We are pleased that Amberol are one of our sponsors.

Keep calm and keep planting

 Patience Atkinson-Gregory, MD of Amberol ( looks back on the big challenges and little victories of 2020.

 The last 10 months have had more than their fair share of challenges for everyone. But times of hardship and difficulty can also bring out the best in people. Community has always been at the very heart of Britain in Bloom, and although many of our communities have been physically distanced, the spirit that makes South West in Bloom so special remains.

 This means that many of you have found ways to keep calm and keep planting throughout the pandemic – all within government guidelines of course. And at Amberol, we have felt happy and privileged to be in a position to help. So, apart from a brief closure when the first national lockdown was announced which allowed us to ensure our premises were Covid secure and  fully compliant with healthy and safety standards, it has been business as usual.  And the demand for planters, litters bins and benches is still there, proving that In Bloomers are a dedicated bunch, not to be deterred in their mission of making their environments better places to live, work and visit.

 In fact, despite the significant challenges, looking back over the year, there have also been numerous high points to celebrate.

Britain in Bloom Buzz –  our special Facebook group  continues to grow, offering a dedicated space for like-minded In Bloomers to share amazing photos, helpful tips and the latest news. With the restrictions placed on us all by Covid-19, the group is a great place to communicate, catch up or be inspired. If you’re not a member yet, do come and join us!

Inspiring plant ups for 2021 -

 2019 was an exciting year for us, having commemorated 50 years in business. So, once the celebrations were over, we wanted to produce something that would be helpful to our customers who have been so supportive of the company over the years.

 We decided to mark the occasion by releasing our free Inspired Plant Ups guide. Published in the summer, the guide is downloadable from our website. It is comprised of photos and descriptions of some of our customers’ most successful plant ups, illustrated with beautiful photos, including an entry from SWiB’s very own Ottery St Mary, the guide is perfect for inspiring your 2021 planning and planting.

 The Inspired Plant-Ups booklet can be downloaded for free by going to study published - in the autumn we were intrigued to see the results of a very worthwhile collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Universities of Sheffield, Westminster and Virginia.

 The project was a timely four-year study of the impact of green spaces on mental health, which we were delighted to support by donating 60 of our popular self-watering barrel planters; half for free and half at cost price. The containers were distributed to participants living in areas of deprivation who planted them up to create green spaces.  The report demonstrated that having a greener front garden can make people feel happier, more relaxed and closer to nature – something which most In Bloomers can vouch for! Our congratulations go to Dr Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui, now an RHS Wellbeing Fellow who conducted the research as part of her PhD.