More than 40 step forward to brighten town with blooms

It's an early countdown to Christmas for the green-fingered volunteers who make Stamford in Bloom such a colourful asset across the town.

Coronavirus lockdown had prevented the group from collecting all of their distinctive chair planters from the streets and that meant that the usual summer display was abandoned.

But founder Ann Ellis is now busy buying plants again, planting up flower beds and pots around the town with some of her 40-plus volunteers observing social distancing guidelines, and thinking ahead to the festive period.

A Facebook appeal has also brought a fresh wave of volunteers, all keen to play their part in brightening up Stamford.

With the prospect of the town centre re-opening, Ann is keen to see a re-start of the scheme she started three years ago.

"The town had got to an all-time low, with weeds growing in front of some of our most gorgeous and historic buildings. I was determined to do something about it," she said.

"I have always loved flowers, and don't have a garden of my own, so helping to plant up the town is a real joy. A lot of my volunteers don't have gardens either, so it's a way for us all to get out and feel huge a huge sense of satisfaction when we see what a difference it really does make to Stamford."

Chair planters for the run-up to Christmas will be another team effort, with Mary Davies from the Stamford Tourist Information office organising which shops want to sponsor one.

Ann's team will provide them and she's hoping to match the 24 chairs that were on display last year.

As Stamford emerges from the lockdown that's something to look forward to - delightful chair planters decorated with cyclamen, ivy, silver cinenaria and orange berries to brighten the streets.

Stamford In Bloom founder Ann Ellis:

Stamford in Bloom founder Ann Ellis Stamford in Bloom archive image 1 Stamford in Bloom archive image 2