Stratford-upon-Avon in bloom

Welcome to Stratford-upon-Avon

News Shoots

Welcome to News Shoots. We will be posting updates here so you can keep informed on all that is going on. Keep checking back here, we will be nurturing this page until it blooms nicely!

Business Baskets

Any business in town may order hanging baskets from us on the fwolling application form which you can

Business Baskets 1Business Baskets 2

Stratford in Bloom 2019

Coffee Morning

Coffee Morning

Business Baskets

Any business in town may order hanging baskets from us on the fwolling application form which you can

Business Baskets 1Business Baskets 2

Stratford in Bloom
Competition 2018

It's that time of year again. You need to consider entering your back garden into the Stratford in Bloom Competition. Your front garden will automatically be entered and judged, but we need permission to come and see your back garden and enter it into the competition. All types of gardens are considered and encouraged, but if you have a garden that is specifically aimed at wildlife and being Bee Friendly you may want to enter it into that specific category too. This year we also have the new 'Free Spirit Category' there are full details below in an earlier new shoots. And finally, there is the Community Award for Residents Associations, Charitable Ventures and Community Groups. Closing date 22nd June. Good Luck!

Application Forms can be downloaded here: APPLICATION FORM
OR opened and downloaded here APPLICATION PDF

Nursery and Primary Schools Competition
Closing date 28th April 2018

Free Spririt Gardening

Free Spirit Gardening

Competition Winners 2017

SIB Awards Presentation

Nursery Schools

Primary Schools

1st - Footsteps Nursey
2nd - Caring Kindergartens
3rd - Freshfields Nursery
HC - Polkadot Nursery

1st - Stratford Primary School
2nd  - Alveston C of E Primary School

Community Awards


1st - Guild Cottages  
2nd  - St Joseph Homestead Trust
3rd - Avon Meadow Residents
Highly Commended - Escape Arts

1st - Alveston & Tiddington Allotments & Gardens Association
2nd - Shottery Allotments (Town Trust)


B&B's & Guest Houses Businesses & Shops

1st - Woodstock
2nd - Ambleside 
3rd - Stretton House
Highly Commended - Milmar

1st - C A Rookes
2nd - H L Barnes
3rd - A E Bennetts & Sons
HC - Cordelia

Hotels Restaurants and Coffee Shops
1st - The Arden Hotel
2nd - The Limes 
3rd - The Shakespeare Hotel
Highly Commended - The White Swan

1st - Hobson's Patisseries
2nd - Sorrentos
3rd - Costa Coffee

Public Houses
Street & Precinct

1st - The Windmill Inn
2nd - The Old TramwayInn
3rd - Keys & Kitchen

1st - Red Lion Court
2nd - Shrieves Walk


Bee Friendly Winner Rear Gardens

1st - St Joseph's Homestead Trust
2nd - Methodist Church

1st - Ken & Linda Wheeler
2nd - Jill Jones
3rd - Margaret Street

Traditional Front Garden - Ward Winners Small Border & Containers Front Garden - Ward Winners

Avenue Ward
1st Place - Josephine Pryor
2nd Place - Pauline & Brian Charman
3rd Place - Judith & Peter Brain

Avenue Ward
1st Place - Anne Bowes
2nd Place - Zofia Szupienko
3rd Place - Matthew & Lauren Gray

Bishopton Ward
1st Place - Roma & Keith Foster
2nd Place - Dawn Woodhouse
3rd Place - Alan Coldicott

Bishopton Ward
1st Place - Patricia Ayres
2nd Place - Paul Watson

Bridgetown Ward
1st Place - Steven Wright
2nd Place - Michael & Rachel Webster
3rd Place - Jennifer & Neville Fox

Bridgetown Ward
1st Place - Lynne Rowlands
2nd Place - Jackie Strangwood
3rd Place - Kenneth & Doreen Shirley

Clopton Ward
1st Place - John Wilkinson
2nd Place - Annette & Brian Ashfield
Highly Commended - Clifford Dugmore

Clopton Ward
1st Place - Derek & Christine Hamilton
2nd Place - Catherine & Dan Hutchings
3rd Place - Margaret Cooke

Guildhall Ward
1st Place - Ian Matthews
2nd Place - Joyce Wainwright
3rd Place - Ken & Mary Ryman

Guildhall Ward
1st Place - Stanley & Elizabeth Horsley
2nd Place - Helen Nightingale
3rd Place - David & Sharon Charles
Highly Commended -

Hathaway Ward
1st Place - Joyce Johnson
2nd Place - Pierina Villano
3rd Place - Anne & David Challis

