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Bexley blossoms as Orbit scoops three London in Bloom awards

Orbit is celebrating after winning three London in Bloom awards at its Independent Living schemes in Bexley.

London in Bloom, in association with the Royal Horticultural Society and the Britain in Bloom awards, have awarded residents at Bushy Court, Hayley House and Flaxman Court with a certificate of recognition for their amazing sense of community spirit and resilience throughout the global pandemic.

Bushy Court was presented with the Level 5 ‘outstanding’ award by the Royal Horticultural Society and London in Bloom, in the ‘Community Gardening’ category. Hayley House and Flaxman Court received the Level 4 ‘thriving’ award.

The ongoing threat of coronavirus has meant people are valuing their green space now more than ever, with many residents feeling closer to nature throughout the national and local lockdowns.

The Royal Horticultural Society's ‘Community Gardening’ awards are part of a wider Britain in Bloom initiative, providing an opportunity for smaller community groups to get involved, such as those based at independent living schemes.

Dan Bird, Head of Estate Services at Orbit, said: “I am delighted that our Independent Living Schemes in Bexley have been recognised by the Britain in Bloom awards. Our residents, contractors and employees have worked hard to brighten up our existing green spaces during the periods of lockdown this year.

“Amongst all the uncertainty of coronavirus, one thing we are certain of is that our Estates team remain passionate, enthused, driven and determined to increase the standard of our grounds and create brighter, greener places for our customers to live.” 

Residents of Bushy Court gardening group worked with contractors and Orbit employees to refresh the existing grounds. An olive tree was made a central feature amongst a lavender shrub bed, with solar lights and a remembrance plaque added to create a memorial garden. The residents also revamped the existing rose beds by adding fuchsias and lavenders, which were arranged around an area full of small statues and wishing wells.

The Hayley House gardening club transformed an old area of the garden where fruit once grew and created a space to grow all new fresh produce. And Flaxman Court residents’ association renovated the front of the building by planting rows of flowers alongside the brick walls, making the scheme look brighter and more welcoming.

For more information on the Britain in Bloom Awards 2021, or to get involved in community gardening, visit the Royal Horticultural Society website: https://www.rhs.org.uk/.