UK: Fifteen thousand flowers bed in for the winter

At a time when most of us are wrapping up warm in preparation for the winter weather, 15,000 new bulbs are braving the cold at locations across the city, ready to bloom in springtime.

The new bulbs have been planted throughout November as part of the Council’s £2.2bn highway maintenance contract, which includes a programme of annual maintenance of flower beds and shrubs on roundabouts and key sites in the city centre.

Each year, hundreds of flowers are planted by Streets Ahead – such as 600 at Bradfield Road, 2000 on Attercliffe Road and almost 2500 at Crystal Peaks – in 6 colours – all to ensure that the city looks resplendent and colourful as the winter season turns to spring.

This year, Flowers have been planted at 16 locations in Sheffield including Ecclesall Road and Hunters Bar, Eckington Way, Bawtry Road and Drakehouse Lane.

Paul Elms, supervisor of the grounds maintenance team at Amey says of the work, “There are lots of city centre shrub and flower beds that we look after throughout the year.

“In all, we plant over 15,000 flowers such as polyanthus and wallflowers every winter. The advantage of planting now is that they don’t need watering during the winter months, and they will be putting down roots during the cooler weather, getting used to their new environment.”

Paul goes on to say, “The grounds maintenance team take a lot of pride in their work. Many of them live in the city, so they know what a welcome arrival the bright array of flowers are in the spring and summer.

“We hope that the arrangements can be enjoyed by people travelling in, out and around the city in the New Year.”

There are nine grounds maintenance workers at Streets Ahead who spend the year planting, tidying shrubs, grass cutting and seeding.

Summer bedding is planted at the end of May ready for the warmer and drier months of summer.

Councillor Karen McGowan, Cabinet Advisor for Environment and Streetscene at Sheffield City council said: “Flowers in the springtime provide much needed colour during a season when there’s less flourishing greenery and for many seeing those first shoots of spring lifts the mood with the promise of lighter nights and brighter days.

“The team at Streets Ahead do a fantastic job to ensure that our city is inviting, particularly on roundabouts visible from main roads, which help create a lasting first impression for visitors to Sheffield.”

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