Guildford in Bloom celebrates 40 years of creative gardening

The 2021 Guildford in Bloom competition launches this week as Guildford’s favourite horticultural competition celebrates its 40th birthday with the theme ‘Blooming 40’.

So, if life begins at 40, there could be no better time to get out in the garden and be creative.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Chairman of Guildford in Bloom says:

“Guildford in Bloom has come a long way in its 40 years and the competition has brought together many fantastic people, businesses, schools and community groups over that time. I’m looking forward to seeing what the creative gardeners of Guildford come up with this year. Especially now that many more of us have taken to gardening and the outdoors as a way to help with our fitness and mental wellbeing.

“We hope that many of our Guildford gardeners will rise to the ‘Blooming 40’ challenge in our special fortieth anniversary year. Any garden, big or small, private or a business can enter Guildford in Bloom. We’d love to see your photos and stories, please share them on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by using the hashtag #blooming40 and show us how you’ve interpreted this year’s theme.”

To take part, please email to register your entry. The closing date is 13 June and judging will take place between 28 June to 18 July. You can keep up with the competition on the Guildford in Bloom social media pages – visit @guildfordnbloom on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook here .

The school competition is already underway and children across the borough are designing and creating their gardens with the ‘Blooming 40’ theme, and keeping a journal, diary or scrapbook to record their progress. The closing date is Friday 21 May and their gardens and containers will be judged between 7 – 11 June 2021 and all entries will be invited to a COVID-secure awards ceremony on Wednesday 16 June 2021. Schools still have time to enter by emailing

Lead Councillor for the Environment, Cllr James Steel, said: “It is wonderful to see Guildford in Bloom remaining so popular after 40 years. It’s brilliant to see how much so many residents value their own gardens and our green spaces. Gardening is known to be beneficial to our health and it can also be great fun.”

Over the last year our gardens and outdoor spaces have become more important than ever. This year’s competition gives us the opportunity to celebrate that as well as look at how far the competition has come over the past 40 years.

The annual initiative brings together community groups, businesses, schools and residents to promote creative planting which will naturally enhance the borough. The competition is open to everyone, of all ages, living and working in Guildford.

The winner of #bloomingschools will receive £50 to spend on plants or gardening equipment for the school, a hands-on beekeeping experience with Guildford Beekeepers, a book prize and a winner’s trophy and certificate.