In the winter of 2016, Rotary clubs teamed up with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), including their Britain in Bloom and community gardening groups to plant 7 million crocus corms across Great Britain and Ireland.
The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with its colour representing the dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised.
Plantings in parks, schools and green spaces have added a splash of colour to our communities during the flowering season in spring of 2017.
The competition was split in to two categories: the Rotary Community Prize, which focused on the planting stage and the Floral Guernsey Prize, which focused on the flowering.
Entrants were challenged to capture community spirit in action as well as interesting floral displays, with a total of £700 worth of vouchers from the Gee Tee Bulb Company available for the top three in each category.
This year we are aiming to plant 10 million crocus corms, so place your orders by 31st July 2017.
Rotary Community Prize – Planting
1st place – Burton & Rossett Horticultural Society (pictured above)
Burton & Rossett Horticultural Society will be celebrating its 70th year in 2019 and are always on the lookout for community projects to get involved in.
Dave Hughes, a member of the group, explains: “We work closely with St. Peter’s Primary School in Rossett and the Purple4Polio initiative was seized upon as an ideal Community Project and a chance to promote the excellent work started by Rotary.”
“Over three Wednesdays last year this was the scene of frantic activity. The children were so excited; they wanted to do everything.”
2nd place – Knaresborough Rotary Club
The club planted with two schools, Scotton-Lingerfield Primary and Hookstone Chase Community Primary, as well as in and around the town.
3rd place – Eyemouth & District Rotary Club
Eyemouth & District Rotary Club went for a design for their planting and intricately dug up the turf and planted their corms to recreate the Rotary logo.
Floral Guernsey Prize – Flowering
1st place – Lunesdale Rotary Club. Photograph taken by Lilian Barton
This beautiful photograph captures some of the 5,000 crocuses planted by Lunesdale Rotary Club in Jubilee Park, Kirkby Lonsdale.
2nd place – Coupar Angus Pride of Place Group
These crocuses added to a touching memorial seat, dedicated to a 2-year-old local girl who was tragically killed by a traffic incident near the site, a couple of weeks prior to planting.
3rd place – Bradford on Avon Rotary Club
These crocuses were planted in front of the Wesbury Gardens war memorial in the centre of Bradford on Avon.
Judging was conducted by Eve Conway, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland President 2016/17, Ruth Evans, Director of Education, Funding & Communities at the RHS and Frank Teeuw of the Gee Tee Bulb Company.