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RHS Tatton gold for Bootle community garden

A display created by a group of green-fingered community gardening enthusiasts from Bootle landed a top prize at the prestigious RHS Tatton Flower Show at the weekend.

Judges awarded the Our Space garden from Taking Root in Bootle a gold medal in the Blooming Borders category of the competition.

Taking Root in Bootle is a network of community gardens and growing projects across the town which is co-ordinated by local social enterprise Regenerus and funded by the local authority’s Well Sefton initiative.

The aim of the network is to enhance the appearance of Bootle, and at the same time to improve the health and wellbeing of those involved.

The prize-winning entry at Tatton was designed to tell the story of community growing in Bootle, and also promote the value of community spaces in Sefton Council’s Year of Friendship.

The display was a representation of a typical community garden in Bootle. Designed by Christine Leung of Lotus Brook, it also demonstrated how in an urban environment community gardens play a key role in promoting biodiversity.

The display was created by social enterprises Lotus Brook and the Gateway Collective and a team of community gardeners led by St. Leonard’s Youth and Community Centre on Peel Road and supported by Netherton Community Garden, the Friends of South Park and the Friends of North Park.

The team had been working since February on sourcing recycled materials and growing the flowers needed to create the amazing floral display and the eye-catching structures for the border.

Debbie Shelley, Manager of St. Leonard’s, commented: “I am so proud of what our community gardeners have achieved. Our team have worked so hard to make this happen and it is amazing to be recognised at the highest level.”

Ruth Livesey of Regenerus added: “Achievements like this are made possible when a range of community groups work together collaboratively, with the shared goal of making Bootle brighter for everyone.

“We can achieve so much more when we all work together and this gold award belongs to everyone.”

The RHS Tatton Flower Show is one of the highlights of the North West horticultural calendar.

It features innovative show gardens, floral marquees, talks, demonstrations, advice, trade stands and exhibitors, all wrapped up in a vibrant carnival atmosphere.