It is fifty years since towns and villages began competing in Britain in Bloom, a national contest to spruce up our streets by filling them with flower displays and hanging baskets.
*Lucy Taylor looks back at how it has grown. *
The North East of England was one of a handful of regions to be involved in that very first year, and over the decades, the competition in this region has grown and grown.
Back then, it was local authorities who had the job of potting and planting, but more and more of us have joined in. Now, as councils tighten their budgets, the work of volunteers is more important than ever.
This year's contest Northumbria in Bloom was launched at Newcastle Racecourse. There are nearly 400 local communities taking part.