Celebrating Northampton’s blooming floral success

Posted 10th October 2023

Northampton town centre and surrounding areas have been adorned with beautiful floral displays between April and October this year, thanks to the Northampton in Bloom planting project funded by Northampton Town Council.

Over 500 colourful hanging baskets and planters were placed on businesses and streets in the town centre and across the town council wards, as part of Northampton in Bloom, which also included community-led and sustainable planting initiatives.

Volunteers from the council’s Climate Change Forum created sustainable planters containing peat-free compost and perennial plants such as Fleabane and English Bluebell, especially chosen for their biodiversity value to attract bees and other insects.

Meanwhile in May, as part of the King’s Coronation celebrations, the town council partnered with Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District to deliver an award-winning volunteer-supported planting project in St Katherine’s Gardens, with students from Northampton College and the University of Northampton, plus staff from Northampton Hope Centre and Travis Perkins Timber all giving their time to transform the space.

Cllr Andrew Stevens, Chair of the Environmental Services Committee at Northampton Town Council, said: “We’ve received so many positive comments about the planters and baskets and how they have brightened up the town this year, adding a welcome burst of colour to the urban environment.

“It is also wonderful to see the baskets which have been planted by some of our neighbouring parish councils in Northampton and all the superb floral displays in West Northamptonshire Council’s public parks.

“The town council is keen to champion the many green initiatives established by local resident groups and is exploring how our planting can be more environmentally friendly in future, along with planning to participate in the 2025 East Midlands in Bloom competition.”

A number of local community groups have already entered the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ award scheme, operated by the Royal Horticultural Society as part of the Bloom campaign. The scheme encourages communities to come together and revamp existing community gardens and neglected public spaces, with the town council hosting an awards ceremony at the end of the season.

Groups registering to take part will receive an annual visit from an RHS assessor, support from experienced mentors and membership to a nationwide community gardening network. The closing date for entries to the 2024 scheme is 30th May, with judging taking place in August. Anyone wishing to take part should contact the town council by emailing bloom@northamptontowncouncil.gov.uk.

This summer also saw the introduction of a Wellness Walk trail around Abington Park, which was supported by West Northamptonshire Council’s Park Rangers Team and its environmental services contractors, iDeVerde.

The walk was marked out by a series of boards placed in the park’s flower beds, each featuring a different uplifting wellbeing quote written by local poet James McInerey, along with quotes on stickers displayed in the many town centre shop and restaurant windows that had a hanging basket.

Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at West Northamptonshire Council, added: “We were delighted to be able to support Northampton Town Council with the Northampton in Bloom project. I’m sure that everyone has enjoyed seeing the fantastic hanging baskets and planters around town, I know I did. They made the town centre look really great and the display outside the Guildhall was stunning.”