Planting has begun this month in Gainsborough with a unique daffodil bulb, developed to commemorate next year's anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.
The Springfields Horticultural Society (SHS), based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, has produced the bulbs. The organisation is dedicated to the promotion, study and practice of horticulture, in particular the cultivation and development of flowers grown from bulbs and corms.
David Norton, Chief Executive of the SHS and secretary of the British Flower Bulb Association, said: "The idea of naming a daffodil to promote the Mayflower 400 anniversary events in 2020 was to help raise the profile of Lincolnshire’s daffodil growing industry, as well as supporting all those taking part in the Mayflower activities.
"I am hopeful the planned events next year will help bring communities together in commemoration and create renewed interest in the story of the Pilgrims' voyage in 1620.
"When the Mayflower 400 daffodils come into bloom next spring then maybe this will generate some questions about where the bulbs came from, and we can proudly say “Lincolnshire”, just like some of the original Pilgrims."
All Saints Parish Church
One thousand bulbs are being planted by Tivoli in locations around the town including the riverside area and adjacent to All Saints Parish Church.
The bulbs are expected to flower towards the end of March / early April, in time for the start of a programme of events which will take place across the Pilgrim Roots region.
Anna Scott, Mayflower Officer at West Lindsey District Council, said: "We are delighted to be able to take part in this unique project and look forward to the bulbs coming in to bloom next year.
"Not only will we be able to enjoy them during the commemorative year, they will act as a lasting legacy bringing communities together to remember Gainsborough’s link to this national story for many years to come."
Gainsborough has a special connection to the Mayflower anniversary, as Separatist movements originated in this region that led them on their journey to America.
A group of Separatists were thought to have worshipped in secret at Gainsborough Old Hall – now regarded as one of the best-preserved medieval manor houses in Britain.
The United Reformed Church in Gainsborough also stands as a memorial to John Robinson, pastor of the Mayflower Pilgrims. He was one of the founders of the Separatist movements and a leader in the planning of the voyage to America.
An exciting programme of events has been planned for the next 12 months, which was started by the town’s Illuminate parade in November 2019. It will offer an engaging, educational and insightful range of activities, exhibitions and events throughout 2020 for local residents and visitors alike.
For more information visit www.discovergainsborough.com/pilgrim-roots and look for the Mayflower 400 2020 Programme.
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