Debbie and Treacle reappear at Manor Farm

Photo of two animal figures.
‘Debbie the calf’ and ‘Treacle the dog’ figures on Manor Farm Roundabout.

By Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

The weather has been so miserable, but I’m determined not to be, so…

The ‘new’ calf Debbie and her faithful doggy companion Treacle have finally made their way out of their winter barn (cardboard box on my living room floor) and into the warm spring air in the Manor Farm field (roundabout). After the last ones were stolen, BSiB had no plans to replace them, but our Bradley Stoke town councillors had other ideas and bought two replacements. We did have several awfully long discussions on how to concrete them in, however, due to their compact size and composition, this just wasn’t feasible, but they are very securely attached!

Treacle and the owl had once belonged to Connie, but via her son Alan were passed down to her granddaughter Gillian who thought her nan’s precious ornaments would make more people smile on the roundabout than they would in her garden – and they did. Which is why it was so sad when they were taken. Determined to still have a part of her family represented on the roundabout, Gillian has donated some of her homegrown sunflower seeds, even offering to water them should this relentless rain ever let up and many of them have been planted both on the roundabout and on the corner flowerbed nearby.

The other half have, with Gill’s permission, been donated to the Girl Guides, who have been challenged with planting sunflowers as part of their South West England region’s golden anniversary. We have also left our Brook Way wishing tree in place for them as following the success of their peace dove tree, they hope to turn this into a Golden Guiding Tree.

Advert image.

The Common East

Our pond on The Common East has had some new additions and visitors, three plastic ducklings have appeared which unlike their feathered counterparts seem determined to hide from their ‘parents’ Donald and Daisy and the first five minutes of the day is always spent trying to workout where they are today. We have also had a pair of real mallards here and we are hoping that they might make it their home. It was several years ago that we had our first ever brood at the pond, so we are hoping that with some encouragement and regular treats of porridge oats and peas, they might just stay.

Primrose Bridge

The bank at Primrose Bridge has also brightened up, with the daffodils and primroses we planted making a welcome return. On the other side, we have again cleared the ever-encroaching bramble, planted primroses and re-barked the path from Lapwing Close. On the reserve side we have, in cooperation with Green Gym, been turning this into a bee and butterfly bank. This month, we added 21 crab apple & spindle trees, over 20 bee-friendly plug plants and two boxes of seeds.

Photo of plants in plastic bags.
Bee-friendly plants planted at Primrose Bridge.

You may spot under some of the plants some flat stones. These have two benefits; one it keeps the encroaching grass down, and two it reflects just the right amount of heat to warm the butterfly eggs that can be found under the leaf.

Our website, for several reasons, has not been updated for a long while but we have received an offer of help from someone who is setting up their own web design business, so we hope to have some good news soon!

Competition time

Finally, following the success of last year’s Best Front Garden competition, which thanks to the lockdown saw a record number of entries, we have decided to run it again in 2021. See the image below for details of how to enter.

Image of a poster.

Although the weather has not been kind to us recently, we are all in the same boat in that regard, which sort of evens out the competition! And we’re ever hopeful it may soon stop raining. If not, we may consider that giant puddle to be just a water feature!

If you still feel your garden is not up to it, why not nominate a friend or neighbour’s garden?

Related link: Best Front Garden competition entry form (on the BSTC website)

How to contact Bradley Stoke in Bloom:

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 8 & 9). 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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