An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.
Our community herb garden has had a spruce up, as have our welcome planters. We had given up waiting for our planter at the Aztec Roundabout to be put back in place, so Andy and I did it ourselves, which was no mean feat. Even Andy wondered just how many rocks we have in the base! We’re not sure where the actual road sign has gone, but we’re sure it will come back at some point.
The carpet at our rose garden has been invaluable in keeping down the weeds, but we think it no longer looks as neat as it once did and had intended to cover it with bark chippings. We have now been let down twice by a gardening company, so we will source the chippings from someone else. Hopefully, we will soon return this area to its best.
The Common East
Sadly, the ink may only just be dry on the grant evaluation forms, but already we are seeing some of our hard work undone by a minority. Our expensive ‘tricolour’ butterfly bushes were sawn through, even though they were labelled and staked, the lavender bushes and caterpillar food plants were smothered by grass cuttings and two of the benches have been trashed.
On our behalf, Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) has investigated the possibility of more lighting in this area, but were told by SGC that there is no money available for funding the installation of new street lights. They did suggest, however, that as it is a cycle route there could possibly be some cycling-related funding available.
I, personally, was loathe to spend BSTC’s money on more repairs until we went to retrieve the broken benches from the pond, where we spent a hugely enjoyable afternoon chatting to parents and school children. Their enthusiasm and interest reminded us why we volunteer and give up so much of our spare time to the group.
In between removing litter and some of the more invasive weeds, trimming back the damaged willow, catching goldfish, planting more pond plants and clearing the island, the children learned about sticklebacks, newts and ramshorn snails, while we learned that the real ducks are called Maurice and Millicent and that the plastic ones, now named Barry and Kate, weren’t keen on being fed bread! (My apologies for laughing when the mum told us her woeful tale of disdainful ducks and disappointed children).
This area had a good tidy up and some new plants went in. We also replaced the dead raspberry bush and the tatty edging boards. One of the new apple trees has three apples, not bad for a first crop and the grape has three tiny bunches of grapes, which sadly isn’t enough to fill a fairy cup, let alone make us a bottle of Cabernet. Rob showed us he has some muscle (and quite a bit of red blood!) and managed to remove the root of the mahonia bush that had been cut back by StreetCare but was now sprouting again.
We also did some measuring, as Colin Davies has made some wooden birds for us, which will be used here as a decoration. We also managed a peek inside the green box which we discovered is not as disused as it looks, although we still don’t know who owns it.
I had asked South Gloucestershire Council if they could add the grass cutting to their schedule, as I believed they mow the other three verges in this area, but they have said it’s not their land. Useful information if we manage to unearth a pot of Saxon gold!
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Photo: BSiB volunteers in Palmers Leaze, showing off some of the wooden birds.
This article originally appeared in the October 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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