By Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.
We’re slowly finding our new normal and have been able to complete a few tasks, even though we’ve yet to reinstate our regular workdays and the blazing hot weather has not been kind to any of us gardeners. We’ve been waiting for some rain before we put in any more plants, as unlike other larger ‘in Bloom’ groups, we aren’t in a position to pay to have our beds and baskets watered.
Although the ‘Welcome to Bradley Stoke’ planters receive a couple of oilings each year, they have started to look their age. They were made seven years ago by a local resident and they have lasted well, despite often being removed from their brick supports and dumped in wet soggy corners by an assortment of road working teams! They are all being repaired and are receiving a smart new coat of black paint.
The planter at Great Stoke (Rabbit) Roundabout was badly damaged and left almost where the workers had first dumped it some distance up the road. I foolishly persuaded my other half that he and I would be able to move it back ourselves on the way to do the weekly shop. It is now back in place and on new bricks, but only thanks to Veejay, who saw us struggling and stopped to help. I’m not going to tell you the whole story, but I’m not sure which I spent longer: scraping off the cycle path, the mud or my partner, but at least the planter is back and he is now speaking to me again.
We’ve been waiting for the roadworks to finish so that the ‘carrots’ on Rabbit Roundabout could be given a clean and a repaint. While we were there, we inspected the trees and reported the dead ones to the relevant local council. Now the roadworks have (almost) finished, I would love to see my ‘stage two’ idea implemented: a giant wicker rabbit made by the artist Tom Hare!
Brook Way herb garden
Come and spice up your life – for free! The herb garden (in front of Bradley Stoke Surgery) has been repositioned, repainted and is again flourishing, so please come and help yourselves to some free rosemary, mint, basil, coriander, parsley, curry and bay – amongst other things. The strawberries and chives are now past their best, but there is always next year.
Manor Farm Roundabout
Sadly, Debbie (the calf) and Treacle (the dog) have both been stolen from our display on Manor Farm Roundabout. The thieves who took Debbie had come prepared and had used bolt cutters to cut through her padlock and chain. Even though we have little hope of them being returned, both thefts have been reported to the police.
Although we’ve always known how popular they were with the younger generation it was a pleasant surprise to hear one of the (slightly older) councillors, speaking at a recent town council meeting, say how cheering the sight of the calf was and that perhaps the town council could look at getting her replaced! So there may yet be some good news.
I’d only recently discovered the story behind Treacle and the owl when their previous owner stopped to chat while I was painting a planter. They had belonged to his wife and were then given to their daughter who thought her mum would have been delighted to know her ornaments were on the roundabout cheering everyone up. Which is why, when you see that some people are so willing to give to their community it’s so very galling to see that a very tiny few are so very willing to break or take the very things that make us just that, a community, with a home town, not just a bunch of strangers living in houses.
How to contact Bradley Stoke in Bloom:
This article originally appeared in the September 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 18 & 19). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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