In 2023 Market Harborough in Bloom was awarded a Gold in both East Midlands in Bloom and Britain in Bloom.
Find out more about this and about previous awards in the awards summary page.
A potted history of the group
The very first MHiB was in 1996 when there were just six hanging baskets in the town.
Working with parks staff, increasing the number of volunteers and local support - including Gartree Prison - and local business sponsorship helped the initiative grow. It was not long before there were as many as 120 hanging baskets and over 20 planters in town.
Market Harborough In Bloom has a lot of success in East Midlands and Britain In Bloom competitions – see the awards summary sub menu above for the highlights of each year.
The initiative very quickly gained a good reputation in the town, so much so that it was included in the Millennium Tapestry that hangs in the council building:
In 2001, in response to the judges’ report from the previous year, six beds at the entrance to the town were enlarged and about 200 floral displays were now on view including 38 new lamppost baskets in St Mary’s Road.
The almost completed Millennium Mile made a good impression and was given a Judges Award.
In 2002 as part of the Golden Jubilee red and gold themed beds were created in Welland Park. An elevated bed showed a crown and 1952-2002 in carpet bedding.
In 2003 the criteria for entry were changed and the field was widened.
The judges were impressed by the level of community involvement.
Gartree prisoners had planted up many of the plants and made a hand cart which formed a focal point for one of the beds.
Beavers had planted a new bed and border for the rose garden and there was evidence of sponsored planters.
The dog walk and recycling efforts of the council were also praised. The first of three movies about Market Harborough in Bloom were created by the Moviemakers.
In 2004 the design of one of the flower beds in the park replicated a window in St Dionysius Church.
In 2005 a Market Harborough Moviemakers film entitled Going for Gold covered the awards ceremony.
In 2006, as part of some World Environment Day funding, 210 schoolchildren worked with an artist and created insects out of recyclable materials which were part of the park display. A movie made this year covered this initiative.
In 2008 MHiB provided planters for the new Aldi roundabout.
In 2009 MHiB took part in the carnival and also won a Royal Horticultural Society Heritage Award. A Churches Together group worked on a flowerbed around a cart.
In 2010 fundraising raised £14,000 and it helped restore the rose garden in Welland Park with volunteers planting more than 600 rose bushes.
A fountain was installed as well as a pergola and a knot garden was started.
In 2011 MHiB won a gold award and in 2012 MHiB volunteers were all awarded a Queens Award for volunteering for the floral displays and removal of litter. Schoolchildren from seven schools designed and painted the planters in the town centre.
In 2013 the In Bloom theme lent itself to edible plants and these were incorporated into the many planters around the town.
In 2014 MHiB won a gold award and was 1st in its category for the first time in ten years. Beavers planted sunflowers which were incorporated into planters and planted at the railway station.
Gold awards have been awarded every year since 2014.