An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.
Winter may have been a quiet time for our ‘in bloom’ group, but it seems that spring is not! Spurred on by the Twinning Association visit by a party from Champs-sur-Marne, we bought forward our April workday so that we could include the group in our ‘French roundabout’ project. Well, that was the plan! However, there was a clash in their schedule meaning they weren’t about to help on the day. We couldn’t get a French skep (straw beehive) or a ‘twinned with…’ sign, but apart from that, the day went well!
We chose Sherbournes Brake Roundabout (at the junction of Brook Way, Baileys Court Road and Orpheus Avenue) and have planted French lavender, campanula, penstemon, delphinium and phlox – only choosing plants that will have white or purple flowers. The centre piece is a rather English WBC beehive (named after William Broughton Carr). We know this, as a couple of members from Little Stoke Beekeepers’ Association stopped by and told us! But we did know some bee history that they didn’t: that Childeric the 1st was the first of the French monarchs to have used the bee as a symbol of ‘immortality and resurrection’!
The hive is just for decoration; as it has no base or combs, it isn’t a suitable home for any real bees.
Our thanks must go to Almondsbury Garden Centre for donating the bedding plants and to the neighbours, Lula and Brain who bought us out cold drinks and have promised to water the plants for us. The popularity of this project and its use as a handy landmark has made us think that we should bring forward our plans for some of the other roundabouts in the town.
Thank you to Melvin from Streetcare for rescuing our Aztec West Roundabout planter from the back of their site compound and for giving it a new base. To celebrate the rescue we named our Easter decoration sheep after him, but I’m hoping he’ll forgive us! The Hatchet Road planter was, of course, decorated with eggs and chicks and Rabbit Roundabout with rabbits. We were very saddened to receive messages telling us that the eggs and rabbits had all been stolen, so at midnight we snuck out and retrieved ‘Melvin’, as we didn’t want to lose him too. The large egg was returned after a few days, but sadly not the rabbits.
We were asked to decorate the ‘Valentine tree’ (on Savages Wood Road) for St George’s Day, but we didn’t really want to take down the hearts as the tree looks so lovely with them on, so instead we decorated the welcome planters again. They all had flags, but you’d have to have seen all four to find the whole story of the rose, the dragon and, of course, St George himself.
The Friends of Jubilee Green have asked for our help with their new Davis Pond project. So, along with Green Gym, we spent a day there making a start by opening up the area behind the pond, clearing bramble and rubbish (in equal parts) and putting in a few potted pond plants. The wildlife seems to have appreciated our efforts as, for the first time this century, a smooth newt has been found in the water. The area looks so much better already and it’s now being used as a play area, which was the original plan.
It was suggested that we could take on the path at the back that leads onto the football pitch. Like many areas it was just 10ft high bramble, but with just a few hours’ work it is already looking much better, and with no more bramble hanging down from the trees at eye-height, it’s also much safer.
It’s green side up, brown side down isn’t it? We think we’ve now worked it out as our trowels and spades have been working overtime since the Woodland Trust donated 100 trees to us. These have been quietly dotted around the town; not all of them have stakes and guards, as this sometimes draws unwanted attention to them or they just go missing.
Having just got all the trees, Almondsbury Garden Centre asked us if we’d like “some primroses” for free. “Some”, it appears, means 432! These are going in wherever we can find a gap, including Bluebell Corner, Primrose Bridge and the skate park, where we discovered that help can come in many sizes, so thank you to (small) Lola and Darcy and (large) Kiki and Liam for taking the time to give us a hand.
Best garden competition
We’ve already been asked for an entry form for the 2017 Best Front Garden competition! The forms are now available from our Facebook page, the town council office or our website www.bradleystokeinbloom.com
Please return the completed registration form by noon on 13th July to: Bradley Stoke Town Council, Council Office, The Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road, Bradley Stoke BS32 8HL, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Judging will take place in mid-July. The gardens are judged on four equal criteria: Well-kept frontage; quantity/quality of plants; well-kept lawn, paths and driveway; and outstanding character.
How to contact Bradley Stoke in Bloom:
Photos: 1 BSiB volunteers on Sherbournes Brake Roundabout. 2 Easter decorations on a ‘welcome planter’. 3 Lola and Darcy help BSiB volunteers at the skate park.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 6 & 7). The magazine is 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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