Town to re-enter Britain in Bloom

Plans growing
The town has previously won gold medals at the competition [BBC]

Shrewsbury is to enter the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition this year.

After a year out due to staff shortages, plants are being grown in preparation for displays and hanging baskets to be put around the town.

Weeping Cross council depot grows 300,000 summer bedding plants and 10,000 cuttings taken from last year's plants.

The town council's horticultural manger Dan Powell said the competition, marking its 60th year in 2024, was the "pinnacle" of what they were aiming for.

'Fingers crossed'

"What we're aiming for is obviously gold... so that then proves what we're doing is recognised by judges country-wide and it's just another feather in our cap really," he said.

Dan Powell
Dan Powell horticultural manger said the competition was the "pinnacle" of what they were aiming for [BBC]

Referring to the town's park and it ornamental garden, he said: "We have got a reputation for our floral displays, and a lot of visitors know about the Dingle, they know about the Quarry.

"They know about our high standards so they're coming to visit the town because of our floral displays and our reputation."

The plants are grown in three growing zones inside a greenhouse which was the size of a football pitch, he said.

"We've got a long-standing history of horticultural standards so obviously we have to maintain that," he added.

"We've got several members of staff who've been here close to 40 years, so we've grown up with that standard and obviously that's what we're looking to maintain year in, year out."

The town has previously won gold medals for its displays and deciding what to grow was a "two-way thing" between growers and designers, he said.

Four teams work around the town centre and create their own designs before sharing them with him, while he designs hanging baskets and floral structures and inserts used along railings.

Give the wet weather this year he said they have started to look at plants that are weather-tolerant, but when the plants leave the nursery "it's fingers crossed for a good summer", he added.

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