MORPETH is bursting with bloom business.
The town will host judges from both the Northumbria and Britain In Bloom competitions this year and green-fingered volunteers from all sorts of groups are playing a part.
As well as the usual flower baskets, tubs and planting, a number of extra activities have been organised.
New this year have been footpath improvements in Bluebell Woods, sheep taking up residence at Ha’ Hill to keep the vegetation under control and the re-location of Collingwood Oaks to local schools and public spaces for flood works to be carried out.
A new flower bed has been adopted by the New Life Christian Centre in Morrisons’ car park.
And Morpeth Mayor Joan Tebbutt organised an Edible Britain competition for schools, which has seen pupils coming up with innovative ways to grow and use their own herbs, fruit and vegetables.
Meanwhile the Scouts have been growing vegetables and making scarecrows on their plot at Tommy’s Field allotments, Northumberland County Blind Association has created a vegetable plot in its sensory garden and Sanderson Arcade has been growing herbs to sell for charity.
Bat and bird-box making has been going on at the Old Bakehouse Millennium Green, Stobhillgate First School has made environment cards to hand out and new banners have gone up in the Market Place.
In addition, a new willow sculpture of local Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison will soon be placed in Carlisle Park, which along with the Clock Tower display, has blooms in the Suffragette colours of purple, white and green.
And Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre will be lending backdrop boards to spruce up the vacant Queen’s Head Hotel.
The main Bloom partners are Morpeth Town Council, Northumberland County Council, the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade and Heighley Gate, with support from dozens of community groups and individual volunteers.
A community clean-up day will take place in the town on Sunday in preparation for Northumbria In Bloom judging on Tuesday. Volunteers should meet at the Riverside Leisure Centre at 9.45am.