The Colchester Garden Festival has returned this year; it runs until 13th August. Be sure to take a trip into Colchester centre – the colourful floral displays are brightening up shop windows so it’s well worth seeing. The event is organised by Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) and celebrates the environment, green spaces, and gardening. The city centre has walking trails, family activities, and floral installations (view the Our Colchester website for more information).
Businesses in the city centre were invited to decorate their store fronts with plants and upcycled materials. Perrywood Garden Centre donated the plants and compost for the floral displays. Perrywood’s Senior Communications Manager, Louise visited all the businesses that took part on Tuesday 1st August to judge the winning display along with last year’s winner Kierston, owner of Victoria Yum Bakery, Jess from Our Colchester and Lee Connelly aka Skinny Jean Gardener .
Louise commented, “It was fantastic to see how the shop owners have been creative and enjoyed participating. It’s been fun wandering through the city spotting the colourful botanical displays. While judging, I met with many participants, all keen and enthusiastic to show off their masterpieces. A lot of hard work has gone into the festival, the floral painted shop windows and many displays and gardens have been appreciated by visitors to the city.”
Please see below the winner and runners up:
WINNER – Lush
The display really stood out from quite a distance away, along with the painted window. It was so creative and linked in really well to the business. There were planted branded paper bags, scarves and product pots and all the plants looked well looked after and healthy.
SECOND – Emmaus
This window was very striking with a brilliant use of charity donations. I loved the homemade bunting which really added to the display and plants spilling out of the chest of drawers was a very effective feature.
THIRD – Age Well East
The Age Well East display was something else! Their display was set up predominantly as a ‘Selfie Point’ (another activity as part of the Colchester Garden Festival), but also featured our donated plants. The trellis was decorated with many knitted roses and felt creatures all handmade by the Age Well visitors, including a dementia group. We were greeted with a very warm welcome and they even went to the trouble of bringing out their charity mascot, Buddy for a ‘selfie’!
Other displays that caught my attention were :
Tymperleys – the bright and floral tea party was ever so cheerful and full of colour.
Just Essentials – this one was rather cool, whacky and creative!
Earlier in the year, we also gave 15 local schools a £30 Perrywood voucher to buy plants for their School Gardening Project display which are located at the Jumbo Watertower which is also part of the Colchester Garden Festival.
Marketing Executive of the Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) Jess Walker says;
“We are very grateful for Perrywood Garden Centres continued support for the Colchester Garden Festival. Their generous donation of plants for the business’s upcycled window displays allows the whole city to have the opportunity to get involved in the festival. We’re very proud of the displays that have been created this year, there has been some wonderful community involvement.
The School Gardening Project is a key component of the Garden Festival and the support of Perrywood with this is invaluable. The Colchester Garden Festival is on until the 17th of August with lots of free family activities. If you would like to find out more and take part please visit the InColchester website.”
You can vote for your favourite business display or school garden the via the Colchester Garden Festival website.