Meet the 93-year-old brightening up his town with home grown tomatoes

Owen and Annette James raising money for a new gardening club at Robert Kett Court. Photo: Submitted

Owen and Annette James raising money for a new gardening club at Robert Kett Court. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A 93-year-old man with a passion for homegrown tomatoes was just one of hundreds of people who came together to brighten up their town centre and fight isolation.

Flowers planted for Wymondham in Bloom 2019 at Howards Cucles. Photo: Submitted

Flowers planted for Wymondham in Bloom 2019 at Howards Cucles. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Volunteers from the community run Wymondham in Bloom campaign spent the bank holiday visiting local businesses to encourage them to take part in the 2019 competition by creating flower displays in the town.

In previous years colourful arrangements have been placed in wellington boots, suitcases, chests of drawers and even shoes.

The Wymondham Town Team said one of the most important aspects of the project was to connect members of the community.

One person using the event to connect with others in the town was 93-year-old Owen James, who launched a gardening club for residents at a care scheme.

Flowers planted for Wymondham in Bloom 2019 at the Green Dragon pub. Photo: Submitted

Flowers planted for Wymondham in Bloom 2019 at the Green Dragon pub. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant


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For 60 years Mr James looked after a large garden in Bunwell, growing vegetables and flowers and said he missed the outside work.

Together with his daughter Annette James, the pair sold tomato plants they had seeded to raise start-up funds for a monthly gardening club at Robert Kett Court, raising more than £120.

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Mr James said: "I really enjoyed selling tomato plants again, it was just like the old days for me.

"I'm going to raise more plants and vegetables for a stall at the Summer Fete in July and I'd like us to pot up summer planters for any residents who would like some colour outside their windows."

Flowers planted for Wymondham in Bloom 2019 at Pasta Gusto. Photo: Submitted

Flowers planted for Wymondham in Bloom 2019 at Pasta Gusto. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Mr James is planning on joining forces with Wymondham Town Team to revamp a courtyard area at the scheme for the Anglia in Bloom competition in July.

Mrs James said: "In addition to the extra plants to sell we had donations of house plants for residents' rooms and money. One lady, who was missing her grandfather and his advice after he passed away last year, gave dad a hug and thanked him for the plants. It was lovely to see the two of them together and just what I hoped would happen."

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