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During July the judges visit many places from large cities and towns to small villages. The time spent by the judges at each location means they only see a snapshot of what has been achieved over the past 12 months. To pick up points therefore, your portfolio/diary needs to clearly illustrate what you have achieved during the rest of the year, throughout the other seasons, and across all sections.

When it comes to completing that all important marking sheet, the portfolio is an essential aide memoir for every judge. In other words, after a long and tiring day of judging,(often more than one entry per day) it helps to jog the judges’ memory of what they have been told and seen earlier. Do not give the judges your only precious copy of your portfolio.

Your portfolio will be available for collection at the Presentation of Awards

The introduction should really set the scene for the Judges, outlining the entry, portraying any links and key events and is extremely useful for the judges when writing their reports. This should be no longer than one side of A4 paper with perhaps a photo of a key landmark within the town or village

This section should also be devoted to the Bloom Group

  •  Who is on the group.

  •  How long the group has been going

  •  How often they meet

  •  How they raise funds

  •  Who are their partners/sponsors

  •  A list of notable events/achievements

  •  What are their aims and objectives

The portfolio needs to illustrate how you have organised yourselves, the involvement of the community, the improvements made over the past year. Whilst the portfolio needs to embrace a wide range of subjects, it also needs to be kept simple and easy to read. In constructing the portfolio a balance must be achieved taking into account the number of points applicable to each section Remember these vary slightly in emphasis for different the population boundaries as contained in the individual Marking Sheets

Keep a photographic record of all things that have been done during the year. Use selected press cuttings to show what publicity has been achieved. The judges will be impressed with before and after photographs of earlier plantings, spring bedding and bulbs.

Records and photographs of environmental work carried out, litter picks and clean ups especially those showing the community, schools and young people taking part. Remember points are not awarded for the quality or style of the Portfolio.

However, a good Portfolio is an aide-memoir for the Judges and allows the entrants to show the Judges areas that may not be seen on the tour.

Portfolios can also help show all year round commitment to the campaign.

Please do not produce anything over sixteen sides of A4,including a front and back cover, using an easily read font.

Colourful photographs can be a great asset, however, please limit their inclusion to no more than 50% of the overall content.


The Portfolio

The portfolio should be thought of as a diary or record of the tasks and events that have taken place over the past twelve months. This could include all-year-round photographs and, wherever possible, before and after shots. (Please note that all photographs should be dated and relatively recent i.e. not taken more than two years ago). The content could include:

  •  A brief introduction/resume about your entry, including the names and roles of your committee members.

  •  Anything that hasn’t already been covered during your judging route or press and publicity period. Concentrate on at least one item from each section, i.e. Horticultural Achievement, Environmental Responsibility, and Community Participation. Sometimes marks can be picked up here if things have been omitted during the judging route.

  •  Year-round effort and work undertaken in areas not included in the judging tour (for example, evidence through the use of photographs, of people actually getting involved in the planting of winter/spring displays and at other times of the year).

  •  How your ‘In Bloom’ entry is funded (for example, any fundraising event such as a coffee morning, plant sales, raffle etc. It’s also good to see photos!) Also any grants that you may have obtained.

  •  How you promote your ‘In Bloom’ campaign (maybe you have a display in an empty shop window, for example, or posters to let your area know about the campaign and when the judges will be coming; any litter picks etc.)

  •  Press coverage is all-important but please don’t just fill the portfolio with press cuttings; why not find some display boards and use them to showcase your ‘In Bloom’ activity. These can then be examined during the judges’ comfort break and save you valuable space in your portfolio/diary.

  •  An illustration of your achievements to date and an outline of your goals for the future.

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