Green fingered Town Council staff ensure People’s Park will bloom


7,000 plants saved thanks to team rolling up their sleeves for a planting session

Banbury Town Council’s own staff came to the rescue in People’s Park last Wednesday by putting their home-grown gardening skills to the test.   More than 7,000 plants delivered for Planting in the Park Day had nowhere to go until staff stepped in.

Planting in the Park is an annual event that sees pupils from the town’s primary schools compete against each other to design and plant the best flower bed.  Around a dozen schools and up to 300 pupils take part each year. Trophies are awarded for overall winners and the best in a number of categories.

This year, the plants were pre-ordered as usual but the event had to be cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

Rather than waste the blooms the Council’s staff, who are mostly working from home because of covid-19, answered the call for help and spent a day working shifts to get the plants into the ground. Some did the morning, others did the afternoon and a few put in a couple of hours when their normal work allowed.

Councillor Colin Clarke, chairman of the council’s general services committee, said: “The flower beds look fantastic. If office staff and others hadn’t stepped in the flowers beds would have remained empty.  Now we have a magnificent display of colour – something that will give park visitors a lot of pleasure.”

He added: “Council staff usually potter about in their own gardens and this mass planting was something very different. They got all the plants in while maintaining social distancing to comply with coronavirus guidelines.”

The plants included begonias, marigolds, petunias, geraniums, gazinnia, salvia, and snapdragons and were planted to produce a wheel of rainbow colours around the rose garden.

Twelve members of staff – almost the council’s full workforce – turned out to help.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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