RESIDENTS are welcoming Gilbert the dragon back to Salisbury, as well as a record breaking number of floral displays.

More than 400 floral displays have been put up around the city this week, and window boxes, flower towers and planters will also be making an appearance, including five new three-tier planters in High Street.

And officially marking the start of summer in the city, Gilbert has once again taken up residence outside the Guildhall, and will be the face of Salisbury City Council's activities area during the Armed Forces Day National Event.

The flower dragon first appeared in Salisbury in 1999, and standing at around eight foot tall, is made up of colourful bedding plants.

Supported by Salisbury BID, Salisbury City Council and local businesses, the colour theme this year for the floral displays is red, white and blue, in celebration of National Armed Forces Day at the end of the month.

Councillor Sven Hocking, chairman of the city council’s environmental working group, said he is "delighted" with the record breaking number of floral decorations around the city, adding: "They will make an outstanding backdrop to the range of summer events taking place this year.”

Robin McGowan, chief executive of Salisbury BID, added: “Enhancing the appearance of the city is one of the BID’s key priorities.

"We’re pleased to have worked in partnership with the city council to increase the number of businesses taking part in the floral displays this year. We look forward to seeing Salisbury looking beautiful in full bloom.”

To engage with Gilbert the dragon on his social media channels, visit his Facebook page or Twitter.