Calling all Borough Budding Green Fingers – final few days to enter ‘In Bloom’

Tuesday 17th August 2021

It’s time to show how blooming marvellous our gardening enthusiasts are in the ‘Volunteer’ and ‘Tallest Sunflower’ categories of the ‘In Bloom’ Competition.

outline of a flower beside text that reads Ards and north down in bloom.

Running as part of the Council’s wider ‘In Bloom’ initiative, these annual contests recognise the gardening skills of residents across our Borough. But time is of the essence if you want to submit a nomination as the volunteer and sunflower categories close on 1 September 2021. 

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, is encouraging young gardening fans to get out their measuring tapes and find out how their sunflowers will size up against others across the Borough.  He said: 

"In April the Council distributed 60,000 sunflower seeds to primary and secondary school children, as part of the Ards and North Down in Bloom initiative.  We have been amazed by the number of applications and photos received to date - the competition is really catching the imagination of our young people and their parents. 

“We are encouraging everyone to enter their sunflowers and perhaps they can beat last year’s monster sunflower of 4 meters 2cm.”

Nominations for our Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year (16 and under) is also closing shortly.  Volunteers play a vital role in keeping our Borough beautiful and the competition categories recognise individuals who have shown commitment to their local community and its environment.

Commenting on this category, the Mayor added: 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many people but there has been much courage, creativity and an incredible sense of community displayed across our Borough. The volunteer category will recognise and celebrate those individuals and groups that have worked hard to brighten our communities.”

By supporting the competitions, residents are not only making their gardens and businesses more attractive, but they are also contributing to the Borough’s entry into the annual Translink Ulster in Bloom competition. In 2019, both Comber and Groomsport were recognised among Northern Ireland’s top horticultural talent. 

To enter the sunflower competition or to nominate a worthy volunteer, simply visit for more information.

Alternatively, contact the Parks Service on 0300 013 3333 or