Anglia in Bloom Green Flag Award Spring Clean

Our History

It all started way back in 2007 in our pedestrianised Thoroughfare with some weedy planters that no one was caring for. Local resident Dame Tamsyn Imison got together with the local Gardeners’ Society and the planters were filled with colourful annuals. People spotted the improvement, local Councillors and the Town Clerk got involved and plans to enter the Anglia in Bloom competition were hatched. These came to fruition in 2013 when we entered the Small Town category of the competition for the first time and to our great surprise gained a Silver Gilt award and were named Best New Entrant. Our volunteers grew in number, more local businesses got involved and Halesworth in Bloom became a celebrated part of life in Halesworth.

A tribute to our Founder, Dame Tamsyn Imison 1937-2017 - Liz Wooster.

From the very beginning of Halesworth’s involvement in ‘Anglia in Bloom’ back in 2012, Tamsyn played an instrumental part in Halesworth in Bloom’s many achievements – whether personally with her own hard work and commitment, or by encouraging, persuading or cajoling hundreds of other people to become involved.

This list of successful projects is by no means exhaustive:

  • Transforming the planters in the Thoroughfare and Market Place to provide all-year-round interest
  • Instigating a 10-year bulb planting programme to create a welcome at all town entrances
  • Encouraging the vast majority of businesses to contribute their own floral presence, which is so remarked upon by visitors to the town, and very effective in attracting new visitors
  • Furthering horticultural excellence in the town by instituting awards for best front garden, best allotment & best business frontage
  • Supporting children’s gardening projects
  • Brightening the lives of housebound residents with regular gifts of flowers and produce

Tamsyn was very proud of Halesworth’s wonderful horticultural heritage: William Hooker and his son Joseph lived in Halesworth at the beginning of the 19th century and became the earliest directors of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Tamsyn worked tirelessly to promote and celebrate this, for example by:

  • Revitalising the Memorial Garden with a wide collection of plants associated with the Hookers
  • Publishing the Hooker Trail booklet (for which Tamsyn even managed to solicit endorsement by Kew – high praise indeed!)
  • Pulling out all the stops to create a memorable weekend of events in July 2017 to celebrate the Bicentenary of Joseph Hooker’s birth in the town, as well as creating the Joseph Hooker plant trail in the Town Park and producing a Bicentenary edition of the Hooker Trail booklet

The icing on the cake for Tamsyn was winning so many national and regional awards, often in the face of doubt that such success was possible:

  • A Royal Horticultural Society monetary award in 2016 for Halesworth Station under the “Greening Grey Britain” scheme
  • A Green Flag Community Award for the Town Park in both 2016 & 2017
  • And in the annual Anglia in Bloom competition: Best New Entrant in 2013, followed by Gold Awards four years running in the ‘Small Town’ category; and, honour of honours, Best Small Town in 2015

Dame Tamsyn Imison 1937-2017