An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.
What we lacked in numbers on our June workday, we made up for in other ways. We spent the morning at the Willow Brook Centre, tending our planters in the town square. Our heuchera planter is doing well, now all the vine weevil larvae have been removed, and another two benefited from a much needed trim, while the smell lifting up from our herb planter was, well, uplifting! All the herbs are growing well, apart from the cardoon, also known as an artichoke thistle. They’re known for being a very showy herb but we seem to have bought the only shy one in Bristol. Hopefully, this will be the year it decides to grow!
Our favourite planter it would seem is the ‘kitchen garden’, as we spent as much time chatting as we did planting, with recipes being exchanged, advice being sought, memories of granddad’s rhubarb patch shared and listening to the younger gardeners telling us what they’re growing at home (strawberries mainly, but it’s always a good place to start). Everything in this planter is edible, from the pansies to the peas, so please come and take a look at what we have crammed in. We also have rhubarb, garlic, onions, mint, rosemary, sugar snap peas, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes and even a potato!
After lunch, we tidied up the faded daffodils and bluebells we had planted alongside the pedestrian crossing on Bradley Stoke Way and removed as much bramble as we could, before going onto the rose garden behind the doctors’ surgery on Brook Way and giving our candy stripe carpet a good clean. This carpet has done a grand job of keeping the weeds down as the other garden area was already knee deep in goose grass which, I was told, is more commonly known here as ‘cleavers’ or ‘kiss the girls’! We also gave a good clearout to our community herb garden (the four planters in front of the Brook Way Activity Centre). Again, these herbs are there for you to pick what you want, so please don’t feel shy about helping yourselves.
It was already after 4pm before we nipped over to The Common East to check on our work there. Everything seems well and we enjoyed a well deserved sit down on one of our new seats. The plastic male duck has for the time being been removed as the live one didn’t appreciate a ‘rival’ on his patch, but apart from him, the pond is brimming with new life and for the first time to my knowledge, we discovered two female newts in the pond. The local residents need not worry yet, as they weren’t protected great crested newts but common smooth newts, although we were still very excited by their arrival.
We’d also like to say ‘thank you’ to Wayne and to Mr & Mrs Silcocks, who have all recently donated tools to us; we’re very grateful that you thought of us first.
We were sorry to learn that Margaret Howdle, who has supported us from the beginning, is not feeling up to entering this year and wish her a speedy recovery. If you’re thinking of entering our Best Front Garden Competition, you have until 8th July to get your forms in, either via email or at the box in the town council office at the Jubilee Centre. Good luck!
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Photo: Bradley Stoke in Bloom volunteers tend a planter at the Willow Brook Centre on their June workday.
This article originally appeared in the July 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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