Blog Usk In Bloom: Champion Of Champions 2018

‘Flowers, Flowers Everywhere’

2018 Competition Results!
- Wales in Bloom, Winner of the Large Village Category with Gold

- Communities (World) in Bloom, Winner of the Small Internatonal Category

- Britain in Bloom, Finalist of the Champions of Champions Category and Gold medal 


The Usk in Bloom committee and their army of volunteers have been hard at work again this year. These green fingered soldiers have been keeping the village well maintained and picturesque for years. 37 years to be precise, this is how long Usk has been winning the Gold Award for the Best Large Village in the Wales in Bloom competition, which is all thanks to the hard work of the community.


Usk is a small market town of 2300 people in South East Wales. Its history goes back to the Romans and Normans.The local community take great pride in the town's presentation and we at the Glen-Yr-Afon are proud to sponsor some of the beautiful array of summer flowers that adorn the town during the summer season. 


Image of Usk Town square with the clock tower


This award-winning Welsh town has been dubbed the "Town of Flowers". Visitors to Usk (which have included The Duchess of Cornwall) can see why this title is so richly deserved.The town is ablaze with colour each summer with fantastic floral displays, in both public areas and private residences throughout the town. During Usk in Bloom you will find flowers everywhere you look, and not just in places you expect like hanging baskets (of which there are many) but you will also find them on roundabouts, wheel barrows and even bicycles!


The Usk in Bloom committee was formed in 1981 by a group of enthusiasts. Since then the town has won many awards and attracted visitors to its wonderful display of flowers. Usk in Bloom work is carried out entirely by volunteers and members of partner organisations who assist with campaigns. During the main growing season volunteers form work parties to undertake planting, weeding and dead-heading work.


Image of one of the many (and very imaginative) planters in the town. ©  Usk in Bloom

Image above: One of the many (and very imaginative) planters in the town. ©  Usk in Bloom


The whole village is bursting with colour and everyone gets in on the action. This year the Usk in Bloom committee were able to offer a big discount on hanging baskets for members of the community thanks to a grant of £3000 from Usk Town Council to make up for the prolonged road closures through the centre of town. This lead to an even greater display from our local businesses.

Throughout the time the town is in bloom there are various gardens that are opened to the public to help raise money for charities. The gardens range from small cottage gardens to the grand sweep of medieval Usk Castle. All are in walking distance of the free car parks and there is a regular mini-bus service around the town (10am - 4.45pm). Have a picnic on the banks of the river, or there are great places to eat and drink. Visitors can browse in a number of antique and craft outlets and independent shops. The Victorian Courthouse and Rural Life Museum throw their doors open to the public and there is a Gardener's Market, with plants at very reasonable prices.


The impressive floral display and the reputation that Usk has gained through its success has even caught the attention of our overseas friends. This year Usk has been nominated for the Community in Bloom award at the 2018 World in Bloom competition! The results are set to be revealed in Alberta, Canada later this year.


Judging for the two competitions commenced earlier this year in July and August. With all the hard work and judging out of the way all the volunteers and members of the Usk in Bloom committee can now do is wait.


Image of lovely hanging baskets outside one of Usks local coffee shops. ©  Visit Monmouthshire

Image above: Lovely hanging baskets outside one of Usks local coffee shops. ©  Visit Monmouthshire


Now, the quality of flowers and the appearance of the village is a very important aspect of the competition, and the competitions certainly started this way. However over the years the Wales and Britain in Bloom competitions have evolved and there are now other factors that are taken into account when judging categories. Sustainability, environment, education and community are the other factors that come into judging. This includes things like outdoor classrooms for children in the local school where they have the opportunity to learn about the environment and grow vegetables.


View looking up towards bridge street. ©  Visit Monmouthshire

Image above: View looking up towards bridge street. ©  Visit Monmouthshire


Usk is certainly a great place to visit (especially when it's filled with flowers!) so why not come and stay with us and visit the local coffee shops, take a walk by the river and take in the local scenery whilst you're here! If you are visiting the area during the summer the town is only a few minutes walk from the hotel over a lovely river bridge. Our luxury break package offers you afternoon tea on arrival with time to browse the town before dinner in our Clarkes restaurant. You can then relax in one of our en-suite bedrooms before a full breakfast and heading home.


 We are wishing everyone the best of luck in these competitions and thank you for always making our village look lovely!


A beautiful arrangement of flowers in front of a local business. ©  Usk in Bloom

Image above: A beautiful arrangement of flowers in front of a local business. ©  Usk in Bloom


Posted on Wed 29th Aug 2018 at 09:39