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First touches to new city twinning garden put in place

PUBLISHED: 16:06 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 17 June 2019

Friends of Norwich in Bloom and Koblenz Friendship Association members, prepare to plant plants representing Norwich's twin cities at the city's new twinning garden at All Saints Church in Westlegate, under the stained glass and wood sculpture. From left, back, Jo Chiddick, Rosemary Duff, Jill Noble, Beryl Blower, Chris Higgins and Waltraud Jarrold. Front, Kathleen Rowlands, and George Ishmael.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Friends of Norwich in Bloom and Koblenz Friendship Association members, prepare to plant plants representing Norwich's twin cities at the city's new twinning garden at All Saints Church in Westlegate, under the stained glass and wood sculpture. From left, back, Jo Chiddick, Rosemary Duff, Jill Noble, Beryl Blower, Chris Higgins and Waltraud Jarrold. Front, Kathleen Rowlands, and George Ishmael. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

The first touches to a city garden celebrating the relationships between Norwich and its twins have been lovingly put in place.

Rosemary Duff ready to plant some sunflowers representing Novi Sad, at the city's new twinning garden at All Saints Church in Westlegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRosemary Duff ready to plant some sunflowers representing Novi Sad, at the city's new twinning garden at All Saints Church in Westlegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The churchyard of All Saints Church is in the process of being transformed by the Friends of Norwich in Bloom into a twinning garden - honouring the special relationships the city has with Rouen, Novi Sad, Koblenz and El Viejo.

The project was the brainchild of former lord mayor Beryl Blower and has been in the pipeline for a number of years.

However, with its centre piece now in place and its first plants bedded, the garden will soon be abloom with colour as it overlooks All Saints' Green.

Mrs Blower said: "The idea has taken a long time to come to life - to start with it was a bit of a struggle to find the right place for it.

The stained glass and wood sculpture standing in the new twinning garden at All Saints Church at Westlegate, where Friends of Norwich in Bloom and Koblenz Friendship Association members are planting plants from Norwich's twin cities. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe stained glass and wood sculpture standing in the new twinning garden at All Saints Church at Westlegate, where Friends of Norwich in Bloom and Koblenz Friendship Association members are planting plants from Norwich's twin cities. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"However, twinning is so important so we were keen to
find a way of raising awareness of it."

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The garden features flowers and plants native to the partner cities, including cornflowers for Koblenz, irises for Rouen and sunflowers for Novi Sad - though sourcing a plant to represent the city's Nicaraguan twin has proved somewhat problematic.

However, seeing her vision come to life will have added poignancy for Mrs Blower - with a bench due to be dedicated in it to her late husband Roy, who died last month.

George Ishmael and Waltraud Jarrold, plant a vine from Koblenz at the city's new twinning garden at All Saints Church in Westlegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGeorge Ishmael and Waltraud Jarrold, plant a vine from Koblenz at the city's new twinning garden at All Saints Church in Westlegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She said: "I think Roy would be delighted - he was involved in the Friends for a long time, so it will be a very fitting tribute to him.

"I am thrilled to see it all come together."

The centre piece of the garden is a 10ft wooden and stained glass structure, originally designed in 2011 as an entrant into the German flower festival Bundesgartenschau, which that year was hosted in Koblenz.

George Ishmael, its designer, said he was proud to see it on display in the city at long last.

Kathleen Rowlands, left, and Beryl Blower, with some crocosmia plants which are being planted by Friends of Norwich in Bloom and Koblenz Friendship Association members, at the city's new twinning garden at All Saints Church in Westlegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYKathleen Rowlands, left, and Beryl Blower, with some crocosmia plants which are being planted by Friends of Norwich in Bloom and Koblenz Friendship Association members, at the city's new twinning garden at All Saints Church in Westlegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It is hoped the garden will have its official opening on Friday, July 5, with visitors from French twin Rouen coming to the city to mark the occasion.

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