Hathaway Ward
1st Place - Peter Benstead
2nd Place - Mr James McGuire
3rd Place - Helen & Nicolas Helliwell

Shottery Ward
1st Place - Margaret Street
2nd Place - Hilary Mattocks
3rd Place - Barbara & Paul Whitford
Highly Commended - Sandra Vale

Shottery Ward
1st Place - Anne & John Rouse
2nd Place - Michael Tomes & Janet Riley
3rd Place - Christopher & Winnifred Clarke

Tiddington Ward
1st Place - Brian & Jean Lythal
2nd Place - Jo & Roger Stevens

Tiddington Ward
1st Place - Mrs Lilian Boddington
2nd Place - Nicole South

Welcombe Ward
1st Place - Sylvia & Peter Ariss
2nd Place - Richard & Esther Grunow
3rd Place - Mary & Martin Kinoulty
Highly Commended - Alison & Steve Parker

Welcombe Ward
1st Place - David Cheadle
2nd Place - Maggie & Bruce Richards
3rd Place - Alwyn Annels

Traditional Front Garden - Overall Winners 

Small Border & Containers Front Garden - Ward Winners

1st - Roma & Keith Foster (Bishopton Ward)
2nd - Brian Lythall (Tiddington Ward)
3rd - Ian Matthews (Guildhall Ward)
HC - Sylvia & Peter Ariss (Welcombe Ward)

1st - Patricia Ayres (Bishopton Ward)
2nd - Lynne Rowlands (Bridgetown Ward)
3rd - Anne and John Rouse (Shottery Ward)


Chairman's Trophy


Date - 27/09/2017

Annual Presentation Evening - 25th September 2017

The annual, prestigious Stratford in Bloom Presentation & Awards Evening, to celebrate the achievements of local residents & businesses in our Local Competition, is taking place on Monday 25th September 2017 at the Stratford ArtsHouse.

Prizes are awarded for Front Gardens, Rear Gardens, Primary Schools & Nurseries, Community Gardens, Businesses & Shops, Hotels, B&B's & Guest Houses, Streets & Shopping Precincts, Public Houses, Restaurants & Coffee Shops, Allotments as well as for bee-friendly gardens.


Presentations to prize winners will be made by Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Bicknell, and there will be representatives present from local businesses, District & Town Councils, schools & nurseries as well as many local rersidents who have taken part in the competition.


This year our guest speaker is renowned artist, naturalist & photographer, Steven Falk, who will inform and entertain us with his talk on bees & wildlife.

Light refreshments are provided & tickets are avialable (£5/person)

Please contact




Date - 13/09/2017

Bee-friendly app launched to help UK's dwindling bumblebee population

SCIENTISTS are urging people to help them understand the needs of the UK’s dwindling bumblebee populations with a new app launched by Coventry University for Bees’ Needs Week (July 17 to 23).

Experts in the university’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) have created the free Blooms for Bees app, and are asking people to use it to carry out five minute surveys to identify the bumblebees they see in their gardens and record which flowers they visit.
The £100k project – co-funded by the university and the Heritage Lottery Fund in partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Garden Organic and the Royal Horticultural Society – aims to improve our understanding of different bumblebees’ foraging preferences.
The app features a detailed identification guide which includes all 25 UK bumblebee species, and makes it easy for the user to submit photos and data.
Blooms for Bees is the only bumblebee surveying app to record the flower being foraged as well as the insect, and its unique focus on gardens and allotments will help improve recommendations for which flowers to grow more of.
Despite the well-documented decline of certain bumblebee species within the UK – which has seen two species becoming extinct in the last 70 years – relatively little is known about which flowers are the most important sources of nectar and pollen in gardens and allotments.
A recent study by CAWR showed that important flowering plants for bumblebees include cranesbills, green alkanet, sage, mallow and marjoram – but the researchers hope to build a more detailed picture with the help of the public and the app.
Judith Conroy, a researcher with CAWR, said: “Bumblebee populations have declined in recent years, but gardens and allotments offer us a wonderful opportunity to create vibrant, flower-rich habitats to support these vital pollinators.
“During Bees’ Needs Week and beyond we are asking members of the public to use our app to record the bumblebees visiting their garden flowers and contribute to a national picture of bumblebee foraging. You don’t need any prior knowledge of bees to use the app as there’s a built-in bumblebee guide, so it’s a really fun activity for both adults and children.
“Even if you can’t identify the bumblebee or the flower itself, take a snap and send it to us so that we can use it to verify the sightings. The important thing is that we get lots of information from all over the country, which will help us improve our knowledge of how to make gardens and allotments more bumblebee-friendly.”
Gill Perkins, CEO of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, said the app would help engage and educate people about what bees’ needs were.
She added: “There is a groundswell of activity and potential opportunity around the subject of pollination, and this is somewhere we can inspire young and mature alike, to take a new look at bees with a different pair of eyes.
“Plants serve a huge number of roles in everyday life, from the fruit and vegetables we eat, to the trees that make our parks and streets more agreeable, to the turf we play sport on or just lounge about on, through to flowers that brighten up our gardens and homes.
“The Blooms for Bees app will provide a perfect vehicle to engage and educate people about what our bees’ needs are.”

