Bradley Stoke in Bloom makeover for Willow Brook town square

Bradley Stoke in Bloom volunteers are welcomed by Willow Brook staff

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

The Common East
Following on from our last workday at The Common East, our insect hotel has been a real success! It has delighted both young and not so young and, each time we go back, we meet many local children who are all eager to learn about the different habitats we’ve created and keen to show us which is their favourite. The pond is looking so much better and as you peer over the edge you will see the sticklebacks darting for cover. We have been contacted by a local bee keeper, who is interested in placing two hives in the orchard. If this were possible it would be great that Bradley Stoke could boast of its own honey, as well as the bottled apple juice that we’re planning. In the spring we will return to plant more wild flowers.

October Workday
Inspired by our insect hotel, Holy Trinity School parents wanted to create their own and invited BSiB to help them with their big build. There was a big turnout of very enthusiastic builders and everything was going well until a delay in extra pallets arriving sadly forced the group to stop for a very welcome tea and doughnut break! The children, who were all members of the allotment club, really enjoyed themselves and soon became very proficient in using saws and hammers. To complete the new hotel, strawberry plants and a fabulous painted sign were added.

While Gill and Sara were eating doughnuts, Sarah was busy pruning the Brook Way herb garden and Ceri & Andy were at the Manor Farm roundabout, planting Daffodil bulbs in the verges and looking after the flower bed. It’s surprising just how many weeds can grow in only a few weeks, but it is again looking amazing and has received many compliments. BSiB were also often thanked for cutting back the overhanging bramble and bushes that crowded the path. In November we return to our usual public workday, when we will again tackle the garden behind the Doctors’ surgery on Brook Way. Please come and join us, even if you can only manage a couple of hours.

We are very pleased that the town council has now been able to offer us a new storage facility and hope to soon fill it with shiny new tools! And we would like to thank Willow Brook Manager Andy Wynn and Tesco Manager Kevin Vickery for supporting our Halloween Pumpkin Carving Competition; Andy for hosting it and Kevin for donating pumpkins and goody bags.

New Partnership
We are very pleased to announce our new working partnership with the Willow Brook Centre and Almondsbury Garden Centre (AGC). Inspired by our ‘welcome’ planters, the town centre now boasts five large wooden planters, which are low enough to also be used as seating. AGC Manager Richard Truscott has generously donated all the compost and plants for this project and today the first three planters were completed. One has become a herb garden with some innovative additions, the second is bursting with winter cyclamen in a riot of colour and the third has many different types of heuchera which have such delightful names as ‘Alabama Sunrise,’ ‘Stormy Sea’ and ‘Plum Pudding!’ Under planted are tulips, snowdrops, crocuses and alliums, so as these plants begin to fade, the bulbs will emerge to add a delightful swathe of colour in the spring. The day didn’t go without a hitch of course, putting in the compost we thought we’d tipped in a bee too, so gently pushing back the compost to release it we were very shocked to discover it wasn’t a bee but the largest hornet we had ever seen!

Thank you to everyone who stopped to say how lovely the planters looked, to Cameron who helped out while waiting for his dad and to Helen who was keen to make a donation in exchange for some empty flower pots.

Email:; Tel: 07582 634107; Facebook: Bradley Stoke in Bloom; website:

Bradley Stoke in Bloom planter at the Willow Brook Centre.

Photo (top): Bradley Stoke in Bloom volunteers are welcomed by Willow Brook staff.

Photo (above): Bradley Stoke in Bloom planter at the Willow Brook Centre.

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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