This page is a listed resource at Hassle Free.
The images are my own copyright and you may use or modify them in your personal, non-commercial artwork. I do not require a link back if you use them on a webpage, unless it is your policy to do that, but the images must not be claimed as your own work, offered for sale, or used in images which are offered for sale.
Royal Leamington Spa is a town set in the most beautiful gardens. All the year round they attract visitors, but in the height of summer they are outstanding.
Their beauty in the summer of 1998 is all the more remarkable when you consider that on Good Friday they were under several feet of water when the River Leam burst its banks and flooded the town centre. There is a link button at the bottom of this page to the pictures and account of the devastation of that day.
By summer the fences and walls damaged by the floods had been repaired and the gardens returned to their usual splendour.
But in Leamington Spa, in summer, the gardens are not the only place where you will see flowers. Each year Leamington enters the Britain in Bloom competition, which searches for the town best decorated with flowers. In 1997, Leamington won the area contest and was narrowly beaten into second place by St. Helier, Jersey, in the national contest. This year a huge effort has been made to see if we can gain those few extra points and become national champions.
So there are flowers everywhere. Huge columns of blooms rise up out of flower beds alongside the pavement in the main shopping street.
Every lampost wears hanging baskets, and even the traffic islands and central reservations are transformed into flower beds.
At the height of the flooding the bandstand was a forlorn little island in the middle of a lake. Now it too has its hanging baskets, and even the Victoria Bridge over the river has blossomed.
The windows and balcony of the Town Hall are decorated, and Queen Victoria, surrounded by a sea of flowers, looks on benignly as a jazz band entertains passers-by from the balcony of the Regency Arcade.
Whatever the outcome of the Britain in Bloom contest, Royal Leamington Spa has, in the summer of 1998, more than lived up to its reputation of being the town in a garden.