Usk History

Floral Displays
Permanent Planting
Town Competition


Usk in Bloom volunteers are celebrating their Gold medal after the Judges had announced that Usk had won their category of large village in the Wales in Bloom National Competition. This was the 31st year in a row that Usk has been victorious and in the process, despite one of the worst summers on record had achieved the highest marks in the whole of Wales and indeed across all 8 category competition entrants.

New Chairman, Tony Kear said “ After the success at the London 2012 Olympics, I’m absolutely thrilled that our team of volunteers have achieved the official Wales in Bloom gold medal standard. Their commitment and passion to succeed and make Usk a better place has been remarkable with planting and deadheading taking place in all weathers. It has been a challenging period, none more so than the week of judging when we received the tragic news of the sudden and unexpected passing of our secretary, Frances Dearlove. We dedicate this success to her.

I also pay tribute to our sponsors, the Businesses and residents of Usk whose enthusiastic participation really does help make Usk the “Town of Flowers” I also thank all the organisations that contributed on Judging day,: The Mayor of Usk, Cllr Christine Wilkinson, The allotment growers, Manor Court residents, Usk Police (particularly Chief Constable Mrs Camel Napier), Usk Church in Wales Head Teacher, Jared Nolan, Staff and children , Kay Peacock for their garden project, Usk and sunflowers Nurseries, Usk Conservation Group, Usk Brownies and WI, Monmouthshire Youth Services and the Usk Memorial Hall Committee. Such groups typify the community participation and what so impressed the judge Jim Knight. Monmouthshire County Council’s team have also been outstanding in their support ensuring the Town was spotless on judging day”   We look forward to receiving the award on Friday 14th September in Rhyl.

Download all the 2012 Wales in Bloom results  

It is by popular consensus that this summer has been like no other that any local gardener can remember. That hasn't deterred the hard working volunteers of Usk in Bloom have continued to meet on a Monday and Wednesday to deadhead and tidy the 81 beds and tubs that the Committee look after. When the sun has finally shone and the temperatures risen the Town really has started to bloom. Twyn Square has indeed looked a fine sight and a wonderful welcome for visitors to our Town.

The Judging of the Town for the Wales in Bloom Competition took place on Friday 20th July and thankfully the sun did peak out a little but, of course, the rain had to rear up for a short time . The very experienced Wales in Bloom Judge Jim Knight was very thorough in his questioning and attention to detail. He very much enjoyed his visit and also passed a few very favourable words on regarding the community participation, the involvement of the children right from nursery age through to the Monmouthshire youth service. The environmental side of the competition is coming more to the fore under the leadership of the RHS and certainly the work of the Usk Conservation Group was well received.

Involved on the tour of the Town were: The Mayor, The Allotment Group at the Sessions House, The Usk Conservation Group, Manor Court, The Police, Usk Primary School and 9 children, Usk Nursery, The Vicar of St Mary's Church, the Usk WI and Brownies, Monmouthshire Youth Service, Sunflowers Nursery and Memorial Hall Members. We must not forget the considerable tidy up work undertaken by Monmouthshire County Council before the judge's visit. On behalf of the Committee, we thank all who helped and gave up their time to make Jim Knight Welcome

The Wales in Bloom results are announced on the 17th August.

The Usk Town Competition results were announced on the 31st July after being assessed by 4 independently appointed judges who live outside Usk. The Various categories had short lists drawn up by the Usk in Bloom Committee members who had in the previous week toured the Town on foot. The judging of the front gardens alone took nearly 6 hours with marks awarded on 5 areas: Initial Impression, Colour Scheme, use of available space, Imaginative use of plants and features and the quality of plants and maintenance

The results are published on the Town and Usk in Bloom Web sites, on Twitter @UskinBloom, on FaceBook Usk in Bloom - the Town of Flowers, and the Town Notice Boards.

Usk in Bloom - late July photos

After a the record breaking poor weather in April and early May, Usk in Bloom have had to quickly get into their welly boots and then sun hats in late May in preparation for the 2012 season and defence of the Wales in Bloom category.

The theme this summer is one of celebration and Jubilees - Of course Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, 30 years of consecutive success in Wales in Bloom and the 30th Olympiad. Eagle eyed residents will have noticed the specialist display bed in the Square with "30" planted in flowers all sponsored by Roberts and Co Estate Agents of Usk. The Committee are grateful for the support of Mark and his Team.

