Cabbages instead of begonias in Frome's fresh green revolution
Radical changes in making Frome bloom in years to come has won town council approval.
More community involvement and sustainable and imaginative planting are key to what properties and maintenance manager Simon Woollen describes as a "brave" step towards a new way of making Frome's public spaces more beautiful and involving local horticultural groups.
At a meeting of the internal affairs committee, appropriately held for the first time in the Victoria Park offices, councillors agreed to proposals. Gone would be ugly planters and tubs with townsfolk just as likely to see a cabbage growing in a town centre flower bed than a begonia.
The council would continue to concentrate bright floral displays on the town centre in areas such as The Bridge, The Boyle Cross, the Cheese and Grain and North Parade. Plantings could be as sustainable and edible as possible.
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The newly-formed group in Frome, Incredible Edibles, would take on four of the tubs outside the town office and more if it was a success.
The plastic three tier planters from outside St John's Church and the top of North Parade would disappear and the traditional annual beds such as those in Victoria Park, North Parade and outside St John's Ambulance office in Bath Street are already being phased out in favour of perennial, edible and more sustainable planting. The aim is to encourage community groups to take these over.
The newly-glazed green house in Victoria Park could be booked by local groups and used more as a community asset and any summer bedding that the council does purchase could be kept for the following season and stored in the greenhouse and given out to societies such as the Bowling Club and schools that wish to make their own displays.
Mr Woollen said: "We are going back to what Britain in Bloom was originally about in the 1970s, empowering local people to regain a sense of their community."
A map of green spaces in and around Frome that are currently uncultivated and unused has been compiled by the Incredible Edible group with the hope of transforming them at some stage for cultivation by the community.