some local recognition for your hard work?

Best road or street display

This category is designed for residents who take pride in their local environment and try to make their street look colourful, tidy and attractive. This might be through landscaped front gardens, colourful floral containers or other environmental improvements, which are visible from the road.

Best young gardeners (under 12s and 12 to 16 years old)

Are you a budding Alan Titchmarsh? Do you have an area of garden that you look after? Do you grow trees, shrubs, flowers or vegetables? Whether you do all the work yourself, or work with a brother, sister or friend, you should enter. You will need to return your application form with a written outline (no more than one side of A4) about what you have done to prepare your patch, how you have chosen the plants and looked after this space.

Stevenage In Bloom is designed to encourage the whole community to play an active role in improving the environment. Judges will visit entrants during July and trophies and prizes will be presented at the awards ceremony in September.

* Application forms are available from Stevenage Borough Council, Van Hage Garden Company and Homebase. Please return all paper entry forms to the In Bloom Forum, c/o Parks and Amenities, Stevenage Borough Council, Daneshill House, Danestrete, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 1HN.

Or you can log onto Stevenage.gov.uk fill out an entry form and return it online.

The closing date for entries is Friday, June 30.

For more information about Stevenage In Bloom, ring 01438 242323, textphone 01438 242555 or email inbloom@stevenage.gov.uk

Stevenage In Bloom was launched at the Van Hage Garden Company at Bragbury End and Homebase over the Easter weekend.

Until the middle of May, people can visit Bragbury End to look at photographs of entries from previous years. Competition winners will represent the town in Anglia In Bloom. This year Stevenage has been chosen to represent the Anglia region in Britain In Bloom.

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