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Guildford in Bloom 2023
Now closed for entries

With grateful thanks to our
Premium Sponsors

Entries have now closed! The judges will be out and about over the next few weeks - so do look out for them.  Where necessary they will be in touch to make appointments but for Front Gardens and Allotments this is not necessary.  Put 5 September in yuor diary for our Awards Night - and look out for your invitation in due course.

List of Categories:

Best Front Garden - Sponsored by Sally Rule Property

Your garden must be visible to the public from the footpath.  It will be judged on design, colour, quality of plants, and all year-round interest.  Gardens will be divided into small or large category

Best Allotment & Vegetable/Kitchen Gardens - Sponsored by Guildford Allotment Society

Judged on the variety and quality of vegetables grown, evidence of good horticultural practice, use of space and sustainable management.  All allotment plots entered must have the plot number clearly on display or you may not be judged.

Best Garden for Wildlife

Open to all gardens including businesses and smaller community projects where the design, choice of plants and management is especially welcoming to wildlife.

Best Site for Nature Conservation

This category is suited to larger areas of private or public land where the aim is to protect and conserve wildlife habitats and species population.

Best Pub, Restaurant or Business in Bloom - Sponsored by Guildford Pubwatch 

We are looking for a well balanced design, good use of colour and quality planting.

Best Container Garden - Sponsored by Guildford Financial

Open to balconies and gardens that are based on pots and baskets.  Must be visible to the public.

Best Neighbourhood Project

This category recognises projects that green up the local area and include those organised by sheltered accommodation, village halls, residents' associations, parish councils, voluntary groups, and charities etc.  Judges will be looking for good design, colour, and plant quality as well as input from residents or the community. (Take a look at Guildford Beekeeper Association Free Talks for Groups)

Best Themed Garden Award

This year our theme is For King and Countryside.  The best themed garden, allotment, container or project will win the Dorothy Walden Award

Young Gardener Award

Awarded for entries from young people aged 11-21 years in full time education.

Best School in Bloom - Sponsored by Edwins Garden Centre

This year our theme is For King and Countryside - we want to see references to the coronation of King Charles III but it is essential that at least 5 elements in the garden are dedicated to the conservation and attraction of wildlife.  Note: dates of the school competition are different from the main competition.  Full details can be found on our Schools In Bloom page

To find out more - read our Judging Criteria

2023 Theme - For King and Countryside

This year our theme, although centred around the Coronation of King Charles III which takes place on 6 May 2023 – just before the closing dates for our competitions, will embrace causes close to The King’s heart.

King Charles III has campaigned passionately throughout his time as Prince of Wales for wildlife and the countryside.  So this year we are rewarding gardens and allotments that have a number of elements to attract and protect bees, butterflies, bugs and other wildlife.

To qualify for a Themed Garden Award – and for the Schools in Bloom competition you can include any interpretation of the Coronation but must also include (5) of the following (10) features.


  1. A Nectar Café – plants for bees, butterflies and other pollinators

  2. Bug Hotel or log pile

  3. Bee B&B

  4. Water Source for birds and wildlife – making sure it includes stones so insects can climb out

  5. Pond

  6. Bird Feeder

  7. Bird House

  8. Hedgehog house

  9. Be part of a Hedgehog Corridor

  10. Wildflower area

We will also be looking for a plastic free environment unless the plastic item is being recycled i.e. milk bottles used as planters, plastic cloches, poly tunnels etc.  Additional points are given for Peat Free Gardens


To Help You












  • The Guildford in Bloom Gardening Competition is open to all borough residents, schools, community groups and businesses – anyone who loves gardening and wants to help make Guildford and our surrounding villages even more beautiful places to live, work and visit. 

  • Entries must be received by Sunday 18 June 2023; simply choose a category, let us know if you are a young gardener, choose to theme or not to theme, you can enter only one category per site/address; email your entry details to;

  • Judging takes place between 28 June – 16 July 2023; it is not possible to advise individual entrants of the exact day and time of judging (with the exception of Kitchen Gardens, Wildlife Gardens, Nature Conservation and Neighbourhood Project categories); Read full Judging Criteria here

  • Judges will not be available to discuss individual entries; the judges' decision is final;

  • Winners will be notified by email and invited to the Awards Show which takes place on 5 September 2023; a list of winners will be published on our website; photographs of your garden may be used for marketing purposes.


If you have a friend, neighbour, family member, local school or pub with a beautiful garden, you are welcome to nominate them. We will need the address nominated as well as the nominee and we always advise that you let them know.


Special Awards:

Younger gardeners and students in full time education will receive special recognition for entering. There will also be a special award for the best “For King and Countryside” themed garden / allotment. Let us know if you are a young gardener and/or theming your garden.

School Gardening Competition:

The School Gardening Competition runs alongside the main competition. The theme is “For King and Countryside”, and the closing date is 21 May 2023. Schools should register their entry by email at

Website And Social Media:

Entry forms can be downloaded here
You can also see details of previous winners on our Blooming Past page

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates, news and gardening tips.



With special thanks to our premium and major sponsors:


Diary Dates:

6 July 2023                                           School in Bloom Awards *Note Date Change*

28 June to 16 July 2023                    Guildford in Bloom Competition Judging

5 September 2023                            Guildford in Bloom Competition Awards Ceremony.

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