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Bury St Edmunds to see more sustainable approach to floral display thanks to new Bury in Bloom coordinator





The new Bury in Bloom coordinator is hoping to change up this year’s summer display by putting sustainability firmly at the top of the agenda.

Chris Wiley, who lives near Stowmarket, is taking over the reins from former coordinator David Irvine and is hoping to follow in his predecessor’s success.

He said: “It’s a very exciting role that I’ve been looking forward to. I can’t wait to get stuck into it and continue Bury’s success.

Chris Wiley, the new Bury in Bloom coordinator, is hoping to change up this year's floral displays. Picture: Richard Marsham
Chris Wiley, the new Bury in Bloom coordinator, is hoping to change up this year's floral displays. Picture: Richard Marsham

“There’s lots of challenges and opportunities along the way and ones I look forward to seeing through.”

The 27-year-old has always been in the the horticultural industry, with his family having an agricultural background. He studied production horticulture at Otley College, whilst working at Harveys Garden Plants in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, which specialised in growing unusual plants. Now he runs his own business, Sustainable Plant Store – an online shop that sells sustainably grown plants and garden products.

And it is this passion he will bring into his new role.

Chris has always worked in the horticulture industry, previously working for Haverys Garden Plants in Thurston. Picture: Richard Marsham
Chris has always worked in the horticulture industry, previously working for Haverys Garden Plants in Thurston. Picture: Richard Marsham

“I would like to focus on the more sustainability side of things – adapting to our climate,” he added.

“I’m trying to reflect the seasons to show what can be done which doesn’t have to be high maintenance and recycling as much as possible.

“There are plant varieties out there that are much better suited and adapted to our UK climate conditions so it would be great to promote those in the beds which obviously means less watering for the town as well.

Chris hopes to use plants that can be used from one season to the next. Picture: Richard Marsham
Chris hopes to use plants that can be used from one season to the next. Picture: Richard Marsham

“I see the summer bedding plants – verbenas, pansies, violas – like the fast fashion industry. They’re great for one season but then they’re thrown out and then they’re replaced next year. I would like to see a style that maybe gets through winter a bit better, plants that can be kept from one season to another.”

Chris will continue the work of recycling rainwater and more rainwater tanks are being put in place in the coming weeks. He hopes that the team at Bury in Bloom will lead by example and inspire residents.

“I am very passionate about having great floral displays,” he said.

More rainwater tanks are being installed in the coming weeks. Picture: Richard Marsham
More rainwater tanks are being installed in the coming weeks. Picture: Richard Marsham

“I am dedicated to continuing Bury’s success. I’m looking to help promote plants to help people better understand what is suited to their gardens.

“Rather than concreting or putting in an area of patio in their gardens, they can fill it with plants that they don’t have to spend a lot of time, maintenance or money on.”