GARDENERS in Hillingdon have cause to celebrate this morning after winning a gold medal at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom UK Finals. The winners were announced last night (27) at an awards ceremony in Llandudno.

Seven groups were chosen to fly the flag for the capital following success in the London in Bloom competition the previous year.

Hillingdon won the Large City category – for those with a population of more than 200,001 - and was honoured for the exceptionally high standard of the group’s entry.

It impressed the judges with its 47 Green Flag open spaces, 34 allotments and 30 nature reserves, with highlights including Stockley Business Park, displays at Eastcote Underground Station and attractive town hall planting.

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Top award in the City category – for those with a population between 100,001 and 200,000 - went to Tower Hamlets, which also took home a silver gilt medal.

The seven finalists joined Britain in Bloom groups from across the country at the RHS ceremony hosted by TV presenter and garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair.

RHS judges visited the 78 finalists over the summer to assess each group against three key criteria: community participation, environmental responsibility and horticultural achievement.

Depending on the standard reached, a gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medal was awarded. 

Between them, Britain in Bloom finalists planted more than a million trees, bulbs and other plants, transforming villages, towns and cities into green havens to lift people’s spirits and improve their wellbeing.

Britain in Bloom is now in its 53rd year and, for the first time, a new BBC Two series following the competition will be on air next Spring.