We use Cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. View our cookie policy

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.

Guildhall with flower baskets banner image

The 2017 Guildford in Bloom Competition is now open.

How to enter

Entry to Guildford in Bloom is free and easy to do:

  • pick one category from the list below. 
  • email or write to us, stating the category you are entering, your name, address, email address, contact telephone number, and the address of the site to be judged
  • tell us if this is the first time you have entered into the competition
  • email your details to: parks@guildford.gov.uk or write to: Guildford Borough Council, Parks & Leisure Services, Stoke Park Nursery, Nightingale Road, Guildford GU1 1ER
  • the deadline for entries is Sunday 18 June 2017.


CategoryWhat the judges are looking for

Best Front Garden

Your garden must be visible to the public from the footpath. It will be judged on design, colour, quality of plants and all-year-round interest. Gardens will be divided into a small or large category.

Best Allotment and Vegetable/Kitchen Gardens

Judged on the variety and quality of vegetables grown, evidence of good horticultural practice, use of space and sustainable management. All allotment plots entered must have the plot number clearly on display.

Best Garden for Wildlife

Open to all gardens including private, businesses and community projects where the design, choice of plants and management is especially welcoming to wildlife.

Best Pub in Bloom

We are looking for the best Pub in Bloom. A well-balanced design, good use of colour and quality planting will score high marks.

Best Container Garden

Open to balconies and gardens that are based on pots and baskets. Must be visible to the public.

Best Neighbourhood Project

This category recognises projects that green up the local area and include those organised by sheltered accommodation, village halls, residents associations, parish councils, voluntary groups and charities etc. Judges will be looking for good design, colour and plant quality as well as input from residents or the community.

Best School in Bloom

This year our theme is 'The Seaside'. We are looking for imaginatively themed gardens or novel containers. Children's involvement with the design, planting and upkeep and meeting the theme of the competition will score high marks.

Note: dates for the school competition are different to the main competition - see below for details.

Best Public Building in Bloom

Your garden must be open to the public to visit or walk through. Judges will be looking for a good overall impression, with good design, colour and plant quality.

The Dorothy Walden Award

This will be awarded to the best 'first time' entry into any category.


Judging takes place between 3 to 21 July. It is not possible to advise individual entrants of the exact day and time of judging (with the exception of vegetable/kitchen gardens, wildlife gardens and neighbourhood project categories).

Winners will be notified by email and invited to the awards ceremony that takes place on 14 September 2017 at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Terms and conditions

Judges will not be available to discuss individual entries

The judges' decision is final.

A list of winners will be published on our website. Photographs of your entry (garden, allotment) may be used for marketing purposes.

School Gardening Competition 2017

Our 2017 School Gardening Competition is now open.

Themed 'The seaside', we are looking for imaginatively themed school gardens or novel containers.

Entry is free and easy. Email the name of your school to lysandra.mcculloch@guildford.gov.uk or use the application form in the Downloads section of the page.

Encouraging learning, health and wellbeing, gardening is a perfect opportunity for young people to get 'green fingered, creative and active'.

There is plenty of time for you to plan and plant. Gardens and containers will be judged between 5 - 16 June 2017 and the Award Ceremony will be held on Wednesday 21 June 2017.

Your 'seaside' themed gardens or containers could include vegetables and/or encourage wildlife such as birds, frogs, hedgehogs and butterflies.

For more information, read our application form on the right of this page.

Diary dates 2017


26 May 2017

Entry deadline for the School Gardening Competition

29 May 2017

Surrey County Show

3 June 2017

Picnic in the Castle Grounds - A fabulous, free, family event with the unveiling of the flower beds and music & theatre entertainment from the bandstand

18 June 2017

Entry closes for Guildford in Bloom competition

21 June 2017

School Gardening Competition Awards

3 to 21 July 2017

Judging for Guildford in Bloom competition

14 September 2017

Awards ceremony for Guildford in Bloom 

Become a Guildford in Bloom Committee Member

We are seeking new Committee Members. For more information, please email Lysandra on Lysandra.mcculloch@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.

Winners of the 2016 competition

This year 160 entrants took part in 10 categories, from small container gardens to allotments, neighbourhood projects to innovation in horticulture and wildlife gardens to pubs in bloom.

The awards ceremony took place at Burchatt's Farm Barn at Stoke Park with over 250 attendees, including local school children. The night was a great celebration of gardening in Guildford.

In total 158 prizes were awarded; 40 gardeners picked up the top Gold award. Best in Show was Brian Elford for his entry in the Best Allotment category.

The 'Best in Category' award winners were:

  • Best Wildlife Garden - Julia and Roy Wake
  • Best Container Garden - Jack Thornber
  • Best Small Front Garden - Lisa Keech
  • Best Large Front Garden - David Jobson
  • Best Pub in Bloom - Gomshall Mill
  • Best Neighbourhood Project - The Therapy Garden
  • Best Allotment - Brian Elford
  • Best School in Bloom - Shalford Pre-School
  • The Mayors Award for Innovation in Horticulture - Sam Cox
  • The Dorothy Walden Themed Award - HMP Send

Take a look at our video (see below) showing the winners collecting their awards and photographs of their entries. Also, take a look at the list of our Guildford in Bloom 2016 winners.


Blooming Schools Winners - 2016 Novel Container Competition

Shalford Pre-School is the overall winner of the 2016 Guildford in Bloom Novel Containers Competition, with their entry theme based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The school was presented with a trophy, a gold award certificate and £20 worth of National Gardening Vouchers. Visit our  Guildford in Bloom Facebook page to view a video of the winning schools and their entries.

Young Awards Winners 2016 The mayor of Guildford Presents an Award 2016 Guildford in Bloom award Winning Pupils

Table of Blooming Schools winners 2016:

Lanesborough Pre-Prep SchoolGold
Worplesdon Pre-PrepGold
Guildford Children's Centre (Hazel Avenue)Silver-Gilt
Shalford Pre-SchoolGold
Jigsaw SchoolGold
Weyfield Primary Academy SchoolGold
Guildford Montessori Nursery SchoolSilver-Gilt
Guildford Children's Centre (York Road)Gold