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Following our elevation to the Champion of Champions class in the South West in Bloom Competition, Marlborough was awarded  GOLD in the main competition by judge Jon Wheatley, Chairman of SouthWest in Bloom.


Lord and Lady Fellowes, the Mayors of Torquay and Marlborough, Anne Crawley and Richard Beale at the Awards Ceremony

Jon reported,  "It was delight to walk around the many excellent horticultural and environment features that the Marlborough in Bloom group have developed over recent years.  You are congratulated on your GOLD award and excellent standards that you have achieved throughout the year.There is a very strong commitment to improvement and it was so interesting to see how the town council uses Bloom to deliver its collective services in most constructive manner which achieves many outcomes.  Above all we were impressed by the whole team approach and commitment of all involved.  You are a credit to the south west."

As if this were  not enough, six of our It's Your Neighbourhood entries received OUTSTANDING awards: Coopers Meadow, Marlborough College Gardens, Marlborough Community Orchard, The Merchants House Garden, Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, The Victorian Cemetery and The Waterfront Garden at Kennet Place.   Jon reported:"The excellent water meadows and Victorian cemetery are fine examples of IYN projects which have major influence on the overall Bloom entry.  The water  meadows along the River Kennet demonstrate how with vision and leadership the involvement of volunteers can be used to great effect and have long term impact upon a town."

His final comment was, "You should be congratulated on your excellent Portfolio, your wonderful hospitality, you really make Bloom fun.  One of the finest visits we have experienced."

Particular thanks go to Susan Wightman at Libanus Press. With text by Anne Crawley and photographs by Richard Beale, Anna Forbes, Charlotte Hitchmough, Nicola Salt and Richard Shaw, Susan has produced an outstanding Portfolio which is sent to the judges prior to their visit.  This year we were delighted to be awarded The West Country Tourist Board Trophy for The Best Judge's Portfolio.   As this covers the whole of the south west – Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire – this is a major  achievement.

Anne Crawley, Chairman of Marlborough in Bloom says: "It is wonderful that the dedication and love for our beautiful town has been recognised by these awards.  We will be presenting the certificates and trophies at the AGM on Tuesday 7th November at 6.30 p.m. In the Town Hall together with a display of the work of our volunteers and of the award winning portfolio."

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Some of the Marlborough in Bloom team celebrate on the Town Hall steps - photo courtesy of Nicola Salt

A full list of this year's excellent results can be read by clicking here.


At 10 a.m. this morning Jon Wheatley, Chairman of South West in Bloom and Denise James, Secretary of South West in Bloom, senior judges from the South West in Bloom region start their tour of  Marlborough's Britain in Bloom entry for 2017.

This year Marlborough is up against some of the Premier League towns in the South West in the Champion of Champions section, competing against  Exeter, Truro and Portishead, and other towns with a history of successes in Britain in Bloom competitions.

The judges have a busy day ahead of them - they will visit the Merchant's House, Henry George, St Mary's Churchyard, the Green, Oxford Street, High Walls, the pubs in the Parade, the Marlborough Waterfront, Alma Place, St Peter's Church, Marlborough College and the Victorian Cemetery, and that's just before lunch!  They will see several butterfly themed shop window displays in the High Street, some shown here.   See also this article in Marlborough News Online




"Butterflies Are Important” - that is the message from this year’s Marlborough in Bloom who have been working with Butterfly Conservation in local schools and have organised an art competition on the theme for the students at Marlborough St. Mary’s Primary School.  Marlborough News on Line published an article with examples of the entries.  Click here to view.

Slade graduate, professional painter and Shalbourne resident, Victoria Jinivizian, judged the competition said “I have been very impressed with the high standard of work. The range of interpretation is very creative.  It has been very difficult to pick winners."

The first place prizes went to Eva Stansby's painting in the Key Stage One category, and to Parker Wilson in Key Stage Two category for his butterfly made out of pages from an atlas.

 Pupils with runner-up places or with judge's commendations were Poppy Deane, Harvey Hepworth, Macy Manning-Rooney, Will Palmer, Tom Baker, Megan McGrath, Ruby Waters, Phoebe Smith, Jack Baker, Charlie O’Shaughnessy, Archie Guarneri, Spenser Whiting and Eleanor Holford-Wright.

