Gravesend town centre has once again entered the regional South and South East in Bloom competition which sees town centres and villages battle it out each year.

The competition, sponsored by Southern Water, is part of the largest horticultural campaign in Europe. It encourages communities to create town centre floral features, permanent planting, wildflower meadows, planting for nature, fruit and vegetable, gardening and much more.

Expert Judges will tour the town in July and award marks based on three main categories: Horticultural Achievement, Environmental Responsibility and Community Participation. The winners will be announced at an Award Ceremony in September and presented with either a Certificate of Excellence, Bronze, Silver, Silver Gilt or Gold Awards with an Overall Category Winner.

The overall category winners are then put forward to represent their region in the national Britain in Bloom competition which is run by the Royal Horticultural Society and the winners of this go on to represent the United Kingdom in the European competition, ‘Entente Florale’.

Gravesham’s town centre management team is currently signing up shops and businesses to take up troughs and containers on their premises for £63 each which includes planting and placement in June, three months watering and maintenance and removal in September.

Shopping Centre Managers and other staff gathered at Slinders Florists on the High Street last week to pledge their support and sign up for the scheme – our picture shows Martin Wates (GBC/Horticulture); Sophie Jordan of G-Safe; Andrew Thomas Knowles (St George’s); Neil Avis (Thamesgate) and Maxine Hunt (McDonalds). (The photo is on our Flickr site and can be downloaded from

Any shops or business premises within the town centre area who wish to be a part of the scheme should contact Town Centre Manager – Graham Long on 01474 337315.