Merton Council has announced their 'Merton in Bloom' competition will be going ahead despite Covid-19.

Merton in Bloom aims to encourage residents of all ages to explore the joys of gardening, as part of the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom gardening competition.

In response to the pandemic, the annual competition has moved to online, with plans to carry out judging remotely from submitted photographs.

Participants are invited to send two photographs of gardens or window boxes, which can be seen by passers-by.

These can include front gardens, allotment plots or gardens at pubs, restaurants or other business premises as well as those at community venues or schools.

Entries can be made in the following categories:

·Best residential front garden.

·Best community or business garden – including pubs, restaurants or schools.

·Best garden features such as window boxes, troughs or planters.

·Best allotment plot.

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Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture Caroline Cooper Marbiah said: “Celebrating the contribution Merton’s marvellous gardeners make to the borough is more important than ever this year.

"The talents and efforts of our green-fingered residents have been brightening up so many people’s daily lives in these challenging times.

"This is why we are also inviting neighbours and those passing by impressive gardens or displays to show their appreciation by making nominations.

“We have had to reduce the categories this year due to the difficult circumstances – but there is still the opportunity for all growing accomplishments to be showcased from small colourful window boxes to larger community gardens.

“As usual we are inviting entries from expert gardeners and budding enthusiasts.

"However, we would also like to encourage residents, of all ages, who discovered the joys of gardens during lockdown to enter.”

The Merton in Bloom 2020 competition is now open and the closing date for entries is August 14.

The winners will be announced in October.

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