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May 7, 2018

Britain In Bloom s01e11-15.

Britain In Bloom focuses on fifteen different communities as they prepare to enter the RHS’s prestigious annual floral competition this summer. Presented by Chris Bavin, each episode tells the story of one community’s first preparations for Bloom right through to Judging Day itself.

E11: Tewkesbury.
Chris Bavin meets a group of extraordinary Bloomers who must start from scratch every year after their gardening efforts are literally washed away. Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire is at the confluence of four rivers, which makes for a lovely setting, but one that devastates the town to a greater or lesser degree every year when the waters rise and flood the town. This year the Tewkesbury Bloomers have come up with an ambitious post-flood town which focuses on three key areas: Victoria Gardens, the public park which is next to the river, will get a complete floral makeover. Then a nature reserve which is regularly underwater will be tamed and finally the centre of the town will be crammed with colourful Blooms and flags. The volunteers are going for gold - but all of this depends on the town not flooding again before judging day.

E12: Stechford.
Chris Bavin travels to Stechford to meet a group of determined volunteers entering their town into the entry level scheme of Bloom, called It's Your Neighbourhood. This is a grassroots campaign which is meant to be a gentle introduction to the main annual competition but this small team of Bloomers is taking on three daunting projects that would be a challenge for even an experienced group. They aim to tackle the overgrown weeds at the train station, clear up the litter strewn grounds at the local police station and transform a neglected church garden into a vegetable patch to supply the local food bank. But finding invasive Japanese knotweed in the garden threatens to derail their plans.

E13: Chorley.
The Chorley volunteers have been competing in Bloom for 15 years and are gold winners but this year major construction work in the town centre is proving a massive challenge for the group. They must choose the judging route carefully so as not to lose marks. Chris Bavin meets the Bloomers who this year are focusing on three areas away from the building work. First up, their civic square needs to be transformed from a bland concrete square into a pleasant place for people to enjoy. The local district hospital on the edge of town are creating an inspiring sensory garden for dementia patients. Finally, the Bloomers are engaging the help of the local Mormon community, who have a show-stopping garden inside their temple which might gain the team extra marks for horticulture. They hope all this will be enough to win them another gold on judging day.

E14: Goring
Chris Bavin travels to the pretty Oxfordshire village of Goring on Thames to meet a determined Bloom group of grandparents who this year are taking on big businesses in the hope of winning a gold award. They aim to transform the refurbished train station which is utilitarian and uninviting, but to do this, they first have to get extensive permissions in place from the train company. Next, they want to green up the pathway from the village car park to the high street to create a pleasant first impression for visitors. Again, they have to find out who owns the land and seek permission to remove a tatty fence. Lastly, they will be filling the village centre with hanging baskets and troughs. None of this will be possible if the Bloomers can't engage the local commuters to help with the heavy planting work

E15: Immingham.
The volunteers from Immingham in Bloom are determined to make a difference in their port town. They have been taking part in Britain in Bloom for seven years and have won gold before but this year the Lincolnshire group is upping the ante by taking a huge risk. Chris Bavin finds out how they plan to retain their crown by including the port in their Bloom entry, aiming to brighten this enormous, industrial area with flowers. They are also building a three-metre-high steel ship and crane as part of their display, plus at the local recycling centre there will be an intriguing project they hope will impress the judges. But with only two months until judging day, there is a very long to-do list.

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