Published: 23 August 2012
Discovering Dartmouth
We take a trip to the picturesque town of Dartmouth on the south coast of Devon and discover the beauty of their town gardens and floral displays.

Exploring the Royal Avenue Gardens, Dartmouth.
On a cloudless August day in the town of Dartmouth, shade was at a premium and one place that it could be found was beneath the many trees to be found in the Royal Avenue gardens, overlooking the inner harbour, known locally as the Boat Float.

The gardens are popular with local people and day-trippers alike and many of them had made the short, level walk from the town to relax in this peaceful haven. When we arrived most of the benches were taken, but we found an empty one in the shade of a group of trees. It was the perfect spot to give us a view of the hundreds of boats on the river Dart and to watch the people of all ages enjoying the sunshine, whilst we enjoyed our locally made ice creams.  Later, as we walked along the paths which crisscross the park, we were treated to the scents and sight of the mass of flowers which fill the many borders.

Back in the town, we were struck by how many businesses and residents have taken the trouble to create floral displays, which give wonderful splashes of colour. We visited on a Friday and the historic market was busy, and plenty of locally produced food was available. Amongst all of the activity around the stalls, containers of flowers of vibrant reds and orange were set off to perfection against the ancient walls of the open air market place.

Many towns and villages have wonderful floral displays, mostly, but not exclusively, in the summer months. Even though times are financially difficult, they still consider it important to make the effort to decorate their urban spaces, re-affirming what we gardeners already know, that trees plants and flowers are absolutely essential to our well being. It is a fact that even the most humble display has the capacity to lift our spirits. 

If your town, village or city has made the effort to plant trees and flowers, please tell us about it. We would be delighted to see your pictures and put them in the magazine.

Reported by Liz Thompson  

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