Front Gardens Competition

What began over a dozen years ago as a simple inspection of the town’s front gardens, has become a horticultural juggernaut!

Every summer, members of the committee inspect every – that’s right, EVERY – front garden in East Grinstead. No-one has to enter the Front Garden Competition – simply having a front garden enters you! But if you know of a local front garden that looks great and deserves our attention then please let us know by email at

The purpose of the competition is to promote and encourage the upkeep of East Grinstead residents’ front gardens. A Front Garden for our purposes being defined as that part of domestic house frontage easily visible from a public space such as footpath or road.


  • Best Front Garden: Best overall garden, incorporating perennial as well as seasonal colour, shrubbery, landscaping.
  • Best Landscaped Garden: These are gardens where lawns, paths, trees, shrubs and details predominate rather than floral display.
  • Best Seasonal Garden: Best display of summer annuals.
  • Best Wildflower Garden: Best aesthetic display of wildlife-friendly planting.
  • Best Micro-Garden: This is a new category this year and is to include those house frontages where there is little or very confined space. So even a well-displayed hanging basket or window box or similar small display can win.
  • Best Group of Gardens: Any series of 2 or more well kept gardens.
  • Best Street: This is simply the street the judges notice stands out for its front gardens (which need to be adjoining).

In addition to the Front Gardens, we also select pubs and commercial properties with the best front displays: Best Pub and Best Commercial Property.

Judging Criteria

During the main summer flowering period members of East Grinstead in Bloom committee scour the streets looking for striking gardens. A list of perhaps 100 gardens is then made. The finalists are then chosen from this list by judges selected by East Gringstead in Bloom.

What are the judges looking for?

  • That someone is taking the trouble to have a well-kept frontage to their house.
  • The quantity and abundance of planting.
  • The general neatness of lawns, paths, driveways.
  • Any details of outstanding character.


The concept of the competition is to promote bright, cheerful house frontage viewed by passers-by and therefore brightening up the town. An overgrown lawn as occupants are away will be taken into account, whereas a lawn that hasn’t seen a mower all season won’t pass muster as a wild-flower garden!

The winners will be contacted and in September we hold a Presentation Evening where all the winners receive awards presented by the Mayor. We will also have a slide show of winning gardens and some lovely refreshments. This is a very popular and prestigious social event with upward of 150 attendees, which usually makes local media.