The app is available to download now on Apple and Android platforms.665_unibee-651x434.jpg

Date - 07/09/2017

Shakespeare Lions Planter in Henley St

This fantastic new planter has been installed in Henley St, just in front of the library and Stratford in Bloom is thrilled to be working with Shakespeare Lions. Wonderful that they are also supporting Stratford in Bloom. The good news is that we have been given permission to install 2 more planters  - all we need now is for a local orgnaisation or business to sponsor us and we can go ahead and install. Contact if you want to find out more or complete the contact form on the web site


Shakepeare Lions Planter in Henley St

Date - 28/06/2017

Coffee Morning & Plant Sale - April 1st 2017


Saturday 1st April
10.00am - 2.00pm
Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall

Hanging Baskets 
Tea & Coffee
Gardening questions answered
£2.00 entrance fee includes a packet of flower or vegetable seeds

Unlimited tea / coffee & biscuits

Date - 30/03/2017

Coffee Morning & Plant Sale - April 1st 2017

Saturday April 1st 2017 - what better day to hold our annual Coffee Morning & Plant Sale.

Entrance is only £2/person and includes a packet of flower or vegetable seeds & unlimited tea, coffee & biscuits.

Plants supplied by Blenheim Nursery are on sale. 

A Tombola with magnificent prizes (3 tickets for £2) and mouthwatering home made cakes at unbelievable prices

Doors open at 10am and if last year is anything to go by, The Town Hall will be packed by 10.30am.

Date - 13/03/2017

Committee Challenge

Stratford in Bloom has achieved a great deal over the last couple of years and it has become clear that to progress further we need to increase the range of skills and interests on the committee, not least to spread an increasing 'workload' as our aim is to enhance further the range and quality of SiB's involvement.

We currently meet (formally) once a month, generally the 1st Thursday from 6pm - 8pm (at The Shakespeare Hotel). On occasions this may change if there is a significant clash with other commitments or town activities.
We are currently working on defined roles for each committee member, but the overriding principle is one of active involvement & participation. With our present level of enthusiasm, motivation and involvement, this is very much a committee for 'doers' and not 'sitters'.
We are now looking to fill positions on the committee with people who could take on the the following roles:

Local Hanging Baskets: Encourage local shops and businesses to buy our wonderful (value for money) hanging baskets. Not only will this help brighten up the town, but it will provide SiB with much needed funds
Social Media: All things web, facebook & twitter
PR & Marketing: Loud & proud. Stories need to be told, awareness increased
Local Competition: Co-ordinate the annual competition
Coffee Morning, Presentation Evening & Other Events: You organise, the committee does what you tell them to do!
Grants & Donations: Compile and complete grant applications. Encourage and recognise our generous donors
Community Liaison: Each year Stratford in Bloom support two or three worthy local projects and organisations

Date - 27/10/2016

Presentation Evening 2016

A packed Stratford Artshouse welcomed over 225 gardeners, businesses, sponsors and supporters for the most prestigious evening in Stratford in Bloom's year.

Prizes were awarded to the very best in each category and this year finalists were invited to the evening, witohut knowing who had won which prize.

Gardeners are proud of their wonderful efforts and achievements and the feeling of tension and anticipatiion increased as each category winners were called up to accept their prize.

The welcome and hospitality matched the enthusiasm and excitement.

Guest enjoyed a magnifcent buffet and were treated to a superbly passionate and inspirational talk from Glyn Jones, head of Gardens at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. 


Date - 27/09/2016

Stratford in Bloom Awards & Presentation Evening

Our Presentation Evening is tomorrow night (September 26th) at Stratford Artshouse and we already have 225 guests attending - a record number!

Thanks to all the residents, businesses & shops, tourist attractions, coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, B&Bs & hotels, public buildings & religious grounds, schools, allotments, communities and bee friendly gardens who have worked so hard this year to provide fantastic gardens, hanging baskets, floral displays. You have all done a great job.

So much interest and involvement and so many worthy winners - to be announced tomorrow night........

