Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Stoke in Bloom’

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Varied few months for the ‘in Bloom’ team

Posted on Tuesday 13th November 2018 at 6:13 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of vandalised decoy ducks at The Common East.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

We’ve had a very mixed few months. When the heatwave finally broke, we hoped to get some planting done only to be thwarted by a constant deluge that would have defeated even Noah! Our Beehive Roundabout only thrives because of the neighbours who water it for us. Our Rabbit Roundabout’s giant carrots and Palmers Corner are mainly cared for by group member Andy, who also has to cut the grass here as SGC refuse to add it to their programme, even though they cut the grass on the other three corners. We did, however, finally manage to get on with some planting and the doctors’ surgery garden and the community herb planters are once again blooming, as are the ‘welcome’ planters.

Although we lost a few plants at the Aztec Triangle, most of it has now grown just a little too well and we’ve had to trim a lot of it back. It seems a gardener’s work is just never done! As it’s so close to the road, we planted for looks rather than wildlife, but we were amazed with just how many butterflies were flitting around this patch and we also found several rather striking pale tussock caterpillars, which we returned to munch their way through whatever they pleased. We also cleared all the nettles and bramble from around the bus stop and have planted some wild flower seeds there, although at the moment I think a bin is a higher priority as the area always appears to be covered in litter and cigarette ends.

The Common East continues to be a source of much frustration. Our butterfly bushes have again been cut down and we removed part of the bench after it was broken yet again. And although I think we’ve fixed the leaking overflow, the pond continues to be quite low on water.

We were so disappointed to be told that vandals had pulled our decoy ducks, Barry and Kate, out of the water and had ripped their heads off and stamped on the bodies. Many of the local school children were hugely upset to see their mangled remains, so we removed the pieces the next day. We have bought new ones but are reluctant to put them out when it is felt by some of the group that they will suffer the same fate. Our gnomes and butterfly boxes on the island had also previously been broken beyond repair, and much as I would hate to be defeated by the poor behaviour of a few (I prefer to see the problems as a black cloud that momentarily blocks the sun rather than a permanent thunderstorm), there is only so much of our budget that we can spend on replacing things. The hedge to the orchard has had to be repaired again and someone came in and removed every apple, every pear and every plum, which was hugely disappointing as we’d been approached by a juicer and a pickle maker who had offered to make us some produce to sell. At the same time, the pot we put in place to protect the ground dwelling bees nest was removed and now there remains nothing but an empty nest.

More: Wheatfield School, Manor Farm Corner and the skate park »

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Bradley Stoke in Bloom: June update

Posted on Thursday 5th July 2018 at 9:01 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke in Bloom.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

How much can change in just one month? At The Common East pond, the wonderful little balls of fluff quickly grew into something that more closely resembled a small duck, aided I’m sure by the constant and adoring crowd ever ready with a tasty titbit or two. Sadly, they have now all gone. Ten were hatched, but one was lost the first day – not an unusual occurrence with such a large brood. The family were doing well, but then I’m told nine became eight the same night a large pile of balloons and gas canisters appeared by the bench next to the pond and then there were none. However a duck with eight large ducklings does seem to have appeared at the Three Brooks lake so I am hoping that this is the same family; it’s not implausible that they could have crossed Primrose Bridge and have swum down the brook to the lake. Although the pond water is clear and in places teaming with froglets, the pond has become very low so it may have been a wise decision for them to move on.

Water does seem to be very scarce, our insect hotels require frequent watering and our planters, including those at the Willow Brook centre, are drier than the Sahara. The agreement with the centre is that they are litter picked and watered although this does not seem to happen as frequently as we’d like. They’ve all had a tidy up and we’ve re-planted the ‘kitchen garden’ with onions, carrots, tomatoes, ‘Lucy’s’ strawberries, peppers, wasabi and radish to compliment the rosemary, potatoes, chard and rhubarb. Once watering has recommenced, we will restock the other planters too.

