Surrey residents with front gardens along the route of next year’s Olympic Road Race are being urged to say it with flowers by creating floral displays in colours matching the London 2012 logo - green, blue, purple, orange, pink and yellow – a combination that one local horticultural enthusiast has described as “disgusting.”
Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) has relayed a request to co-ordinate front gardens from the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to parish councils and residents’ associations, together with tips about the type and shape of plants that can be used.
According to the website This Is Surrey, an email sent to the organisations concerned reads: "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."
Judy Kinloch, chairman of the Mickleham and Westhumble Horticultural Society, left no room for doubt about her opinion of how the suggested colours would work together.
"It sounds just disgusting,” she told This Is Surrey. “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."
Meanwhile, Richard Roberts-Miller, chairman of Mickleham Parish Council, pointed out that the issue was of secondary importance compared to tasks such as managing spectators and ensuring access for the emergency services.
"I felt that there might be other things higher up their priority list than what we plant in our gardens," he explained.
There is some support for the proposal, however, David Preedy, councillor for But Box Hill and Headley and chairman of Box Hill parish council, commented: "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."
Darren Mepham, chief executive of MVDC, added: "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."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.