CHESTER in Bloom ‘09 is launched on Thursday, April 30 at the Queen Hotel.

The launch will be carried out by Steve Robinson, chief executive, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Simon Williams, general manager of the Queen Hotel - who are sponsoring the competition for the third year - and invited guests.

Now in its 14th year, Chester in Bloom takes on the theme of Petal Power.

The competition has nine categories: Large Garden, Small Garden, Container Planting, Business Premises, Public Premises, Community Projects, School Gardens, Allotments and Petal Power Display.

Application forms are available from libraries, downloaded from the Internet

The closing date for entries is June 26 with judging in July. The winners will be announced at an awards dinner to be held at the Queen Hotel in October.

To celebrate Chester’s new status as a Cycling Demonstration Town, this year’s In Bloom competition is adopting the theme of Petal Power. A special Petal Power Display category has been created; awarded to the most colourful and imaginative design in a front garden, which best represents the Petal Power theme eg a floral bicycle. The display must be visible from the street.

Chester is also preparing for two visits from Royal Horticultural Society judges during the summer. Following the past successes in the Northwest in Bloom competition, Chester has been nominated as a finalist in the Large Town/Small City category in the Britain in Bloom Competition.

Chester will also be competing in the Northwest in Bloom competition. The judges will look at a range of criteria including environmental issues, recycling, community involvement and play areas.