Gardening adds to feelgood factor

In the aftermath of the Olympics I am sure we can all say that we are still enjoying those fantastic memories of achievement, pride and community spirit engendered by volunteers, spectators and the general public.

The weather has been disappointing for the ‘summer’ but the feelgood factor has been high not only for the Olympics but also because of the Diamond Jubilee which has provided people with a good reason to get together, to enjoy community events and to create something special to mark the occasion.

There is also much to celebrate about the ‘leisure’ atmosphere of Horsham town.

The new cafes, market stalls, eating out spaces and musical entertainment whether in the park or from the bandstand. I am sure all this contributes to a feeling of wellbeing. Travellers to Horsham and locals may have noticed that Horsham railway station revamp is near completion and its new frontage and facilities within will be much appreciated.

We have missed their wonderful hanging baskets and railing planters this year and look forward to their return in 2013.

However this is compensated for by the new, nearly 100 metre long, planting in North Street which in itself provides a stunning welcome to visitors.

The planting started in February and when all previous plants had been removed work started on a completely blank canvas.

It was inspired by the work of garden designer, nurseryman and author Piet Oudolf who uses bold drifts of herbaceous perennials and grasses to provide colour and structure.

It was designed by the Parks Services Department at Horsham District Council and funded by Horsham In Bloom in partnership with the town’s pharmaceutical company Novartis and as in the spirit of present times we can be very thankful of the work of several volunteers from Horsham Green Gym and students from Chichester College.

The plants are all perennials selected for a long lifespan under suitable growing conditions making it is a ‘sustainable’ scheme.

Some of the species are likely to self-seed and this will encourage a ‘dynamic’ quality to the planting as it changes over time and many of the plants are tall and loosely formed so that they will blow around in the wind.

The season of flower display will continue on into October showing a sequential change in colour along the ribbon with hotter colour combinations in some parts and cooler in others.

So if you are affected by Olympic fever and inspired to run a marathon why not pick up a spade and transform your garden! For further details on which plants were actually used see http://www.horshaminbloom.org.uk/Diamond_Jubilee_Ribbon_Planting_Info.pdf

LIZ TIMMER

Acting chair, Horsham in Bloom, North Street, Horsham