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Last year, the annual Community Gardens and Beautification Festival Competition returned after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The competition saw a remarkable turnout of gardening enthusiasts, who participated in various categories such as Best Flower Garden, Best Fruits and Vegetables, Best Herbs and Spices, and Best Water Garden, which includes Pools, Ponds, Aquaponics, and Hydronics.
The event was held at Avec Amor in Buckley’s and concluded with a prize-giving ceremony that recognized the winners of the competition’s four components.
Birchfield Osborne, a former winner in the individual category, emerged as the overall winner of the competition, winning first prizes in several judged categories, including Best Flower Garden, Best Fruits and Vegetables, and Best Herbs and Spices.
Indies Greene won for Best Flower Garden and Best Water Garden in the Business Section, while Paynters Court won the Best Kept Community Beautification project.
The competition aims to promote civic pride and camaraderie among residents and businesses to enhance the cleanliness of the physical environment, improve wellness, attract and encourage community tourism, research the histories of communities, showcase their uniqueness, and build resilient communities.
The judges evaluated the participants based on the layout and permanency of the gardens, health and vigor of the plants, management of the garden, and conservation methods employed.
The Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams, the Permanent Secretary of Agriculture, Sandra Joseph, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Transformation, Colin O’Keiffe, Director of Community Development, Dale O’Brien, and Ministry of Tourism Representative, St. Clair Soleyn presented the prizes to the winners.
The winners received cash prizes donated by several local businesses.
The competition had 32 individual/residential participants, one school, and three businesses competing from across both islands, with participants from Barbuda as well. Anthony Mapp won for Best Flower Garden, while Jacklyn Beazer won for Best Fruit and Vegetables.