Bloom-ing marvellous

Residents working on the community garden on Sussex Close, Hindley
Residents working on the community garden on Sussex Close, Hindley
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RESIDENTS in Hindley are pulling out all the stops to ensure their community gardens are in tip-top shape for Wigan Borough in Bloom.

Keen gardeners on Sussex Close have transformed the open spaces and gardens around their homes into a stunning series of formal displays of bedding plants, shrubs and neatly manicured lawns.

The area’s floral revolution over the past three years has also helped to improve community relations, after residents decided In Bloom was a good way to alleviate tensions which had built up between older, long-term residents and newer tenants who had moved in. The project now has residents of all ages and backgrounds involved in the work, and has even inspired other people to pick up their trowels and forks and start cultivating their own garden.

The hard work of the residents who set up the group has been rewarded, changing an area which they felt was deteriorating and losing pride in the surroundings into a showpiece worthy of being shown to the judges of Britain in Bloom.

Wilf Ford, team leader at Sussex Close, said: “The communal areas are not only now the focal point, but have become the catalyst for everyone else in the street to regenerate their front gardens.

“Learning from one another the residents have created a stunning display that has interest all year round and suffers absolutely no vandalism.

“Residents now grow and share plants between one another, and set regular planting and maintenance days.

“The enthusiasm has now spread to neighbouring streets who have seen what has been achieved at Sussex Close and want to replicate their success.”

Coun Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council cabinet champion for the environment, said: “No matter what the area, whether perceived to be deprived or seen to be affluent, there are always people who feel they would like to do more for their community.

“It’s breaking down the barriers to participation that empowers them to take their ideas further.

“Events like our Community Forum has enabled us to regularly meet all our active residents from across the borough to share their ideas and learn from each other.”