GARDENERS are battling to beat the drought in Huddersfield.
And nowhere more so than at Bradley, where Kirklees Council staff are faced with keeping hundreds of thousands of plants watered.
They are growing on the bedding plants ready to plant out in parks, gardens and hanging baskets in the coming weeks.
That’s why nursery manager Paul Marshall is perhaps the only man in Huddersfield who’d love to see some heavy rain!
“I know people are enjoying this good weather, but we could really do with three or four days of consistent, heavy rain,” he said.
“The ground is extremely dry and dusty and it will take a considerable amount of rain to do any good in the flowerbeds in our parks.
“We have already planted out some of the basic background plants and our staff are working flat out to ensure they are watered.
“It is very difficult as they have to get large supplies of water to the gardens and then ensure all the plants have enough water.
“We are not too badly off down at the nurseries in Bradley as we have a very good irrigation system and that is helping us get the summer plants ready.
“They will be going out towards the end of May and into early June.”
Nursery staff are growing hundreds of thousands of plants.
They include tens of thousands of African marigolds and French marigolds, as well as more than 100,000 geraniums.
There are also petunias, lobelia and hyacinth among the many now starting to come to life at Bradley.
Mr Marshall said: “Last year we planted out at a very dry time, but we were lucky that we then got a lot of rain, which went on well into the summer.
“Frost is also a concern at this time of year and we have some cold nights forecast. That’s why we don’t put our plants out until early June, even though people see bedding plants in the shops weeks earlier.
“Councillors have asked us to put on a good show in our parks and gardens and, despite some financial cutbacks, that’s what we plan to do.
“We also hope to have a colourful display of hanging baskets in our town centres and many businesses have ordered supplies of those to put outside their premises.”