A GROUP of fun-loving pensioners have brightened up their road by planting 1,000 bulbs.

The residents association in Oaks Drive has transformed at unkempt corner of council-owned land into a stunning green space.

The group, most of them over 70, love all things gardening and enjoy lighthearted get-togethers.

They meet regularly for group talks, and their last meeting even featured a transgender garden gnome, a contestant in their best-dressed gnome competition.

Christine Beedle, 73, and her husband John, said the group had a lot of fun.

They used to maintain the corner of land until John was unable to keep it up.

As no-one was able to take over the job, it became overgrown- until ex-military pensioner Rex Farmer, who is over 80, took it upon himself to restore it to something beautiful.

Mr Farmer, 83, who was a top-ranking officer in the artillery, said: "The majority of Oaks Drive are in favour of what I have done, there were bushes and nettles there for about 20 metres, and I have spent the past 20 years keeping it in trim.

"We had quite a large collection of people from Oaks Drive representing us."

Using his initiative and drive, Mr Farmer dug the land out and has planted various shrubs and flowers.

Mrs Beedle said: "We try and look after the road really well, we couldn't buy the land from Highways but we looked after it.

"It went dramatically downhill, it was really overgrown, but Rex has done a phenomenal job.

"I bought 1,000 bulbs and I asked everyone to help plant them - I wanted to keep the spirit of Colchester and about eight people, all over 70, said they would help plant the bulbs.

"I thought it was super."

He left no stone unturned in making sure it reflected the residents' colourful personalities.

Mrs Beedle said: "He prepared the area for bulb planting with such precision, in true military fashion.

"He needs a huge pat on the back for doing this and it just shows you that with one person's initiative it can be done and everybody will back it."

The residents enjoyed coffee and cake as they worked away in the sunshine to plant the bulbs.

They are looking forward to the spring, when the road's true colours will show.