Photo gallery: Jumbo display of topiary elephants are stars of show at Islington in Bloom

Best Small Neighbourhood - Blackstock Triangle

Best Small Neighbourhood - Blackstock Triangle - Credit: Archant

A parade of topiary elephants led the way as the borough’s gardening stars were crowned at this year’s Islington in Bloom awards.

Architect Tim Bushe created the impressive display by shaping a garden hedge on the corner of Ambler Road and Romily Road, helping the Blackstock Triangle Gardeners to win the award for Best Small Neighbourhood at last Tuesday’s (Sept 23) event.

He sculpted the safari-themed bush three years ago after Naomi Schillinger, the co founder of the Blackstock Triangle Gardeners, spotted a couple of creations in his Balfour Road garden and asked if he could tidy up a nearby neglected hedgerow which had become a haven for anti-social yobs to hide behind.

And after a huge reaction from the community, Mr Bushe, 61, decided to use his hedge trimmer to raise money for a cause very close to his heart – he charity Hft, which looks after his sister Martha, 49, who has Downs Syndrome.

He now has eight topiary projects on the go around the borough – including a hippo in Finsbury Park – and has raised nearly £4,000 for the charity.

There were 11 other winners in Islington in Bloom and with more than 140 entries this year, each category was hotly contested – none more so than the popular Front Gardens category in which Jill and Martin from Malvern Terrace beat off competition from over 30 other flower-filled patches.

Meanwhile St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Highgate Hill, Archway, won the award for the Best Children’s Planting, just pipping Pooles Park Primary and Hugh Myddleton schools to the post after a record number of schools entered the results of their gardening efforts.

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A wildlife-friendly bee farm also won the Cranstoun project, which helps recovering drug addicts, the Pattenden Award.

Mayor of Islington, Cllr Theresa Debono who presented the awards, said: “Islington in Bloom celebrates planting efforts across the community from large gardens to small tree pits on roads, adding to the colour and vibrancy in the borough.

“The competition shows how much residents really care about the area they live in, and the fact that there were so many entries highlights the imagination people have to brighten up even the smallest corner.”

Islington in Bloom is sponsored by Camden Garden Centre, Groundwork, Islington Gardeners, KPS Tree Services, The Irvin Organisation Ltd, Barcham Trees and Partners for Improvement.

To sponsor Mr Bushe and help him reach his £5,000 click here