March 2, 2012 / 11:58 AM / 7 years ago

Ready, steady, grow for London 2012

LONDON (Reuters) - London Olympic organizers are asking gardeners to give British athletes some flower power this summer by planting flowers and vegetables in the national colors.

Britons are proud gardeners, with annual flower shows attracting large numbers of entrants and fierce competition.

Green-fingered residents are now being encouraged to grow red, white and blue flower beds to showcase Britain during this year’s Games which begin on July 27.

They are also being advised on how to plant the colors of the Olympic rings.

LOCOG, the Games’ organizers, has suggested a combination of colors and shapes, including pink dahlias, blue geraniums, yellow snapdragons, purple petunias and green carex.

Residents are also being asked to plant golden marigolds in their window boxes and hanging baskets along the 12,800 kms route of the Olympic torch relay.

LOCOG Chairman Seb Coe said it was a chance for a “nation of gardeners” to show their skills.

“(We) are using London 2012 as an opportunity to get friends, family and neighbors together to brighten up their area and build on our proud gardening heritage,” he said in a statement.

However, all is not coming up smelling of roses. Some residents in a village along the road cycle race in Surrey, southern England, objected to LOCOG’s advice.

The chairman of Mickleham parish council, Richard Roberts-Miller, was reported in the media late last year as saying he was unimpressed with the “order from on high” on how he should be doing his garden.

“Some people might wonder whether this should be high up the council’s agenda,” he was quoted as saying.

Reporting by Avril Ormsby, editing by Mark Meadows

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