FLOWER power is about to sprout in communities around the city with the launch of the annual Belfast in Bloom event – with a successful South Belfast project having set the bar higher.

The Council is launching its Belfast in Bloom competition offering awards in individual, community, allotment, and commercial categories to encourage everyone to dig in and help us make Belfast even brighter.

Hanging baskets, window boxes and colourful beds will soon be blossoming in neighbourhoods across Belfast while the city centre will be showcasing baskets, flower trees and mangers filled with bright beautiful colours.

Gardeners are putting the finishing touches to an array of flowers before they are planted in baskets and containers around the city from June 1. Many have been sponsored by commercial business which recognise the value that an attractive city has on residents and visitors alike.

Councillor Matt Garrett, Chair of the People and Communities Committee, visited Wildflower Alley in the Holyland, a previous award winner, to meet some of those who got involved in turning a dreary urban entry into a street garden offering a green oasis that local residents can enjoy.

“Wildflower Alley is a great example of the difference Belfast in Bloom can make to local communities and that is what we want to share with other people in Belfast,” said Councillor Garrett.

“Put up basket or use window boxes round your house and enter – there are awards in every part of the city. If you are involved in a community garden get them to enter. You don’t just brighten your own home when you get involved you brighten your community,” he added.

Bríd Ruddy, one of the organisers behind Wildflower Alley, also encouraged people to get involved in the competition saying: “The application process is easy, the awards ceremony and project are very enjoyable and also provide great networking opportunities. I would highly recommend Belfast in Bloom to everyone, especially other grass root community based organisations.”

The closing date for Belfast in Bloom entries is Friday, July 28 and award winners will be announced at a special event in November. Information and entry forms are available on our website www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfastinbloom

Belfast City Council is making it easy for gardeners who feel they have not got green fingers but still want to help brighten their homes. Anyone wishing to order equipment and flowers supplied by Belfast City Council should email belfastinbloom@belfastcity.gov.uk or call our parks department on 028 9032 0202 ext 3400. The deadline for orders and payment is 19 May 2017.