Our other herb garden outside the Brook Way doctors’ surgery is also very dry, although there was another promise to water them, this also has not happened. As we no longer have access to the water tap at the rear of the building, we’re often seen unloading water bottles to give them a drink. The rose garden fares better in the dry weather and in the garden we’ve added some ferns that should thrive in the shade.  Thankfully, the neighbours by our ‘beehive roundabout’ have faithfully kept their promise to water the roundabout and it is indeed blooming, as is the roundabout at Palmers Leaze which is watered by BSiB’s Andrew.

More: Best Front Garden competition 2018 »

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Bradley Stoke in Bloom: Ducklings & carrots!

Posted on Monday 11th June 2018 at 8:21 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of ducklings resting in grass beside the pond at The Common (East),.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

The Common (East) – We are parents!

We were delighted to receive a message that we had ducklings on The Common (East) pond! We had, for a while, seen Millicent on the pond, but Maurice was nowhere to be seen. Then, to our relief, he finally appeared, oblivious to all our concerns, of course. We did what we could to encourage them to stay, but they seemed to disappear again, so we thought they had moved on – but now we know they were just nesting somewhere out of sight. Millicent managed to hatch ten ducklings and proudly revealed them to quite a large adoring crowd. While they were being given a hearty meal of porridge oats and grain by the primary school children, one young lad busily made them their own duckling-sized nest which I’m sure they appreciated. They are incredibly cute, whizzing around like small clockwork toys and taking tiny leaps to catch the low-flying insects. Please can we ask if you come to see them you bring some healthy food with you? Porridge oats, grain, unfrozen peas and shredded vegetable peelings should ensure that they grow up healthy and strong and that the water remains clear. Bread has very little nutritional value and pollutes the water, and mouldy bread can give the birds a fatal lung disease.

Thank you to Adrienne Wheeler who designed a poster for the Three Brooks lake, which we’ve borrowed again for the pond.

Apologies to whoever left the half dozen alcohol security tags on the island, we’ve returned them to the store and the bottles of wine went in the bin. (Although it was done with a very heavy heart as it was a wine I’m rather partial to.)

You may notice in the ‘insect hotels’ bowls of water with marbles in. Please don’t take them! These are bee or insect waterers – the marbles give the insects a safe place to land so they can drink without drowning. They are a huge help to our struggling wildlife and are very easy for your children to make, so we’re hoping every garden in Bradley Stoke will soon boast its own bee waterer.

More: Giant "carrots" at ‘Rabbit Roundabout’ »

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Bradley Stoke in Bloom spring 2018 report

Posted on Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 11:55 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of BSiB volunteers standing behind an assortment of rubbish that they collected during their Big Spring Clean.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

Big Spring Clean

I had put in a request for good weather, but I think the email got lost as we took part in the annual Big Spring Clean on what must have been one of the coldest days of the year! Although we only went from the Brook Way Activity Centre to Patchway Brook Roundabout, and then onto the Aztec West Roundabout, we managed to collect 22 bags, as well as a strange assortment of other rubbish. We stopped at the central verge on the A38 to cut back the bramble which has been annoying me for the last year (when we get a spare afternoon, we plan to replace it with some periwinkle), but by lunchtime it was below zero degrees, and we could no longer feel our fingers or toes, so we called it a day and managed to get home just as the snow came down. Several additional hours have been spent, mainly at The Common East, cleaning off graffiti and picking up empty cans and pizza boxes, smashed glass and another used syringe, which is not really how I want to spend my afternoon off!

The Common East

We received an email from South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) informing us that the pond here was overflowing. We checked the overflow pipe and cleared away some debris that was slowing the drainage. Feeling accomplished, we were a bit surprised a few minutes later when a dog walker pointed out that the water was now flooding the road around the corner! And it was! The road was now ankle deep in pond water. The good news was that we could identity it by the large amount of duck weed we’d managed to get out of the pond. We checked the ditch, which was clear, but talking to residents we found out that the drain leading to the ditch has been blocked for a couple of years and, although it has been reported to StreetCare several times, nothing has yet been done. We’ve also reported it to StreetCare and there is nothing else that we can do.

More: Wild flowers on Brook Way. Best Front Garden Competition. »

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