Octopus star of blooming Felixstowe

WITH its enormous tentacles clawing over a boat swaying on a sea of flowers, a giant floral octopus is the centre of Felixstowe's 2002 Britain in Bloom bid.

WITH its enormous tentacles clawing over a boat swaying on a sea of flowers, a giant floral octopus is the centre of Felixstowe's 2002 Britain in Bloom bid.

The huge colourful three-D flower structure is gaining admiring looks from many seafront visitors – and attracting people from all over the area to the resort to see it.

Each summer, Suffolk Coastal council produces a fantastic floral sculpture for the beds in front of the town's leisure centre as part of its entry into the Anglia in Bloom awards.

Felixstowe has achieved great success over the past decade and more often than not has been judged the region's best floral town.

Last year it went a step further and won the premiere trophy – and this time will be in the national Britain in Bloom finals.

The octopus came under scrutiny from town and district councillors and officials as the annual Felixstowe in Flower scheme, supported by the Evening Star and sponsoring businesses from all over the town, was launched.

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Mayor Malcolm Minns said the civic gardens on the seafront and in the town centre again looked tremendous and everyone was hopeful of more success.

"A fantastic amount of work has gone into the displays and they are looking really good – and we feel sure the judges will be impressed," he said.

Mr Minns, accompanied by his wife Josephine, the mayoress, and Felixstowe carnival queen Faye Lloyd, launched the town's bid for floral glory.

The entry is a partnership between the town, county and district councils, and also local gardeners and businesses who spruce up their gardens and premises.

Felixstowe in Flower, run by the town council, has attracted more than 100 sponsors this year.

The scheme features 180 hanging baskets, tubs and saddle boxes, and a town floral trail, plus competitions for private gardeners and businesses, schools and allotment holders.

Suffolk Coastal's 3D attraction on Pier Bight has over the years included a working lighthouse, dolphin, cart and horse and a water-spitting sea serpent.

This year's was again designed by parks and gardens chief Eddie Peters, with the metal frame structure made by Alec and Steve Jacobs of Kirton Forge.

"It does become harder each year to think of a centrepiece. It's a great challenge though and a lot of fun. We get a really good response from the public who really enjoy them and come from many miles to see them," said Mr Peters.

"We are especially pleased with the octopus and we shall probably leave him here all winter, planted with pansies and other early spring flowers, to make the most of him."

The Anglia in Bloom judges are due to visit the resort next week and the Britain in Bloom assessors will arrive next month.



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