From a cart bursting with orange flowers to a grassy bugler, the creations of Ulster gardeners were recognised at the Britain in Bloom awards at the weekend.
A number of Northern Irish entrants scooped top accolades at the ceremony on Saturday, reflecting the efforts made by their inhabitants in sprucing up the streets with floral displays and decorations.
Ahoghill was awarded gold and came top of the Small Town category, while Scarva also scooped gold and topped its own Small Village category.
Bangor won gold in the section for coastal towns with 12,000-plus residents, and Londonderry did likewise in the Small Cities section, whilst Hillsborough got a silver gilt in the Large Village category.
In Hillsborough, among the displays which wowed the judges was a figure of a man playing the bugle, made out of a grass-like substance.
And one of those behind its contribution, Roy Hanna from Lisburn City Council, was also given a Community Champion Award for his work.
The bugler had been outside the tourism office but is not presently on display said Mr Hanna, because he is being reworked with poppies ahead of Remembrance Day.
Meanwhile, in Ahoghill residents were said to be “absolutely delighted” with the win.
Pictures sent to The News Letter show an old-fashioned cart brimming with bright amber petals, and hanging baskets full of pink and white flowers.
Denise Reynolds from Ballymena Borough Council had entered it into the contest, and said that the last several years had seen a transformation.
Mrs Reynolds, 58, from Ballymena, said in years gone by Ahoghill had a “blandness” about it, and described it as formerly being “a village that really you would drive through”.
Now though, businesses and residents are raising perhaps as much as £15,000 annually to devote to the upkeep of its displays – something that allowed them to see off the three English rivals in their category.
“Now they’re getting visits from people who came from southern Ireland,” she said.
“They really, really worked so hard. They’re such a perfect bunch of people to work with!”
The awards are run by the Royal Horticultural Society.