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The 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens is being marked this summer with help from dazzling floral displays created by Plantscape.
A newly painted signpost welcoming visitors to the village of Higham in Kent, where Dickens spent the last 13 years of his life, has been embellished with planters filled with red geraniums – Dickens’ favourite flower.
And it was unveiled this month by the (socially distanced) Gravesham Mayor and Higham parish councillors, who met to celebrate the life and legacy of the village’s most famous resident.
Higham Parish Council clerk Linda Carnall said the council had chosen Plantscape to supply the planters because of its unique product, first-rate service and helpful advice.
“We have already had many compliments paid by parishioners who feel that your product shows off our sign to perfection. Let’s hope that these photos may inspire new customers to come forward with, for example, pub signs which would also benefit from a colourful floral display.”
Mayor Coun John Caller added: “The sign looks fantastic with its blaze of colour. You should all be applauded for looking after the village for everyone to enjoy and celebrate being part of Charles Dickens’ legacy.”
The great writer lived, wrote many of his works, and died at Gads Hill Place, now a private school.
Dickens adored the Kent countryside, walking an average of 12 miles a day regardless of the weather, and used the area’s buildings and landmarks as inspiration for many of the people and places in his novels. Perhaps the most famous was the desolate marshland of Great Expectations.
Acquiring the house had been a childhood dream which came true in exchange for £1,790 in the 1850s. He often umpired cricket matches for villagers on his meadow, part of his 26-acre estate, and is buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.
While physical celebrations of the writer’s life have had to be cancelled for obvious reasons, a range of virtual activities such as quizzes, tours and play previews are still taking place.
And of course, the glorious floral displays will be there for residents and visitors to enjoy throughout the summer, a constant reminder of one of Britain’s most popular authors and the village’s most well-regarded residents.