What is Cheltenham in Bloom all about?

Cheltenham in Bloom Logo 2014

The Cheltenham in Bloom (CIB) committee strives to raise awareness of the importance of Cheltenham's floral heritage amongst the town's residents and businesses and to involve the community in celebrating the town's beauty. Founded in 1982, the committee continues to play an invaluable role in promoting sustainability, community involvement, environmental friendliness and of course, horticultural excellence.

In 2007 the committee worked in partnership with Cheltenham Borough Homes to enhance the environment within the town's regeneration area of St Paul's. By involving junior wardens and the youth forum project, young people had the opportunity to have an influence on their local environment.

In 2008 CIB focused on a more sustainable approach reflecting the importance of conserving nature, biodiversity and adapting to the growing impact of climate change. The committee worked closely with Cheltenham Borough Council's sustainability team to understand the effect of climate change and the importance of conserving our natural resources. A project for 2009 was to encourage interested youth groups to take part in designing a poster, the theme of which was "How Green Are You?"

In 2010/11 we worked with CBC to provide new planting and an interpretation board at Neptune's fountain.
During 2012 we planted a 'union jack' flower bed in Oxford Gardens with the help of some local brownies and we also held a party to celebrate our 30th anniversary.

In 2013/14 we have been working with the Cheltenham Italian Society to improve the Italian Garden in Sandford Park and CIB have received a grant to purchase an interpretation board for the garden. We also have plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Chris has also obtained a grant for the 'Friends of Hatherley Park' who are celebrating their 75th anniversary.

The committee

Chaired by Mrs Chris Ryder, this voluntary committee has representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Civic Society, Cheltenham Horticultural Society, various ‘friends of’ groups and representatives of trading and residential areas, together with council officers and councillors. We also have very close links with Cheltenham Borough Council and UBICO.

"In Bloom" competitions

The committee holds 2 'In Bloom' competitions during the summer and these are:

Annual gardens competition

Private gardens and commercial gardens comprising hotels and business communities are judged by experienced judges and CIB members.

This year the annual garden competition be held from 24 - 26 July 2017. If you wish to take part, please fill in the entry form and return it no later than 10 July to rydchr@btconnect.com.

We also hold an annual awards evening and last year it was held on 16 September. It is the committee’s opportunity to say thank you to all those who help us to make the town look florally attractive. View the list of prize winners to see who won in 2016.

Schools nature garden competition

An annual competition, open to all local schools. The aim of which is to encourage schools to raise pupils' awareness of the natural environment. This year it will be held on 12 June. The judging is done by members of CIB and a local park ranger. Successful schools receive a certificate and cash award or garden vouchers and these are usually presented to the school, during their assembly, by the Mayor.

For more information and to apply, download the information letter and application form. Closing date for applications is Friday 2 June.


We are extremely grateful to all those who currently sponsor our annual award categories and presentation evening, but would always welcome more sponsors as all our fundraising profits are used to cover the cost of our annual competitions. Our sponsors this year have been Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, Don Browning Trophies, The Manor By The Lake, Ubico, Weird Fish Ltd and also from Cheltenham Borough Council, Green Operations and Economic Development.

Cheltenham is fortunate to have many friends groups across the borough that help CIB achieve their aims and aspirations for the residents and visitors to the town.

For any further information please contact Chris Ryder.