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Floral salute by Boston gardeners

Greening up Boston is now well underway - together with a touch of red and gold.

The community growing space in Central Park has been given a revamp, with new hard surfacing, raised beds and improved access for people who are disabled.

To mark the occasion Boston Mayor, Cllr Alison Austin, planted a standard redcurrant bush in one of the raised beds in the former tennis courts area.

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Boston Mayor Cllr Alison Austin wields a spade to plant a commemorative redcurrant bush in the community growing space in Central Park. Also pictured, from left, Alison Fairman, chairman of the Boston-in-Bloom committee, committee member Paul Collingwood and Cllr Yvonne Gunter, committee member and Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for parks and open spaces.

Paul Collingwood, chairman of Willoughby Road Allotments Association, and his wife, Pat, are now organising the maintenance of the community growing space. Helen Thorne uses one of the beds in the park to grow vegetables. Anyone who would like to learn to grow or can help and is prepared to give of a few hours should contact Ian Farmer at Boston Borough Council on 01205 314225 or email ian.farmer@boston.gov.uk

Ian explained that the community garden is to encourage the healthy outdoor pursuit of gardening, especially growing tasty and healthy produce.

He said: "It's ideal for anyone who wants to learn to garden with expert help, enjoys getting their fingers in the soil and wants to make a beautiful difference in Boston. It would be great for anyone who doesn't have a garden of their own and would like to meet new people. There is an immense amount of satisfaction to be gained from cultivating a patch of ground, sowing a seed, nurturing the plant and harvesting the produce and being able to say 'I did that'."

The community garden is funded under the programme Food4Life and supported by Lincolnshire County Council Public Health and Boston Borough Council.

The garden will feature in a Boston brochure to be presented to Britain in Bloom East Midlands judges when they visit the town next month.

Flower power has also been used in Boston to reflect the colours of in-Bloom organisers, the 50th golden anniversary of the Royal Horticultural Society, and the poppy motif in connection with the centenary this year of the start of the First World War.

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A single bloom made from hundreds of flowers - the poppy design in the grounds of the Stump honouring the memories of the local casualties in the centenary year of the start of the First World War. Left, John Dyson, and right, Kev Field, of the borough council's grounds staff, who planned and planted the display.

Boston entered the in-bloom competition for the first time two years ago, winning a silver award at the first attempt. Last year it was just one point short of advancing to a silver gilt award.

Boston and South Holland Age UK are the latest organisation to come on board to support the Boston-in-Bloom Campaign. And they are already making a big difference with their freshly planted floral wheelbarrow. Located outside the Community Room in Strait Bargate, the wheelbarrow provides an attractive addition to the promenade planters. Sprayed with gold paint to mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the wheelbarrow features geraniums, begonias, beetroot and strawberries as well as two flags displaying the logos of Age UK and Boston in Bloom.

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From left, Amanda Wilson Age UK insurance supervisor, Alison Fairman, Karen Barley Age UK day centre administrator and Cllr Yvonne Gunter showing their gold-painted wheelbarrow planted with geraniums and strawberries to mark the anniversary of the RHS.

Amanda Wilson, insurance supervisor at Boston and South Holland Age UK said: "As a keen gardener myself and as a lot of our clients love to garden we decided to plant up the wheelbarrow to make help make Boston town be brighter".

Taylor ITEX planter Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
A Strait Bargate planter proudly sponsored by Taylor ITEX for Boston in Bloom, from left Julie Mitchell director of learning TaylorITEX, Cllr Yvonne Gunter committee member and Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for parks and open spaces, Ian Farmer partnerships and sustainability manager, Boston Borough Council, Glyn Ruskin careers advisor/tutor TaylorITEX and Alison Fairman, chairman of the Boston-in-Bloom committee.