The Human Shrub backs bloom bid

A MOVE to decorate the streets of a north Essex town with flowers and plants this summer has been backed by the country's most eccentric gardener - the Human Shrub.

Roddy Ashworth

A MOVE to decorate the streets of a north Essex town with flowers and plants this summer has been backed by the country's most eccentric gardener - the Human Shrub.

Colchester in Bloom is due to hold its launch event this weekend, and the organisation aims to “fill every concrete planting box in the town with blooms and have as many businesses and residential streets lined with flowers”.

It is in stark contrast to last year, when council cutbacks led to barren streets and empty, weed-ridden plant containers throughout Colchester.


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At one point, it was even proposed that, to save cash, many of the borough's roadside shrubberies and rose bushes should be rotavated and turfed over. However, outside a town hall meeting to discuss the civic plant policy, a campaigner dressed as a giant shrub mounted a protest calling for the shrubberies to be saved.

Weeks later, he was seen planting a small bush and some flowers in an empty container near one of the town's roundabouts.

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The council relented and eventually performed a U-turn, pledging that in future years flowers would once again adorn the streets of Colchester.

But the Human Shrub continued his mission, at one point descending unannounced on a neglected civic shrubbery with a group of guerilla-gardening followers and restoring it to verdant glory.

Yesterday the mysterious horticulturist - whose identity still remains unknown - told the EADT he was pleased to hear about the launch of Colchester in Bloom 2010.

The group is holding its meeting on Saturday at the Officers' Club in St John's Green and is inviting interested members of the public to book a place at the free event.

The Human Shrub said: “I support all these humans trying to get Colchester in Bloom again and dearly hope we don't have a repeat of last year's shrub and rose massacres.

“I don't think I will be able to make this event, as Mrs Shrub and I have plans, but what a truly fantastic idea to bring every human together to look at ways of making Colchester a greener, brighter place.

“It's so important for humans and wildlife to have as many flowers, plants and shrubs as possible.”

- The Colchester In Bloom launch event will take place on Saturday from 10am to 4pm, with a finger buffet lunch.

Attendance is free if booked in advance - via colchesterinbloom@me.com or by telephoning 07767 756123 - or will cost �5 on the day.

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