Hillingdon residents honour key workers with rainbow displays
Monday 28 September: Hillingdon Council's annual gardening competition, Hillingdon in Bloom, received more entries than ever before this year, with 169 entries from residents who took pride in their gardens during lockdown months.
The competition was judged virtually by Cllr Jonathan Bianco, Hillingdon Council Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Business Services, and winners were announced on the council's website on Wednesday 23 September.
Maxine Coleman, aged 56 from Uxbridge, won first place in the 'Best Rainbow Display' category, designed to honour key workers during the coronavirus pandemic, with her multi-coloured floral displays and rainbow heart tribute.
Maxine said: "I am an inexperienced gardener, but I wanted to enter the competition to say thank you to Hillingdon's key workers. I've been suffering from ill health, so it took a huge amount of effort to create the display, both physically and mentally.
"I reached out to my local community, family and friends to donate plants and lend equipment, and my cousin made a rainbow heart from a recycled pallet. I have such a sense of achievement and wellbeing knowing that I am showing my appreciation to key workers - which makes it all worthwhile."
All entries were submitted online, with 66 first-time entrants, to categories including 'Best Hanging Basket' and 'Best Window Box'. A new 'Park and Bloom' category was introduced to tackle the issue of vanishing front gardens, rewarding residents who have created a front garden with plants and flowers alongside a space for a car.
Lyn Sutherland, 67 from Uxbridge, won the 'Park in Bloom' category. She said: "My garden is a source of solace, frustration, enjoyment and above all fun. It keeps my mind occupied and gives me something to focus on. I am lucky in having a garden, it is something I simply could not do without."
Cllr Jonathan Bianco, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Business Services, said: "We were delighted to receive a record number of entries to our ever-popular Hillingdon in Bloom competition, and we were touched to see so many residents commending our local key workers during the pandemic with colourful displays in their gardens. Thank you to everyone who took part."
A full list of winners and photos of displays from Hillingdon in Bloom is available at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/bloom