‘Washington in Bloom’ gardening group aiming for gold at Northumbria in Bloom awards


The ‘Washington Village in Bloom’ group are currently preparing for the Northumbria in Bloom gardening competition in the hope they will win the Gold award.

Forming in 2002, the group have been participating in the annual Northumbria in Bloom competition for 10 years, winning the Gold award for seven years in a row.

However, last year they managed to achieve the Silver Gilt, only second to Gold, but the volunteer group of local residents are hoping to win the Gold back this year.

“We’ve had to change the style of planting,” explained Chair of the Bloom Group, Erland Polden.

“Councils have suffered a lot of budget cuts that means they can’t provide us with all the bedding plants we used to get.

“Nowadays if we use bedding we have to provide it ourselves. As that’s quite expensive we’re using more perennial plants, things that will come back year after year. We think they still look very good.”

Mr Polden, 79, has been Chair of the Village in Bloom group since it was founded 15 years ago and is still very hands on within the group with some of them regarding him as being “the boss”.

Ron Atkinson, 68, says being a volunteer with the group is “hard work but enjoyable”.

Mr Atkinson said: “All the effort that’s gone into it I think it’ll show.

“We want a Gold medal this year, not a Silver Gilt.”

Spring judging for Northumbria in Bloom takes place in April.

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