Vale Council Parks Department staff busy planting herbacious plants on the Clock Roundabout today

Vale Council Parks Department staff busy planting herbaceous plants and wildflowers on the Clock Roundabout today

Penarth’s hitherto barren Clock Roundabout – the iconic central hub of the town which describes itself as the “Garden by the Sea” – is finally getting some flowers planted on it today.   

Throughout the Spring and Summer months there’ve been complaints that the roundabout  – which in previous years has traditionally always hosted attractive displays of colourful bedding plants – has just been left as bare soil by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The marigolds and primroses which local people had sown on the roundabout before being removed

In  August this year these marigolds and primroses which local people had sown on the roundabout were summarily removed by the council. The roundabout has been bare most of the year.

Attempts by environmentalists to plant their own marigolds  on the roundabout were foiled in August  when  their plants were either uprooted by council staff or sprayed with powerful weedkiller to remove them.

The council had claimed that it wasn’t able to plant anything on the roundabout this year because of work being done  to install three Christmas Tree sockets for Penarth Town Council. (There will be three smaller trees on the roundabout this Christmas rather than just one large tree)

Vale Council Parks Staff digging in the new herbacious and wildflower displays and the roundabout - which will pretty-much look after themselves

Vale Council parks staff digging in the new herbaceous and wildflower displays on the roundabout today . The plants will pretty-much look after themselves

The Vale Council has also told Penarth Town Councillors that it has moved from planting traditional bedding displays to planting wildflowers and herbaceous plants instead which need relatively little attention.  The council says this is more economical to maintain and requires less commercial weedkiller.

The Vale Council’s Parks Officer Adam Sargeant has told Penarth Councillors that its part of the council ‘s policy of  “swopping seasonal bedding areas for wildflower areas” . The  new wildflower and herbaceous areas involve much less maintenance than traditional formal flower displays. It also eliminates the annual cost of buying-in bedding plants

A lorry load of new potted wildflowers and herbaceous plants was being installed today

A lorry load of new potted wildflowers and herbaceous plants was being installed today

There are however downsides with wildflower displays – one of which, as Mr Sargeant explained, is that the seeds don’t necessarily regenerate every year . However he says that “the public have loved wildflower displays more than anyone had ever thought “.

Mr Sargeant told Penarth Councillors that the Italian Gardens had now been replanted with geraniums which prevented what had been a continual “drain on resources”. Mr Sargeant said there was still “a  place for formal bedding” and a place for what he called “interest”.

Some of the wilflowers now been planted out on the roundabout

Some of the wildflowers now been planted out on the roundabout

The change of policy reduces the cost of buying in bedding plants and the labour costs involved and also cuts down on the use of chemical sprays.

He also said that the change has also assisted the council to reduce the amount of weedkiller or pesticide it uses. The Vale of Glamorgan now uses 150 litres of chemical every year  of which 80 litres is “glyphosate” – an approved  professional Monsanto commercial weedkiller.

Mr Sargeant said glyphosate was classified as “may have carcinogenic potential” – but no more so than “coffee and bacon” .



About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Penileaks says:

    Nice to see something finally being done about our barren town centre roundabout and about time too !
    I’ve recently returned from a short trip to SW France and I was amazed by every roundabout I came across being beautifully manicured and covered in flowers, bushes and small trees. I’m not sure how the local councils manage to afford it when their local taxes are so much less than those that we have to pay, possibly they have more funds from central government, but however they manage it, every roundabout I came across was a sight to behold compared to our previously poor example in Penarth centre.

  2. e roberts says:

    just in time to be trampled all over when they put up the Christmas trees?

  3. Anne Greagsby says:

    Planting wild flowers from a greenhouse in late Oct? Definitely an election coming up. Did they leave a space for the Xmas trees or will they be digging it all up again next week? Hope there’s some marigolds!?

  4. sjleworthy says:

    just in time to be killed off by the winter freeze as well 🙂

  5. Mgg says:

    The hard standing and electrics for the trees are in place and wont trample on other stuff so now is the time for othr planting . All things done in order . The shrubs at Penarth head will look good . When’s the election ? Next May ? Hardly a vote grabbing measure is it?

  6. Andrew Worsley says:

    They just haven’t a clue .

