The unprecedented spell of hot dry weather has placed a huge burden on volunteers from Lytham in Bloom. Watering is always part of the work rota, but this year it has dominated all other tasks.
Volunteers have been in town from 5.30 am in an attempt to keep plants alive. It has been a losing battle in many areas with several planting succumbing to the drought.
With the dry spell set to continue, we expect more casualties. We appeal to all shop and restaurant owners and members of the general public to water tubs, baskets and planters thoroughly on a daily basis. We would be most grateful for any help.
The huge number of plantings undertaken has stretched volunteers to absolute capacity. In Lowther Gardens, the Herbaceous Border, Apothecary Garden and Woodland border all require constant attention, as does the Triangle at the bottom of Green Drive. In the town centre, the Memorial Gardens, Old Tom, Herbert, the Floral Windmill, hanging baskets, tubs, barrels and other planters all require regular watering.
“We have had to purchase several new hose pipes,” says Margaret. “Connecting to the limited number of water points available makes the jobs take even longer. Trailing hoses across footpaths and roads is best done early in the morning when less people are about. Tony and I have adopted a Spanish style of living throughout this heat wave as we start very early in the mornings and then take an afternoon siesta to recover. It has been tough.
"Water pressure has been low, adding to the problem. A job which would normally take say two hours, now takes three. It is time we can ill afford. Plants have to be thoroughly soaked. It is a waste of time just dampening the surface. By the time we have finished, areas watered first have virtually dried out again. I have never known anything quite like it.”
Margaret, who gained fame for her watering techniques in BBC2's Britain in Bloom documentary series, continues: “Trevor has come up with an ingenious idea of shading the begonias at the base of the Floral Windmill with netting. Although it might not appear so at first glance, he is not trying to compete with Lanigans by catching Lytham shrimps. It is simply a question of following every avenue available to us."
Any members of the public wishing to lend a hand could meet us any Monday evening at 6.00 pm in Lytham Square. That is when we pick up litter, tidy up the plantings and make plans to water. LYTHAM NEEDS YOU!
Volunteers and Sponsorship: Susan Evans 738257 email@example.com
Media and Publicity Peter Harris 730727 Peter.firstname.lastname@example.org