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Unloved parts of Ipswich transformed by 'plant geek'

The revamped flower beds in Ipswich. Picture: IPSWICH CENTRAL

The revamped flower beds in Ipswich. Picture: IPSWICH CENTRAL

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A self-confessed "plant geek" has helped transform empty and unloved flower beds in Ipswich - in a bid to make the town more attractive for visitors.

The revamped flower beds in Ipswich. Picture: IPSWICH CENTRALThe revamped flower beds in Ipswich. Picture: IPSWICH CENTRAL

Michael Perry has worked with the charity ActivLives to brighten some areas and make them "focal points of the town centre".

In particular he helped to create a "living graffiti" theme for the empty beds behind the Ipswich and Suffolk Club in Tower Street with golden and purple-leaved plants of different textures, helping to make a "really lively and fun collection of eye-catching plants".

The leading Suffolk gardener, who has a strong social media following as @mr_plantgeek and is regularly featured on national media for his work across the world, said: "With Ipswich being my home town, it's an honour to be using my expertise to develop some distinctive green areas in the town."

Mr Perry and ActivLives have also worked to improve the raised beds at the entrance to the Foundation Street car park and the beds opposite the Willis building.

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Sophie Alexander, manager for Ipswich Central business improvement district (BID) - which employed ActivLives and Mr Perry to do the work - said: "Whilst we often focus on reporting litter and graffiti, we also like to create partnerships to transform places.

"We were delighted when ActivLives and Michael matched our enthusiasm for this project and are so pleased to see these flower beds now in flower and becoming focal points of the town centre."

Robert Coppin, from the Ipswich and Suffolk Club, said: "Tower Street is a major entrance into Ipswich Town centre from Ramparts bus station.

"The planting is important to give a setting for the Ipswich and Suffolk Club and showcase to visitors that Ipswich cares for open areas.

"There can be nothing greater than to look upon the Ipswich and Suffolk Club and our civic church whilst the bells are ringing, surrounded by a beautiful planted area."

Ipswich Central represents more than 640 businesses within its BID Zone, which covers the University of Suffolk and Suffolk New College to the east to Crown Street car park and Crown Pools to the north, as well as the town centre.

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