Harrogate Borough Council plants
Say it in flowers.  The Parks and Environmental Services team behind the Valley Gardens anniversary flower bed: In front (kneeling) Simon Collier and behind L-R: Mike Haywood, Paul Swinbank and Paula Collier

Flower bed marks fifty years of International Festivals

11 July 2016

The fifty year anniversary of the Harrogate International Festivals and some significant literary landmarks are being celebrated in a special flower bed in the town’s Valley Gardens.

Over eleven thousand plants have been used to create the flower bed, the centrepiece of which is a giant ‘50’ to mark the 50 years that Harrogate International Festivals have been bringing world class acts to the town.

The flower bed also depicts four open books, each featuring the initials of four literary giants who have special anniversaries this year: Charlotte Brontë (2016 is the 200th anniversary of her birth), Beatrix Potter (150 years), Roald Dahl (100 years) and William Shakespeare, who died 400 years ago.

The planting in the bed is made up mainly of red, pink and white begonias along with Echeverias and Pyrethrum for the lettering.  There is also an interpretation panel to explain the flowerbed to visitors.

Despite the recent unseasonal weather the flower bed is thriving, much to the relief of the team from the council’s Parks and Environmental Services who planted the bed near the stream in Valley Gardens over four days in June.

Sue Wood is Harrogate Borough Council’s Horticultural Officer. She said:

We work extremely hard to ensure that the district’s parks and gardens look as beautiful as they possibly can. Every year we try and find a topical anniversary or celebration to depict in the flowerbeds. 2016 is such a busy year for literary celebrations we decided to recognise them, along with the Harrogate International Festivals’ 50th anniversary, by putting them all together in one flower bed in Valley Gardens.

The flowerbed, which consists of 11,000 plants, is one of the biggest in the Harrogate district and is certainly eye-catching. We are very proud of our displays which are always well received by the public.

To find out more about events at this year’s Harrogate International Festivals go to www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

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