The shortlist of the inaugural Boats in Bloom has been revealed and there seem to be no end to the imagination of boaters when it comes to their gardens. Yachting & Boating World’s Katy Stickland reports.

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It would appear that some boaters will go to any lengths to make their narrowboats as bright and colourful as possible.

To celebrate the people whose green fingers and gardening achievements help make Britain’s waterways such pleasant places to visit, the Canal & River Trust launched Boats in Bloom.

Held for the first tie this year, it has been asking people to send in their nominations, and photos of boats filled with stunning blooms and creative planting have been flooding in.

Now, a shortlist has been drawn up and the Canal & River Trust is asking the public to vote for their favourites.

There are six categories: Most flower filled boat; Best business in bloom; Most edible growing boat; Most imaginative use of space; Best towpath garden or open space and Best wildlife friendly boat or garden initiative.

Certificates will also be presented to all those whose plants, flowers and vegetable displays make a positive contribution to canals and rivers in England and Wales.

A spokesman for the Canal & River Trust said: “The certificates are our way of saying a big thank you to everyone who boosts our ongoing work to make our waterways green and attractive places which everyone can enjoy.”

“Gardening efforts on and besides our waterways help brighten up these spaces for everyone, making them a nicer place to boat, walk and cycle; provide habitats and food sources for birds, insects and other wildlife, and contribute to reducing the impact of extreme weather, for example helping heavy rain soak away reducing the risk of ‘flash-floods’, or by helping cool the air and reducing ‘urban heat spots’ particularly in built up areas when temperatures are very high”.

The winners of the Boats in Bloom will be announced on 31 August 2017.