IT MAY be winter but a dedicated green-fingered team is already planning to make sure Portsmouth blooms this summer.
Southsea Greenhouse is leading the way for this year’s Portsmouth in Bloom and Sue Stokes at the social enterprise is keen to see people take part.
She said she wants gardeners to help each other out in the competition and also think about growing edible food, not just beautiful floral arrangements.
She said: ‘People can help the old lady next door who cannot get out. It’s part of the new-look Portsmouth in Bloom.
‘We are hoping people will grow more edible things, and some of those will be flowers.’
The competition will also see an emphasis on the best-dressed street section of the competition, with people encouraged to grow food as part of it.
She added: ‘That one, the best-dressed street, has fallen in the last few years.
‘We have revived it and called it “eat my street”.’
Schools will also be encouraged to take part in a similar competition, called ‘eat my school’.
The competition is being run by the social enterprise, with Portsmouth City Council and Aspex Green Space and sponsors.
The whole event is being supported by The News.
A launch at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays last night saw the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lynne Stagg, officially start the competition season.
Sue added: ‘There’s so much talent across the city.
‘People can just grow anything really, they’re green-fingered.’
And workshops are being put on to help people get their gardens and vegetable patches ready.
The first one is tomorrow at Aspex Green Space, in Milton, from 11am to 3pm.
It will teach people how to nurture vegetable patches and get them ready for planting.
The categories this year include: house frontage, front garden, mews and courtyards, balcony, sustainable garden, hanging basket or wall container, public or community premises, business premises, gardens in sheltered housing or apartment blocks, eat my street, and allotments.
There are also four categories for schools: flower decorating, environmental project, garden cultivated by children, and eat my school.
See southseagreenhouse.co.uk/portsmouth-bloom when it goes live in March.