Tuesday, 13 April 2010
I've mentioned previously how awful I think Chippenham's roundabouts are, but never actually got round to showing any of them to you. As most of these mark a transition between countryside and urban areas, the standard approach seems to have been to throw together some trees and shrubs which just might be found nearby. This year a number of them have had a 'makeover': those that stand at the the entrance points to Chippenham have had a raised bed added over the past couple of weeks which are now filled with colourful Polyanthus with a Welcome to Chippenham plaque in the centre.
Yesterday the latest edition of the town council's newsletter Talk of the Town arrived which said under the heading Town Projects and Achievements:
As part of the town council's commitment to improving the quality of town life and its landscaped environment, residents will be pleased to see all the major routes into the town now benefit from enhanced florally decorated "Welcome to Chippenham" signs for its visitors and community, raising our profile as a major market town in Wiltshire.
Well, here's one resident who's feeling pretty ambivalent about them. On the one hand I've said how the town needs to do more to make people feel welcome, but this wasn't the solution I had in mind. I'd like something a little more co-ordinated rather than these 2 completely different styles thrust together, looking more 'plonked' than planned.
It would also be good if the overall scheme did more to reflect Chippenham's character or surroundings. Using species found in the locale is a start, but the above example shows there's more needed than that. I've found one example which uses a similar palette of plants, but in a more effective manner and echoing some of the features of the local landscape - more on this in a later post, once I've taken the photos to show you.
What do you think? Does your area have something better that we here in Chippenham can learn from? I've found a cracking example in Poole which I hope to photograph the next time we're there.
If you have a contribution for Out on the Streets this month, you'll find Mr Linky to add the link to your post here.