The committee chose the colour scheme of Purple, yellow and white rather than the popular jubilee red, white and blue themes, to link into the Royal colour of purple and that Usk has unique Mayoral purple robes.

"There's a hole in my bucket...well actually a plant container in Twyn Square" 
New Vice Chairman Reg Darge looks in.

The Town flowers have been supplied by Russell and Anna from The Willows Garden Centre who have also provided a watering service for the hanging baskets in Bridge Street. Special thanks go to the Glen - Yr- Afon Hotel for sponsoring the flowers on Usk Bridge supplied by Usk Garden Centre.

Numbers of helpers are "blooming" thanks to an appeal for support and existing links within the community being built upon. The goal this season is to ask residents to adopt a tub or container, planted by Usk in Bloom for its upkeep and to ease commercial watering costs. Additionally, the committee would be delighted to hear from residents who may have a hidden gem of a garden that could be included on the Judges Tour.

With Judging for Wales in Bloom taking place in early July, fingers are crossed that the efforts around the whole Town and the Garden rejuvenation project at Usk School will stand us in good stead to put up a stout defence of our category.

New Chairman Tony Kear commented:-

"The response to our request for new volunteers, support from businesses in Bridge Street and new sponsors has been fantastic. Usk has rightfully gained the reputation as the Town of Flowers and the work of the volunteers of Usk in Bloom, backed up by the fantastic Usk Open garden Weekends has over 31 years brought in thousands of visitors to the Town - something so vital in today's difficult economic climate. But with out the residents community participation as well, Usk wouldn't be the fantastic place it is to live in"

"On behalf of the volunteers, may I thank Usk's new Mayor, Cllr Christine Wilkinson, for nominating Usk in Bloom as one of her chosen recipients for awards from the Mayoral Fundraising events in 2012/3 and also the Key family from the Nags Head in Twyn Square for allowing the annual Auction to take place and help raise £4,200"

If you would like to assist and be a part of a friendly group of green fingered volunteers, why not email us uskinbloom@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook - "Usk in Bloom - The Town of Flowers" or on Twitter @UskinBloom.

Usk is starting to bloom - see the photos!

Usk wins another Gold award in the Wales in Bloom competition 2011

Usk Town Gardens competition 2011 Gold award results

Usk wins its class in Wales in Bloom 2010

Download the 2010 Town Competition winners list.

Champions of Class 2009                  Town Competition Winners 2009

Britain in Bloom 2009

Usk had the honour of representing Wales in ‘Britain in Bloom’ in 2009. The town was awarded a Silver Gilt award at a prestigious award ceremony in Torquay in September.

Wales in Bloom 2009

Usk has won its class in Wales in Bloom and secured a gold award in 2009 (with 174 points out of 200 - one point more than in 2008). We are the only winners of gold in the competition this year. In our class, the second placed large village had 50 points less than us.

Download the Usk in Bloom Newsletter for 2009

After three years of achieving Silver Gilt standard, in 2008 Usk was awarded a GOLD MEDAL. A Gold Medal score is 170 points and above, out of a possible score of 200 points. Usk recorded a score of 173 points.

In Class 6, Large Village section of the Wales in Bloom competition 2008, Usk secured 1st place with Lampeter in 2nd place.

Other local results: Class 1 City Class-Newport 1st place; Class 4 Small Town-Chepstow 2nd place; Abergavenny merit; Class 7 Village-Raglan 2nd place; Class 9a hotels pubs etc-Milton Hotel Llanwern; Class 11a Commercial etc- Raglan Ford merit.

The gold, silver and bronze awards in the Usk Town Competition 2008.

Usk Wins Wales in Bloom Class 6 again in 2007!

Class 6 Large Village Trophy: 1st:- Usk with a Silver Gilt.

Class 9a Hotels, Guest Houses, Public Houses and Restaurants All Areas: Merit:- Nags Head.

Class 21 Schools Gardening & Environment Competition: Joint Second:- Usk Church in Wales Primary School.

The Winners of the 2007 Usk Town competition  - click for details.

Results of 2006 Competitions

Usk was one of two communities to represent the United Kingdom in Entente Florale (Europe in Bloom) in 2006 and won a Silver Award. Usk also won Class 6 (the large village category) in Wales in Bloom. It is the 25th successive year in which Usk has won a class in the national competition.

See a full list of the 2006 Usk in Bloom town awards.