TV celebrity gardener Chris Collins popped in to see for himself some of the sights being appreciated by visitors to a popular Isle of Wight park.
Blue Peter gardener, Chris was shown smartly-planted flower beds near the entrance to the park and a wildflower section beneath an old gun emplacement which was previously neglected.
The quality of the gardening in Puckpool Park, Ryde, greatly impressed Chris, who started his own career as a parks apprentice in Brighton.
Chris said: “This is a proper, old-style park which is really well kept. It is obvious that there are some good gardeners looking after it, really taking a pride in their trade.”
The park, which lies behind one of the island’s biggest and best beaches, is hugely popular with families.
It has been entered into the parks category of this year’s Southern Water sponsored South & South East in Bloom competition and will find out its fate on September 13th when Chris Collins presents the awards at a ceremony in Fareham.
Dale Young, assistant contracts manager for grounds maintenance contractor John O’Conner, explained that the wet weather had ultimately negated his efforts to use a series of water-saving measures in his planting schemes but they had been put in with the best intentions because there were drought conditions at the beginning of the year.
Dale added: “It’s been particularly good to hear comments from people of all ages about the wildflower garden because it has really brightened up an area where there was nothing before.”
Andy Shaddick, public affairs manager at Southern Water, said: “Puckpool Park is clearly a really attractive place to visit and I am looking forward to finding out in September how the Bloom judges have rated it.”
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