All posts by Chamomile


presentation-of-sw-tourism-cup-by-lord-fellowesExeter is the proud winner of the Britain in Bloom ‘South West Tourism Trophy‘!

The Cup was presented to Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Peter Holland and David Evans, Head of Grounds at University of Exeter by Lord Fellowes (yes, Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey, of course!) at the awards event held at Somerset County Cricket Club on Thursday 6 October.

Checking the engravings, we see that Exeter was the very FIRST winner of the trophy in 1973!

Since then, Exeter has won the trophy 10 times.  So, excluding Plymouth and other occasional winners, the current score is:

Exeter 10 – Bath 12!

The success is of course a real tribute to the collaborative efforts of Council staff, University of Exeter grounds team, our generous business sponsors and the host of green-fingered community volunteers.

There will be a celebration in The Guildhall for Exeter’s wonderful volunteer ‘Bloomers and a further 29 ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Community Awards will be presented to our volunteers by The Lord Mayor Cllr Cynthia Thompson, at the Guildhall celebration on Wednesday evening, 12 October.

Thank you to EVERYONE who took part this year and to our generous sponsors who made the City’s success possible.

Well done our City!

We’re Planting Purple for Polio!


We’re already planning to make Exeter look stunning next year! Volunteers will be planting 5,000 bulbs (OK, ‘corms’!) at the top of Southernhay which will make a glorious display of crocuses in the spring.

Exeter in Bloom and Rotary Club of Exeter Southernhay are inviting volunteers from schools, community groups, local business and individuals to sign up to help for 2 – 4 hours or all day if you want to!

Princesshay are supporting the event and working with local businesses to provide refreshments.  They are delighted as the crocuses will be wonderful for the Princesshay bees in the early months of 2017.

There will also be a collection on the day towards ‘Purple4Polio’ – an RHS and Rotary project to raise awareness and funds to try to eliminate the remaining areas where polio is still a real problem. The amount of polio-endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just two, with over 2.5 billion children receiving vaccinations thanks to the help of Rotary.

For every £1 we raise, The Bill Gate’s Foundation will contribute £2. purple4polio-logoIf you’d like to get involved please contact us via our facebook page!




Welcome to Nigel Bishop and Brendan Mowforth coming to Exeter to judge our RHS Britain in Bloom entry on Monday 1 August.  We hope they enjoy their overnight stay at The Royal Clarence hotel and their tour of the City.

About the judges:

Nigel Bishop

Nigel Bishop

My favourite plant….

I have no strong favourite, although spring is always the best time of year for me. Plants that highlight spring is on its way and that the cold winter is behind us are a plus. The simple snowdrop (Galanthus) and snowflake (Leucojum) fulfil that role, with their many different and interesting varieties.

 Colour combinations that keep me awake at night….

Experimenting with colour is always a good thing, although what suits one person may not another – there are some combinations that I would never use again!

Nigel has spent the majority of his horticultural career working within the public sector, but began as an apprentice gardener for the late Princess Royal at Harewood House in Yorkshire. He trained at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and then the Institute of Park and Recreation Administration.

This year Nigel received Associate of Honour from the RHS in recognition of his distinguished service to horticulture, an award that he has greatly appreciated.

In his free time he enjoys growing vegetables and soft fruit in his garden.  This year his challenges are finding something more inventive to do with the inevitable glut of courgettes and finally getting a successful crop of spring onions!


Brendan MowforthBrendan Mowforth 

 My Favourite plant…..

This changes according to the season but I do like winter-flowering trees and shrubs.

I’d like to meet…..         

David Douglas, the plant collector who introduced the Douglas fir amongst many other plants new to the country in the early 1800’s

His involvement with Bloom included working with colleagues to help a large number of groups that entered Yorkshire and Britain in Bloom.  He is currently Chairman of Yorkshire in Bloom, having been a judge and member of the executive board.

Current occupations include looking after his garden in the Pennines, a range of voluntary work for the charity Perennial, and acting as a member of the RHS Bursaries Committee and a trustee of the Kew Guild. He also assists his local civic society with essential tasks, such as litter picking.




Prepare now for Natural Devon’s ‘Pollinators Month’

beeJuly 2016 will be Devon’s Pollinators’ Month, a celebration of these amazing insects.  From wildflower meadows to orchards and back gardens;  from the food and drink that we enjoy thanks to them, to the culture and history of our six-legged allies, these will be the focus of the month.



Natural Devon will be publishing a list of events and ways to get involved so please visit


If you would like to promote an events or discuss an idea, or sponsor an element of the programme, get in touch with Dominic Acland, Devon Polinators’ Month Coordinator:  07527275466

Exeter in Bloom will be at Exeter SW Food & Drink Festival on 22, 23 and 24 April

EFNDExeter in Bloom  will be at Exeter SW Food & Drink Festival on 22, 23 and 24 April to promote the 2016 campaign.  People can come along and learn more about that campaign and meet some of Exeter’s Britain in Bloom volunteers.

The Campaign Tent will include a preview of RAMM’s complementary programme of lectures, exhibitions and workshops called ‘Naturally Inspired’.

RHS ‘Greening of Grey Britain’ – there will be Workshops for children to plant up  troughs and tubs to brighten up a grey corner of Exeter as part of the Royal Horticulture Society’s campaign.

And find out more about the Express & Echo’s FRONT GARDEN COMPETITION  for everyone in Exeter to be part of the Exeter in Bloom 2016 Campaign.