Date - 25/09/2016

Stratford in Bloom Presentation Evening

Following the annual Stratford in Bloom Competition, we are once again delighted to host our prestigious Presentation & Awards Evening, which this year is taking place this year on Monday 26th September at the Stratford Artshouse.

Prizes are awarded for Front Gardens, Rear Gardens, Schools & Nurseries, Community Awards, Businesses, Shops, Hotels, B&B's & Guest Houses, Public Buildings, Tourist Attractions, Religious Grounds, Public Houses, Restaurants & Coffee Shops, Allotments as well as for pollinator friendly gardens.

Presentation are made to all the prize winners and there will be representatives from local businesses, District & Town Councils, schools and tourist attractions also present.

We are delighted that this year Glyn Jones (Head Gardener at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust) will be our guest speaker!

The evening starts at 7.15pm and light refreshments are provided.

Entry is free for everyone who has entered into this years competition and all those who have been shortlisted for prizes have been invited to attend, as well as all of our superb sponsors.

If you would like to attend and are not a competition entrant or sponsor, entry is only £5 per person (payable on the evening) and you will have the opportunity to meet not only some of our fantastic local gardeners, but also speak to and ask questons of Glyn Jones as well as our Chairman and local gardening expert, Steve Brookes - and enjoy a wonderful light buffet.

If you would like to attend could you please advise our secretary Miriam Dow - email:

Date - 01/09/2016

Stratford Herald and Stratford in Bloom Grow Together


VISITORS to Stratford-upon-Avon will soon be able to enjoy a floral display which extends a warm welcome to the town on behalf of Stratford in Bloom and the Herald.

 Steve Brookes, chairman of Stratford in Bloom, said the floral tribute underlined the “wonderful support” the Herald has given to Stratford in Bloom and its re-entry into the Britain in Bloom competition.

“It’s great to have a media partner and we’re thrilled to champion the floral display which gives us a sense of pride in the town,” said Mr Brookes.

The tribute spells the word Herald and within the next few weeks a plaque will also be installed at the site next to the Visitor Information Centre in Bridgefoot.

Herald editor Amanda Chalmers said: “A huge thank you to Steve Brookes and his team at Stratford in Bloom for creating this wonderful bespoke display in pride of place at one of the main entrances to our town. And what better way for the Herald to endorse their fantastic work as well as support Stratford’s entry into Britain in Bloom this year.

“The paper has been an integral part of Stratford since 1860 and now we can officially welcome visitors and readers, old and new, upon their arrival to our beautiful town. It’s a fitting way to really make our mark!”

Mr Brookes said he was also grateful for the assistance of Stratford District Council in welcoming visitors to the town with a splash of colour provided by the district council’s flower beds.

Stratford did not enter the national Britain in Bloom competition in 2014 or 2015 amid concerns over its funding and after it was decided the floral displays were not up to the required standard.

The town returns to the contest this year, led by a revamped Stratford in Bloom.


Date - 07/06/2016

Wildlife Friendly Gardening


It is well known that numbers of bees, hedgehogs and other creatures have declined significantly in recent years. As a lot of their natural habitat has been lost, our gardens have become increasingly important for wildlife and can make a real difference, forming 'wildlife corridors' where nature can thrive through towns and cities. There are lots of small changes we can make to improve things further still:

·         Choose a range of plants that will provide flowers over a long season - especially those that are early and late in the season; lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.) and crocus will flower from as early as February and plants like rudbeckia and heleniums will keep going well into October.

·         Traditional bedding plants provide a good splash of colour but do not always contain the pollen and nectar that insects need. Avoid plants with very frilly 'double' flowers and choose more simple structured versions.

·         Let dead stems stand until spring; this will not only provide valuable habitat for creatures like aphid-chomping ladybirds but will also protect plants over winter and look great in the frost. The seed heads will also be valuable winter food for birds.

·         Aim to have a wide variety of habitat types in your garden to provide a home for different creatures; ponds, trees, long grass, short grass, permanent borders, hedging, decorative woodpiles etc.

·         Observe the way that different garden creatures interact: blue tits will pick pests off plants, hedgehogs will root out your slugs, hoverflies and ladybirds will lay their eggs close to aphids so that their larvae can devour them once they hatch.

·         Do not use pesticides that harm wildlife; if you must use slug pellets, look out for the hedgehog-friendly ones. If you look after nature, there will be many more natural predators and much lower levels of garden pests.

Small changes can make a real difference and make you garden a beautiful, living haven for nature's balance.

Date - 22/04/2016

Stratford in Bloom Coffee Morning & Plant Sale

Stratford-upon-Avon in Bloom is holding it's annual Coffee Morning & Plant Sale on

Saturday April 9th   10am - 2pm.

