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Mole Valley residents asked to co-ordinate gardens for Olympic cycling route

By Leatherhead Advertiser  |  Posted: October 31, 2011

Olympic organisers want colour coordinated gardens to line the route

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GREEN-FINGERED residents have been asked to match official Olympic colours when planning their gardens for next year.

Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) has sent out a request from the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) on how to ensure front gardens match the colours of the games.

The e-mail was sent to residents' associations and parish councils along the Olympic cycle race route, advising on plant colours, shapes and species.

It read: "As many of you may know LOCOG has tight control over how the Games will look – including use of the Olympic logo, advertising along or close to the route and how the route is dressed.

"MVDC, Surrey County Council and LOCOG are already thinking about this last aspect and we have received guidance from LOCOG on the issue of route dressing."

Reaction to the e-mail has been mixed.

Richard Roberts-Miller, chairman of Mickleham Parish Council, says he is more concerned about visitor numbers, crowd control and access for emergency services than plants.

He added: "I felt that there might be other things higher up their priority list than what we plant in our gardens."

The suggested colour scheme is based on the London 2012 logo, which includes green, blue, purple, orange, pink and yellow.

Mickleham and Westhumble Horticultural Society chairman Judy Kinloch said: "It sounds just disgusting. I mean you can get plants all those colours, but I can't believe it will look harmonious.

"My feeling is that it's all a bit over the top. It's not really their place to be telling people what to plant."

But Box Hill and Headley councillor and Box Hill parish council chairman David Preedy thinks the advice is well-intentioned.

He said: "If gardening clubs are doing hanging baskets, for instance, why not do an Olympic theme? I think it's a great way to get people involved and embrace the spirit of the Games.

"All you need to do is buy a pack of seeds and you can take part, so it's an easy way to get engaged."

MVDC chief executive Darren Mepham said: "Our aim is to support groups such as parish councils and residents' associations which would like information and support about the games, whilst also respecting the views of those who are looking to either mark the occasion in their own way or are not planning to celebrate the games."

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