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Bloomin' Lovely - Horticultural Exhibition Unearthed at History Shop
Thursday 26th October, 2006

Bloomin' Lovely - Horticultural Exhibition Unearthed at History Shop
Mesnes Park in bloom.

A 'Bloomin' Lovely' exhibition celebrating the natural wonder of botany, gardening and vegetable cultivation is on display now at the History Shop, Wigan.

Running through to 20th January 2007, the exhibition charts the horticultural history of Wigan Borough ranging from the rolling countryside of Haigh Hall through to public parks, private gardens and allotments.

Yvonne Webb, Collections Development Manager, for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust said, "The cultivation of plants has been essential to us since Neolithic times. This exhibition looks at the importance of plants for food, medicines, pleasure, and even social control! It is both photographic and textual and delves into the development of the 'garden' from the 19th century through to the present day. The sociological element is very interesting. Modern council housing brought about the idea of private gardens and records show that many of the healthy living objectives of today were also at the heart of the Victorian ideal."

The exhibition is ideal for those with a particular interest in horticulture and local history in general. One of the most interesting facts revealed is the startling increase in the number of botanical societies which flourished in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Similarly, 'Bloomin' Lovely' documents the war years and the years of economic depression in the 20th century, when authorities turned to horticulture to provide food, work and hope for thousands of people.

Yvonne continued, "The growth of botanical societies and horticultural competitions encouraged neat and tidy gardens and helped to increase civic pride and care for the environment. During the war years and the years of economic depression in the 20th century, authorities turned to horticulture to provide food, work and hope for thousands of people. Today, many of us garden to relieve the stress of modern life, it has developed into the multi-million pound industry"

The 'Bloomin' Lovely' exhibition is at the History Shop, Library Street, Wigan through to 20th January 2007. For further details call 01942 828128 or visit www.wlct.org/heritage.



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