Shoppers and visitors to Blackburn are enjoying more summer colour this year after the council increased the number of street planters installed across the town centre by nearly 50 per cent and significantly lengthened their growing time.
Blackburn with Darwen Council has taken delivery of 30 three-tier Flower Towers, 100 Holestar raised planters and 45 barrier baskets from floral features suppliers Plantscape, which has fixed them in position along the town’s pedestrianised area and main streets.
This is a 46 per cent increase on the numbers of planters previously ordered by the council, which procured and installed them on behalf of Blackburn’s Business Improvement District.
The authority is also mounting a longer display than last year, when it did not place its order until July, and it hopes to keep the display in place until the second half of October.
The order has been increased after last year’s displays, the first received from Plantscape, were praised by traders and shoppers for brightening up the town centre, with the flowers decorating the area from the town’s Railway Station through Church Street up to Northgate, King William Street, Town Hall Street and Sudell Cross.
Blackburn is unusual in that it chooses to site its planters in different locations to the norm, such as attaching raised planters to the side of bollards and fixing them at waist level on finger-posts in order to bring the flowers down to street level.
It also moved a number of its three tier planters to increase the numbers lining the streets for when the town marks the 100 Year Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, when the Duke of Lancasters Regiment Parade marched through the town on July 3.
Eddie Maxwell, park manager at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “The feedback we got from the planters last year was 100 per cent positive, except from people in neighbouring towns, who were miffed that Blackburn stood out from everyone else, so we have increased the numbers this year, alongside our other planting schemes elsewhere.
“I am a great believer in creating a striking impression by using lots of planters in one place rather than spreading them out, which is why we try to bring them down from above head height and place the three tiered planters close to each other to create avenues of colour.
“We hope to keep the planters in the town for as long as possible and we are looking forward to seeing what the displays look like when they are fully matured.”
Mark Stone, managing director of Plantscape, based in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, said: “Blackburn use a great deal of creativity when it comes to siting their planters and it’s wonderful to hear that the council has received such a positive feedback from last year’s displays.
“Receiving their flowers earlier this year will make a real difference by meaning that the displays will be bigger than last year’s and so Blackburn’s displays certainly promise to put on a spectacular show.”
For more information visit www.plantscapeuk.com