Newcastle-under-Lyme is going for gold to retain its regional crown in one of Europe’s largest horticultural competitions.
It is capturing the excitement of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a bid to win the small city title in Heart of England in Bloom for the sixth year in a row.
Featuring in the special Newcastle in Bloom campaign this summer are magnificent floral displays which will be visited by judges in July.
Council gardeners are preparing to replace summer bedding in Queen’s Gardens, Newcastle, with a Union Flag display bursting with red, white and blue geraniums, petunias and begonias which will be complemented by flower tubs in the Ironmarket.
They are also hoping to plant a winner in the Grosvenor sunken roundabout with an Olympic arrangement of gold, silver and bronze blooms including rings made out of carpet bedding.
The patriotic theme continues in Nelson Place with red, white and blue flowers while Friars Street will be brightened up with marigolds and cinerarias and Newcastle High Street with yellow osteospermums and red iresine.
Meanwhile, Kidsgrove town centre will become a riot of colour with bright geraniums.
Cllr. Elsie Bates, Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “We are looking forward to defending our regional title for the sixth year with a special theme.
“The borough has an unrivalled reputation in the competition so all eyes are on us.
“There is so much to celebrate as a country in 2012 so we want to bring some of that magic to Newcastle-under-Lyme. I hope residents and visitors enjoy the fantastic displays.”
Green-fingered residents play an important part in the competition by entering borough council-run competitions focusing on residential gardens, hanging baskets, allotments, community projects and schools, licensed premises and businesses.
Pupils from St. Thomas’ Primary School, Kidsgrove, have just planted flowers in the Jack Beech Memorial Gardens while children from Langdale Primary School in Clayton will plant a flower bed outside Laura Ashley in the town centre as well as hanging baskets in partnership with the Nuffield Health North Staffordshire Hospital.
The borough’s exhibit in the Royal Horticultural Society’s national flower bed competition at Tatton Park, Cheshire, will depict a synchronised dive to celebrate the opening of Jubilee2, the borough council’s £10 million health and well-being centre.