The Town Hall, Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hanging Baskets . Plants . Tombola . Tea & Coffee . Cakes . Seeds . Gardening Q&A . Planting demos

Entrance £2 to include a free packet of flower or vegetable seeds and unlimited tea/coffee & biscuits

Date - 07/04/2016

Stratford In Bloom digs deep to help others

A special gardening project has been launched by Stratford in Bloom to help some of the most vulnerable in the town.

The idea, which forms part of the Stratford Link Project, is to transform an allotment in Stratford into self-contained manageable ‘grow-your-own’ plots.

It is hoped this will create a facility where people can go independently in their own time and take part in a positive activities.

The Stratford Link Project is designed to provide opportunities to the most vulnerable members of the community, such as people with physical or mental health problems, issues with substance misuse or the socially isolated.

Working with Bromford Housing Association, the group has installed a greenhouse, shed and made available basic tools at the allotment.

These new facilities have been provided thanks to Stratford District Council, Warwickshire Police & Crime Commissioner and the Warwickshire Councillors’ Grant Scheme, while Blenheim Nursery provided the manpower to develop the site.

Steve Brookes, Chairman of Stratford in Bloom and local gardening broadcaster, said: “Gardening is a wonderful therapy for everyone, and particularly for those suffering from any type of mental health or emotional problems. Working with nature and growing your own crops gives everyone a fantastic sense of achievement.”

Kim Bairstow, Senior Support Worker at Bromford, added: “We are very much looking forward to working with Stratford in Bloom going forward to enhance and improve the facilities at the plot, which in turn will have a considerable benefit on attendees’ mental and physical wellbeing. This will increase confidence, resilience and self-esteem leading to more opportunities in other areas of their lives.”

If you would like more information about Stratford-upon-Avon in Bloom or find out ways you can help, contact Steve Brookes, on 01789 267124, or Stratford in Bloom secretary, Miriam Dow on 01789 417852.

Date - 30/03/2016

2016 Britain in Bloom Competition

Stratford in Bloom launch our entry into the 2016 Britain in Bloom Competition


Following a wonderful welcome by our Honorary President and Mayor of Stratford – Councillor Tessa Bates, Stratford in Bloom Chair Steve Brookes launched this year’s entry into the Britain in Bloom Competition at Stratford Town Hall.

Past competition prize winners, representatives from Shakespeare’s England, local businesses and tourist organisations, sponsors, town, district and county councillors as well as key senior council officials were ‘treated’ to a review of our progress over the last year and our plans for this year, culminating in the visit on Wednesday July 27th by Britain in Bloom judges.  

Date - 14/03/2016

Stratford in Bloom Presentation Evening

Following the annual Stratford in Bloom Competition, our prestigious Presentation & Awards Evening is taking place this year on Monday 28th September at the Stratford Artshouse.

Prizes are awarded for Front Gardens, Rear Gardens, Schools & Nurseries, Community Awards, Businesses, Shops, Hotels, B&B's & Guest Houses, Public Buildings, Tourist Attractions, Religious Grounds, Public Houses, Restaurants & Coffee Shops, Allotments as well as for pollinator friendly gardens.

Presentation are made to all the prize winners and there will be representatives from local businesses, District & Town Councils, schools and tourist attractions also present.

This year we are thrilled that Professor Stefan Buczacki will be our guest speaker!

The evening starts at 7.15pm and light refreshments are provided.

Entry is only £5 per person (payable on the evening) and you will have the opportunity to meet not only some of our fantastic local gardeners, but also speak to and ask questons of Professor Stefan Buczacki as well as our Chairman and local gardening expert Steve Brooks.

If you would like to attend could you please advise Miriam Dow - email:

Date - 04/09/2015

Hanging Basket Plaques

For the very first time Stratford in Bloom is offering residents, local businesses and organisations the opportunity of sponsoring one of the beautiful hanging baskets in the Town Centre.

Sponsorship of hanging baskets costs £100 for a year, £150 for 2 years, £250 for 5 years and for lifetime sponsorship £500

There are in total 165 hanging baskets, along Rother Street, Wood Street, High Street, Bridge Street, Sheep Street, Henley Street, Waterside and Bridgefoot.

For more information or to make an enquiry, use the contact form or email directly to


Date - 31/08/2015

2015 Competition

The competition poster. You can now apply for a form from our competition page or pick one up from the Town Hall from the Secretary Miriam Dow. We are looking forward to seeing your entries this year and wish you all the best in the competition!

Date - 11/08/2015