Ballymena area to the fore in battle of the blooms in Mid and East Antrim

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

From beautiful begonias to wonderful window boxes, the hard work and talents of the borough’s green-fingered residents have been celebrated at the recent ‘Mid and East Antrim In Bloom Community Competition.’

The popular annual competition always attracts huge interest and this year was no exception with record entries as many made the most of lockdown and Covid restrictions to bring out the best in their gardens, allotments and other outdoor areas.

As the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, explained:

“The garden is an amazing source of relaxation and an opportunity to really clear the mind and improve our mental and physical well-being and I am delighted to see many of our residents and businesses get involved in this year’s competition.

“As usual the standard and quality of the submissions has been breathtaking and it is heartening to see so much pride being taken in our local area.

“From immaculate front lawns to colourful containers, gardens for wildlife and allotments full of vegetables, the time and effort spent has ensured our borough has been an explosion of colour and scents throughout the summer.

“I am delighted to be able to say thank you to those who have really gone the extra mile this year.”

Through it’s ‘In Bloom’ Campaign, Mid and East Antrim Council encourages those living and working in the borough to think more about the local environment and the positive effects it can have on people and wildlife.

In addition to making the area more aesthetically attractive for everyone, gardening has been proven to have a positive impact on mental and physical health.

Categories in this year’s competition included: Best Kept Front Garden, Best Kept Front Container Garden, Kept Community Planting Scheme, Best Kept Allotment Garden, Best Kept Commercial Premises, and the Gardening for Wildlife Award.

The full list of winners and runner-ups in each section can be found below:

Best Kept Front Garden

Winner: Elizabeth Boyd, Cullybackey

Runner up: Stephen Heron, Broughshane

Runner up: Mr & Mrs Lewis, Whitehead

Runner up: Anderson Weir, Gracehill

Runner up: Elizabeth Holmes, Cullybackey

Best Kept Container Garden

Winner: Chris Hamill, Whitehead

Runner up: Mr & Mrs Wilson, Glenarm

Runner up: Jenny Hawthorne, Carrickfergus

Runner up: Davina Smylie, Cullybackey

Best Kept Community Planting Scheme

Winner: Glenarm in Bloom

Runner up: 1 in 3 Garden, Carrickfergus

Runner up: Carrickfergus Vineyard Church

Best Kept Allotment Garden

Winner: Janet Kpakra, Greenisland

Runner up: Alfie Hamilton, Larne

Runner up: Graham Easthope, Carrickfergus

Best Kept Commercial Premises

Winner: Galgorm Resort and Spa, Galgorm

Runner up: Galgorm Care Home, Ballymena

Runner up: The Cow and Caf, Carrickfergus

Gardening for Wildlife Award

Winner: Deirdre Mulvenna, Ballygally

Runner up: Charles Sheils Charity, Carrickfergus

Runner up: Sean McKeown, Newtowncrommelin

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