178,000 down...822,000 to go! Bulbs bid to continue
09:30 21 July 2014
Latest efforts to fulfil dying wish of millionaire who left town his fortune will see further 250,000 flowers planted.
ANOTHER 250,000 bulbs are to be planted across Sidmouth to fulfil the dying wish of a millionaire banker who bequeathed the town his fortune.
The Sid Vale Association’s (SVA) efforts to create ‘a valley of a million bulbs’ is to continue with an ‘ambitious’ programme for the autumn, announced today.
Organisers have said they will need strong support from the town to achieve their aims.
New swathes of the valley and the main approaches to town will be among 21 areas targeted when planting starts on September 20.
In-filling will also take place at 18 of last year’s sites to improve displays for next spring.
The bulbs committee has expanded and its new team leader is SVA vice chairman Ed Harrison.
“It is a big challenge, and will only be met if the community is wholly behind the project,” he said.
“The spectacular displays of last spring were the result of 178,000 bulbs planted by local volunteers. Building on our success we are announcing an ambitious programme for this autumn.”
Voluntary organisations have been asked to join in and to suggest areas for planting.
Another Bulbs Day is being organised for Saturday, October 11, from 9.30am to 3pm.
The SVA will pay for the bulbs from the Keith Owen Fund which it administers.
Keith urged the SVA to ‘think outside the box’ when he left the civic society his £2.3million after his death from cancer in 2007.
His will stated the capital should remain untouched but the interest should benefit projects in the Sid Valley.
The project to fulfil Keith’s dying wish and plant one million flowers made headlines around the world when it was launched last year.
The Reverend Handel Bennett, President of the SVA, said: “I would like to thank all who volunteered to plant bulbs throughout the Sid Valley last year.
“We were all amazed to see what a fantastic display appeared in many locations, as a result of our combined community efforts, from Sidbury to Sidmouth, from the Bowd to Salcombe Regis!”
As before, all bulbs will be capable of naturalising and are from British stock.
Sidmouth Garden Centre has again offered support with the logistics of ordering, storing, delivering and guidance on site.