North Devon Villages in Fake Flowers Shocker!
Devon has a well deserved reputation for being a beautiful and scenic county with rolling fields and picturesque villages. It’s the sort of place worn out city folk retire to and stroppy teenagers hate: nothing happens in beautiful surroundings. North Devon in particular relies on tourism and has lots of chocolate box villages with cramped high streets and more pubs than inhabitants. In the winter these places can be cozy if a little dull but in the summer they are the perfect place while away a few hours with a pint of Scrumpy.
Recently three North Devon villages have been rocked to their very core by a scandal of epic proportions after the local council (always the villains) decided to replace fresh flowers in hanging baskets with fake flowers. The plastic abominations have been put up in Northam, Appledore and Westward Ho! (that exclamation mark is part of the name not just me getting over-excited). As well as excluding the villages from the annual Britain in Bloom competition the plastic flowers have caused a lot of fuss amongst villagers.
Councillor Richard Miller (Boo! Hiss!) thinks that the fake flowers are a great idea stating that they “provide a better visual impact than live flowers”. He tried to justify the displays by explaining the difficulties of using fresh flowers:
“We live in a hostile environment here in north Devon [these strike me as the words of a man who has never left Devon] and the impact means any hanging baskets with fresh flowers in suffer. Car fumes hit them in the high street and severe winds can blow window boxes off their fixings…Health and safety wise they [fake flowers] are safer.”
The sentiments of local villagers seem to be in direct opposition to Cllr Miller’s thoughts on the subject. The BBC news article about the flowers has so far only attracted negative comments including:
I live in the area, and pass these fake tacky flowers on a daily basis.
Devon is renowned for its areas in bloom, and these substitutes are a waste of money and an eye-sore. We should be proud of natures natural beauty and not a laughing stock with false arrangements. – Richie, Braunton
Personally I think that the benefits of live flowers (the smell, attracting local wildlife, not only looking good from a distance) far outweigh the benefits of using fakes. They might be cheaper to maintain but plastic flowers are just a cop-out, they show a lack of care and attention to detail. In fact, I feel the same way about plastic flowers as I do about women with surgically enhanced breasts: why choose plastic when you can have the real thing?
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Tags: Devon, flowers, local, the locals are revolting