 Prizes were donated by The White Horse Bookshop and the art work will be on display in High Street shop windows from July 10 in time for the Britain in Bloom judging day on July 13.



Judging Day 21 June

On the hottest June day for forty years, Sean and Kena Magee, Wiltshire County Organisers for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), visited Marlborough to judge the Marlborough in Bloom Garden Competition, accompanied by Jonathan Conning, Director of Henry George Estate Agents who have generously sponsored this event, and Anne Crawley, Chairman of Marlborough in Bloom.

The ten entries were remarkable for the very high standard of gardens to be found throughout the town. Highlights of the tour were The Lamb Inn and the Courtyard Garden in Militia Court.


The Lamb, 2016 winner of the South West in Bloom Best Pub Display in the South West, has a spectacular display of window boxes and mangers on the Parade frontage leading to a delightful courtyard ablaze with tubs and hanging baskets.

Militia Court is one of Marlborough's hidden treasures. At the end of a narrow alley at the west end of town is this immaculately presented courtyard garden.

Mel Jones' garden on the Green is an example of what can be achieved in a very short time. Since he moved into his rented flat in March, he has transformed his neglected, overgrown back patch into a delightful garden. This is work in progress, with a special award for Mel's hard work for the benefit of his neighbours – an ideal tenant.


The tour finished with a delicious afternoon tea at The Polly Tearooms, generously donated by owner Mrs Anne Clarke. Judge Sean Magee said, "We have been so delighted with the enthusiasm and care shown by the Marlborough gardeners we hope to come to the Merchant's Garden Open Gardens Day in 2018 with a view to including some more Marlborough gardens in the Wiltshire NGS".

Anne Crawley added, "We look forward to seeing them again in the MiB Garden Competition next year. I would like to thank all the gardeners for their hard work for this splendid contribution to the Marlborough in Bloom campaign."

Tha Garden Competition forms part of Marlborough in Bloom's entry into the Champion of Champions class in 2017. This will be judged on Thursday 13 July by the Chairman of South West in Bloom, Mr Jon Wheatley.

Our theme this year is Butterflies and shops are already planning their displays and the entries to the Children's Butterfly Art Competition at St Peter's and St Mary's primary schools will be in windows around the town to delight us all.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Anne Crawley on 01672 512317 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


For several years groups of Marlborough College boys have been working with Action for the River Kennet (ARK ) to improve and restore the banks of the River Kennet which flows through the College grounds.  An example of the bank restorattion work is the installation of hazel faggots, retained by chestnut stakes which serves to prevent erosion and provide a suitable environment for marginal plants to prosper.  This benefits the river by keeping the flow fast and clean and providing a variety of habitats for wildlife.






Pupils at Marlborough St Mary's Primary School have been very busy over half term creating their butterflies to enter the Family Art Competition.  Sponsored by Carter Jonas, prizes will be awarded to the winners in both infants and junior schools and entries will be proudly displayed in our High Street windows to welcome the judges on 13 July, the Marlborough in Bloom Judging Day.

The standard is extremely high.  There are butterflies made of shells and meccano, flying butterflies, painted butterflies in all shapes and sizes.  Judge Victoria Jinivizian, a professional artist herself, will have a very hard time choosing the winners!


Marlborough in Bloom is off to a flying start in 2017 with a number of local events scheduled to support the community effort in the town ahead of judging Day on July 13th .

This year we have the honour of entering in the Champion of Champions class, awarded only to winners in the previous year's competition. Our judge will be Jon Wheatley, Chair of South West in Bloom.

OUR THEME THIS YEAR IS BUTTERFLIES. To reflect this theme in this year's campaign we are working with Butterfly Conservation and local schools to help preserve these lovely creatures. Sadly, butterflies are far less common than they were 50 years ago. Since the 1940's, 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost. Seventy per cent of UK species have declined in occurrence since the 1970's.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of local estate agent Henry George we are kicking off with the Marlborough in Bloom Gardening Competition. Open to gardens in Marlborough created and maintained by the owners (tho' some part time help is acceptable) , there are 5 categories: Best Garden, Best Courtyard Garden, Best Commercial Display, Best Containers/Hanging Baskets and Best Newcomer. Cups will be awarded to the Overall Winner, Best Garden & Best Courtyard Garden with prizes and certificates for other entries.

