Birmingham’s vision to become a world class city centre is being given a helping hand by civic floral display experts Plantscape.
The city’s Southside BID (Business Improvement District), whose attractions include the National Trust’s Back to Backs, the art deco Electric Cinema and the fabulously transformed New Street station, initially appointed the company to supply it with winter and spring flowering planters to add colour and vibrancy to the area.
They proved so popular that they decided to order a range of summer planters, baskets and window boxes, which are catching the eyes and imagination of residents and visitors.
Julia Robinson, manager at Southside BID, said: “Our district has established itself as the entertainment hub of Birmingham, and it’s important that Southside is presented in the best possible way to all visitors.
“The blooms that have been provided by Plantscape help bring the area to life, and the feedback we’ve had in person and on social media has been excellent. They are low maintenance and beautiful, and exactly what we were looking for.”
The BID, one of several across Birmingham for which Plantscape provides summer and winter floral displays, aims to attract greater footfall to the district, home to numerous bars, Chinatown and Gay Village, and make it a more attractive place in which to spend time and money!
The city as a whole has seen great investment and improvement over recent years. Its iconic library is an architectural wonder and its funky space age looking Bullring shopping centre is world famous. And it will play host to the Commonwealth Games in 2022 – another tick in the ‘putting Birmingham on the map’ box.
In Southside itself, the revitalised New Street station has become not just a major transport hub but also a shopping destination attracting visitors into the city from across the Midlands. It is also home to theatrical venues such as the Hippodrome, O2 Academy, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Rep.
In addition to the floral enhancements, Southside itself also invested £60,000 in festive lights this year and created a series of films about the area – Southside stories .
Plantscape, which supplies hundreds of local councils, BID teams and In Bloom groups across England, Scotland and Wales with all year-round plants as well as solar powered Christmas trees, has also provided floral enhancements to other Birmingham and West Midlands BIDs.
Harborne Village, Acocks Green, Erdington, Soho Road and West Bromwich BIDS are among those whose streets have been improved thanks to Plantscape’s ministrations.
Indeed, Soho Road featured in a half hour BBC In Bloom programme recently, such was the transformation and improvement in community spirit.
Southside has around a hundred window boxes, barrier baskets, floor standing planters and flower towers across the area.
Plantscape is famed for its innovative seven-day self-watering planters – which came into their own during last year’s summer heatwave. Its winter offerings, while in need of less watering, offer a hassle free option for towns – as Plantscape grows, plants, installs, maintains and then removes the displays.
In many cases, brackets used for hanging baskets, lamppost wraparounds and window boxes are used for both summer and winter displays as well as for holding its popular solar powered Christmas trees.
The blooms are grown in the company’s 100,000 sq ft greenhouse complex at Egginton in Derbyshire – which every year has the capacity for 12,500 summer planters, window boxes and hanging baskets for distribution nationwide.
The winter planters, which offer colour, texture and scent from autumn to spring, include evergreen shrubs, herbs, hardy flowering plants and spring bulbs.