Gardens Illustrated
RHS / Luke MacGregor

Britain in Bloom 2022 gets new sustainability boost

RHS announces new sustainability focused judging criteria to encourage Britain's community gardens to better benefit people and the planet.

Get ready for a more sustainable Britain in Bloom

Britain in Bloom is back for 2022 and, thanks to new changes, the competition's many gardens will be more sustainable than ever.


After being cancelled for 2020 due to the pandemic, and moving online for 2021, Britain in Bloom – UK’s biggest community gardening campaign involving around 3,500 community groups – will return in fine style for 2022 and – in a welcome move reflecting the changing mood – organisers the RHS have taken the opportunity to revamp the competition, rewriting the competition’s environmental criteria for the first time in its 58 year history.

2019's event saw a move to recognise the sustainable work being done all around the competition’s entries but for 2022 they’re making it official, with the aim being to benefit people and the planet by rewarding work in the following areas:

Urban food grower Claire Ratinon
© Andrew Montgomery

Britain in Bloom's new sustainable judging criteria

Prioritising perennial or pollinator-friendly plants where appropriate. If annual bedding is used, groups should consider their use and provenance.

Considering the needs of wildlife when maintaining areas, for example avoiding hedge trimming in nesting season or leaving grass longer at certain times of the year to support invertebrates.

Eliminating the use of peat, for example in propagating and raising plants.

Minimising water use and reducing reliance on mains water supplies.

Opting for plants that are less susceptible to pest and disease and swapping chemicals for biological and cultural controls where needed, such as attracting insects to manage pest problems and hand weeding.

Identifying and tackling local environmental issues using plants, for example planting hedges along main roads to capture particulate pollution.

Full details of the changes are being shared with community gardening groups that compete within the Britain in Bloom regional programmes across the UK. The highest performing groups in each Bloom region are nominated to take part in the UK finals and 2022’s finalists will be announced early in the new year.

Kay Clark, RHS Community Development Manager, said: “The updates to the Britain in Bloom judging criteria bring it into line with what many community gardeners tell us they are already seeking to do – bring about positive change in their local environment for people and planet.

The changes will by no means limit the horticulture that will be on show, instead we’re likely to see even more creative and ambitious displays that demonstrate the power of plants.”

The campaign is intended to equip the UK’s 30million gardeners with the knowledge and tools they need to make a meaningful contribution to climate change targets.

Want to know more?

For more information about RHS Britain in Bloom go here.

For more information and greener gardening advice go here.


And to find RHS community gardening groups in your local area head here.


Daniel GriffithsDigital Editor

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest home and entertainment brands in the world. He is a serial house-renovator and home improvement expert, taking on everything from interior design and DIY to landscape gardening and garden design.


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