Belfast Telegraph

The road to go for Diarmuid

By Nuala McKeever

We don’t, as a rule, rush to heap praise upon our fellow man and woman in this part of the world.

But I feel moved to praise the people responsible for the flowers in a certain part of Belfast. In the median strip of the dual carriageway between the top of the Cregagh Road and the big Tesco, Castlereagh Council have spent time and money planting a fantastic swathe of red poppies in one place and beautiful lavender in another. A veritable Feast in the East. a riot of colour.

(We’re used to seeing celebrity gardeners like Diarmuid Gavin creating glorious technicolour gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show, but to have our humble roadsides transformed is equally cheering). In this era of public service austerity, it’s fantastic that they haven’t cut the flowers, as it were.

For the thousands of people driving past them, these natural beauties are so uplifting, their value could hardly be measured.

What price can you put on being moved to remember the brave men of the First World War everytime you see a poppy waving in the breeze? To recall, with gratitude, that you’re alive.

What’s it worth in mental health terms, to smell the lavender when you’ve stopped at the lights, to be treated to beauty, for free, without asking for it,because someone had the vision to realise that not every benefit in life has to be measured with a statistic? Well done, whoever you are, thank you and may your planting hands never cease.

Belfast Telegraph

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