To enter, complete the form online at or pick up an entry form at Henry George Estate Agents, 46 Kingsbury Street, Marlborough SN8 1JE. Deadline for entries is Friday 12 May, judging on 21 June and some of the winners will be incorporated in the Judging Route in July.

Following their huge success with last year's bees, the pupils of Marlborough St Mary's CE VC Primary School are invited to to take part in a Family Art Competition to create a butterfly out of any medium – painting, sculpture, collage or crochet (wool and patterns available from Fair Isle). The winners will have their work displayed around the town to delight and amuse us all.

Our portfolio which gives the judges an overview of our work throughout the year is crucial to our success. I am therefore very happy to report that Libanus Press, Marlborough's stunning fine art publisher, has agreed to produce our 2017 edition.

Finally we were thrilled to learn that our application to the Tesco Bags of Help Grant Scheme has been successful. Customers can vote in the Tesco store on the Salisbury Road Business Park during May and June (we will be one of three projects); the project with the highest number of votes across the region will receive up to £5,000, the second placed project up to £2,000 and the third placed project £1,000 so please support us when you shop.

Waitrose has once again continued their support and customers can support us by posting their green token each time they shop. Last year this raised over £300 and we are very grateful for their


Community Action Days start in May. Please join us every Wednesday morning to tidy up the streets and garden the In Bloom tubs and boxes around the town. Meet at 10 am by the back entrance to Waitrose, armed with secateurs and gloves and help us to gain valuable points for community involvement.

This will be a challenging year for Marlborough in Bloom but I feel sure the townsfolk and businesses will rise to the occasion on Judging Day. We are going for gold in 2017, so let's make Marlborough blooming marvellous!"

Anne Crawley


Make a purchase in Waitrose and receive a green token for each transaction.  Please use it to vote for Marlborough in Bloom.


This year we have been entered in the Champion of Champions class and will be judged by the Chairman  of South West in Bloom.

This is a great honour so please put your token in our slot and help our volunteers transform parks and open spaces, care for allotments,

work with children and groups with special needs and make Marlborough a greener, cleaner, safer place to live.

We're aiming for Gold but we need your help!


With Judging Day only a few weeks away in July we need to roll up our sleeves and tidy up the town. Involving the community will gain us valuable points in the competition. We have received outstanding support from local businesses, now




3, 10,17, 24, 31 MAY

7, 14, 21, 28 JUNE

5, 12, 19 JULY


HiViz jackets and refreshments will be provided.


Please vote for Marlborough in Bloom with your Tesco Bags of Help tokens in the Marlborough store during May and June.

Make a purchase in the store of any value and you'll receive one token. If you vote for Marlborough in Bloom you will help us to win a grant of up to £5000 which will make a huge difference to our 2017 campaign. This year we are entered in the Champion of Champions class, aiming for Gold. With your help we can succeed. So please put your tokens in our slot to help our volunteers transform parks and open spaces, care for allotments, work with children and groups with particular needs, and make our town a greener, cleaner, safer place.


This year Marlborough in Bloom is holding a Garden Competition, sponsored by Henry George, with gardens being judged in four categories, Best Garden, Best Courtyard Garden, Best Commercial Display and Best Containers or Hanging Baskets.

If you would like to enter your garden or floral display then please complete and return the Entry Form circulated by Henry George Estate Agents or download an entry form here.

Entries by Friday 12th May, Judging on 21st June and Results published on 30th June.

More details of judging criteria etc on the the Entry Form - click here.

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In November volunteers from Marlborough in Bloom and the Garden Association planted almost 5000 Crocus corms as part of the Rotary and RHS Purple4Polio campaign.

Now we can see the fruit (or flowers) of their labour in several places around Marlborough including Priory Gardens,pictured below, the Waterfront garden, Salisbury road Roundabout and the Green.

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For over 30 years Rotary and its members worldwide have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world.
The Royal Horticultural Society has joined forces with community gardening groups and Rotary clubs around the UK in promoting the 'Purple4Polio' campaign and have worked together to plant millions of Crocus tommasinianus to create a spectacular carpet of purple in the spring. The Purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary's 'Purple4Polio' initiative, with its colour representing the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised.


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