The very first meeting at the current Ripon Racecourse site took place over 100 years ago, on 6th August 1900. Known as Yorkshire’s ‘Garden Racecourse’, Ripon has been named ‘Best Small Racecourse in the North’ by the Racegoers Club several times over the last few years.
In addition to staging exciting horse-racing meetings, having attractive grounds and vibrant floral displays is an important part of Ripon’s success with the public. Head groundsman Carl Tonks explains that Amberol’s self-watering planters are key to creating great displays that are easy to maintain.
Creating the Garden Racecourse
“We found Amberol by searching online,” he comments. “We liked the look of their products and the self-watering facility, so we decided to invest in the self-watering window boxes, some of which are located above signage in the main grandstand promoting us as the Garden Racecourse. In fact, I’d say that the Amberol window boxes really help us live up to that reputation.”
Carl explains how the self-watering function saves time and money as well as water.
“We now use around one seventh of the water that we previously used to maintain the displays. In addition, because of the in-built water reservoir, we no longer have run-off which previously was dirtying the areas below and causing a slip hazard. Watering less frequently has also reduced our labour and associated costs. The planters are very robust as well as sustainable, and have proved to be a real problem-solver.”
Going for Gold
Ripon Racecourse has a long history of success in the annual Yorkshire in Bloom competition with their Amberol planters playing an important part in the entry.
“We regularly receive a Gold award in the competition,” explains Carl. “The judges often comment on how good the planters look, combined with positive feedback about the sustainability feature. Also, most clients mention the planters as they really help us to create the wow factor around the racecourse.”
Three words that Ripon Racecourse use to describe Amberol’s products:
Not only does Carl rate the quality of Amberol’s self-watering planters; he also values the company’s high quality of customer service.
“Ged, our Amberol rep has been excellent. He has a great depth of knowledge, but is never pushy – this is one of the reasons why we first decided to buy from Amberol.”
Carl is also happy to endorse Amberol’s products and service saying:
“I’d recommend Amberol to anyone. The service has been second to none and the self-watering planters are good value. We are looking to purchase more containers and are currently looking at other products in the range.”
“With Amberol’s help we have been able to resolve an issue that had caused health and safety problems in the past, with the added bonus of being more cost effective in both the short and long term. We are delighted with the impact that Amberol’s products help us to create, and with the clear environmental benefits which underpin the company’s whole ethos.”
Topiary Art Designs make bespoke feature topiaries, willow and wicker sculptures and replica plant or artificial topiary sculptures which are in demand both in the UK and across the world. Owner and artist Steve Manning also makes stainless steel topiary frames in any design. In addition, the company offers a topiary shaping service and topiary plant sales from its Suffolk-based nursery.
Godalming is a historic market town in south west Surrey, 30 miles from London. Although the town hasn’t participated in this year’s Britain in Bloom, the council has organised its own ‘Floral Godalming’ event as it is important to residents, visitors and the local economy that floral displays are prominent and well-maintained in public areas.