Watering plan to keep gardens in full bloom

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COUNCIL bosses have drawn up plans to ensure a Bury St Edmunds beauty spot remains in full bloom – despite the hosepipe ban.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council will use three bowsers, which are large containers, to supply the Abbey Gardens with water.

Adopting a more targeted approach, only the central flower beds will be watered and the bowsers will be filled from the tap.

The move follows Anglia Water’s hosepipe ban, which started last week.

Cllr Robert Everitt, the authority’s cabinet member for Bury St Edmunds, said: “The Abbey Gardens draws one and a half million visitors a year and they expect an attractive display. We want to avoid disappointment and the considerable economic impact it would have locally.”

He explained that the central area would be watered earlier and later in the day to reduce evaporation.

Cllr Everitt said: “We will be using rainfall to take care of the grass and the rest of the gardens.” He added that the bowsers would also be used to water the hanging baskets around the town. All the baskets will have reservoirs to stop the water dripping through and water retaining gel wil be mixed into the compost so it stays damp longer.

When asked what action would be taken in the other areas of the gardens if there was little rainfall, a spokeswoman for the council said they would review the plan.

Sophie Roebuck, chairman of the Abbey Gardens Friends, said: “The use of water bowsers is an excellent idea but we do appreciate that although it will conserve more water because the water is more directed it will be more labour intensive.”