  7. Gary Soltys says:

    …so many negative people in Penarth willing to find fault with everything the authorities do – or are you just the loud minority – I suspect so…well done Vale of Glamorgan for taking such an innovative approach. Herbaceous plantings like these are ideal for locations like this. Good for wildlife as well as lower maintenance. It’s a shame it’s taken so long but let’s give the council credit when it’s due instead of constantly knocking those that have to make decisions on our behalf. Have a debate by all means but less of the cynicism would certainly be a more mature and intellectual approach. Collaboration with our councils on many issues is the way forward in times of reducing budgets. Is that asking too much??

    • Eyes and Ears says:

      Negative but realistic. What is Innovative about planting some flowers on a roundabout? The Wonky Christmas tree will soon be up and will be a featured story on here. A few lights thrown over the top to add to the character. Place your bets on the flowers/tree being vandalised at some point in the next 2 months. CCTV will help us though.

    • Woowoo Wizzywoo says:

      Gary, for some, the glass will always be half empty. There’s never a real problem with constructive criticism, but this destructive criticism is often irrational and unfocussed, like a scattershot from a blunderbuss, missing the target but hitting peripheral issues. Criticism is fair and rational on many occasions, but it could easily be balanced with credit when that is due. That rarely happens in these comments.

    • Christopher David says:

      So knocking a council that uproots or sprays (with poison) flowers planted by the public is a bad thing eh Mr Soltys. Penileaks yes SW France is ablaze and in some cases the “villagers” help out. Lots of pride and care in the villages towns and cities.

    • Well said thank you!

    • Woowoo Wizzywoo says:

      I rest my case. There’s a distinct possibility that Christopher David has not actually read the part about collaboration with councils, and as a seasoned francophile (and dedicated oenophile), applies different judgements to our local councils against the example of France. The vine is often greener on the other side (of La Manche).

  8. Peter Church says:

    Why don’t plant some cannabis? as every second young person you walk past, you get that ‘sweet’ smell. At least then, Penarth would have its very own supply, not having to rely on Barry.

  9. Gary Soltys says:

    Happy to engage in the debate that my comment seems to have raised. Christopher the point I’m making is that discussion on these comments pages are rarely balanced and for that reason the majority of people disengage in discussion of relevance to Penarth which is a shame. Like you no doubt, I can also reel off a whole list of issues and actions that the Vale council have in my humble opinion missed the mood or needs of the people that live and work in Penarth, however, many of the key issues that the council need to be seriously challenged about are lost amongst the mass of negative comment on just about everything – good or bad, some of which is unfounded. I don’t intend to get into the pros and cons of the roundabout planting scheme but I do think those that can only criticise without being constructive should also be willing and able to comment when positive action is taken.Without such a balanced approach, the comments of several individuals lack any credibility or maturity and appear as just a superficial rant. That’s how I see it..

  10. The Tax payer says:

    Think the VofG is taking the ? out of Penarth and the town council who seem to have no teeth and no power. It’s a complete joke and you couldn’t write it 😎

  11. Max Wallis says:

    Your “glycosate” surely means “glyphosate”, commonly sold as Monsanto’s “Roundup”.
    It’s an organophosphorus compound, notorious in old sheep-dips in causing damage to the nervous systems of farmers who became sensitised (allergic) to it.
    The World Health Organisation’s IARC is the pre-eminent authority on cancer-causing chemicals; they classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic in humans” early in 2015. The Vale Council officer does not quote their verdict, but that of the industry-influenced European FSA who tried to over-rule the WHO with “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic threat to humans” (Nov.2015) from a limited number of studies, largely by industry which looked solely at the active substance glyphosate. In practice “Roundup” and “Weedol” contain other activating chemicals and the EFSA report admitted some glyphosate-containing formulations are probably carcinogenic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate
    The EU Commission then extended the license for glyphosate combinations but only until the end of 2017. They added certain recommendations for its use ##to ban the co-formulant, POE-tallowamine ## to reinforce scrutiny of farmer’s use of glyphosate just before harvest and ## to minimise its use in specific areas, such as public parks and playgrounds.
    The Vale Council claims glyphosate has “approval”, using 80 litres of the herbicide (!). They claim to minimise herbicide use, yet they sprayed the weeds and marigolds on the roundabout just to counter embarrassment over their failure to plant flowers. Glyphosate destroys not only plants, but also micro-life in the soil https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/glyphosate-debate. Its use by farmers a week or so pre-harvest on wheat and other grain crops – to accelerate ripening and increase yeild – results in glyphosate residues in foods (30% of non-organic bread).

  12. Christopher David says:

    Well done PDN insisting on a proper email address for Horridtorrid- and a perfect IP match with !!!! eh 😉

Comments are closed.