Gardening: Let’s cheer up 2011By Linda Fort
January 21, 2011
All over the country, councillors are making tough decisions about cuts.
The municipal flowerbeds are becoming a luxury that – for the present – we cannot afford.
Reading borough councillors will be looking at making reductions in verge cutting and some roadside flower beds may have to be grassed over or given a low maintenance makeover.
When the alternatives could be cuts to children’s services or care of the elderly and disabled, flowerbeds cannot be considered a frontline service.
However, there is something that everyone in Reading can do to alleviate the gloom in 2011.
The Reading in Bloom competition encourages everyone to beautify their front gardens every year.
If all you have is a balcony, or a communal garden or a window box, there is a category for you.
The competition is expected to be launched as usual later this year, but right now you can make the decision to make your front garden a joy to behold.
Fabulous flowering front gardens give pleasure to their owners – but they also give delight to neighbours and to passers-by.
If you live on a main road in Reading – a bus route or a busy street – now is your chance to help to make the town beautiful at a time when the borough council cannot afford to make the magnificent effort it usually does.
You don’t have to enter Reading in Bloom, your efforts will be appreciated all the same.
Lovely gardens viewed from a passing bus delight everyone who sees them though the gardeners may never know the pleasure they are giving.
Most of the regular Reading in Bloom-ers will tell you their neighbours let them know how lovely their gardens are looking.
But there are countless others who pass by and take pleasure in the sight and the scents of the garden without saying a word.
2011 is probably not going to be a year for the faint-hearted but we can all do our bit to keep Reading feeling cheerful.
Last year, the president of Reading in Bloom Jessica Cecil made a donation to provide hanging baskets on the two Reading bridges.
They lifted my heart every time I saw them and I am sure everyone who walked across the bridge last summer enjoyed their beauty.
They are expected to be there again this year and next thanks to Mrs Cecil’s generosity.
Everyone with a patch of front garden or a windowsill can join her in the effort to keep the town full of flowers.
David Cameron didn’t call it the Blooming Society, but he should have done.