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Brum's blooming beautiful; Tiptoeing through the tulips, angels and past a gorilla FLORAL TRAIL.

Byline: By Jasbir Authi

VISITORS strolling through Birmingham could be mistaken for thinking they were in a magical garden.

A steam train, a manga ray, a pair of angels, fish, a peeping gorilla and even Mary Poppins are among the dozens of stunning floral displays which are enchanting people in the city centre.

The colourful arrangements reflect the city's heritage and include towering chimney stacks, the manta ray which represents the National Sea Life Centre, Cadbury's chocolate display complete with gorilla, while handbags and flowers pay tribute to Birmingham's growing reputation as a shopping Mecca.

The beautiful floral and basket creations are the brainchild of the City Centre Partnership and has been entered into the 'Regeneration' category of the Heart of England in Bloom competition.

The results of the competition won't be announced until next month but until then, visitors can enjoy the 2.7 mile long planting and floral displays which covers Broad Street, Brindley place, the Mailbox, New Street, the Bullring, St Philip's Cathedral and the Jewellery Quarter.

Jenny Inglis, City Centre Partnership director, said: "We are trying to make the city centre more attractive at a time when there are lots of visitors. Entering a competition has made us raise our game a little bit.

"The theme of the trail is local roots and Cadbury's chocolate in Centenary Square links our relationship with the factory.

"The angels outside Birmingham Cathedral reflects the Edward Burne-Jones stained glass window in the Cathedral.

"We have retail sculptures like handbags, watches and shoes which shows how shopping has developed."

One of the trail's biggest draws is the steam engine which Steam Engine at St Paul's Church, Jewellery Quarter, which was the parish church for James Watt and Matthew Boulton.

SOLIHULL IN BLOOM: PAGE 17

CAPTION(S):

WALKING WITH ANGELS... a man is pictured next to the angels in the grounds of St Philip's Cathdral. Pictures by Loretta Brennan Photo Ref.: LB310708flor-2; HANDBAGS AND GLADRAGS... a handbag in New Street. Photo Ref.: LB310708flor-6; MONKEY BUSINESS... a gorilla in Centenary Square. Photo Ref.: LB310708flor-15; WHEELY GOOD... Amy Moore and Celeste Coelho.; LAWNMOWER MAN... the Great Charles Street sculpture; SPOONFUL OF SUGAR... Amy Thorne, 5, and Mollie Emberton, 7, with Mary Poppins in Victoria Square.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 6, 2008
Words:371
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