Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Stoke in Bloom’

Dismay at Manor Farm Roundabout vandalism

Posted on Wednesday 12th June 2019 at 9:32 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a group of people celebrating the return of 'Debbie the heifer' and 'Peppa the pig' to Manor Farm Roundabout.

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

Well, what a month! We have done some work in places other than the Manor Farm Roundabout. Not much, but some. We did some overtime and have given the community herb garden a replant. These are the large wooden planters outside Brook Way Activity Centre. Just for fun, we’ve added a few vegetables to one, for some colour. We have beetroot, chard and lettuce, and for the children, strawberries. For those with more sophisticated palates, you can choose anything from the spicy curry plants and wild garlic, to borage, fennel and rosemary. Or maybe parsley, basil, chives or thyme are more to your taste. Whichever you prefer you are welcome to come and snip off any that you fancy.

In another bit of overtime, we have managed to repair the bench at The Common East and on one sunny Sunday morning it was also repainted. Apart from the non-stop birdsong, it was amazingly quiet, until I found a dog to fuss and someone to talk to that is. Our new decoy ducks are still nameless, but Wheatfield School is intending to rectify that soon and will be running a competition to choose their new names, which we’re looking forward to. We might even be able to come up with a prize for the lucky winner. Usually in the spring we remove the decoy ducks so as not to upset the drake, but as we’ve not had a breeding pair take up residence this year, we have left them where they are. This pond no longer has any fish, but it does have some very large tadpoles. I suspect they are thriving as, apart from a dragon fly larvae or two, they have no predators here.

We have, in agreement with SGC, been keeping an eye on their Brook Way wild flower strips, and gave our new recruit Kelly the task of pulling out the oilseed rape plants. This may not have been a good idea, as I think some of them were almost as tall as she is! We also discovered that the thistles I often admired were in fact not thistles but something else (not that I know what – it took me long enough to remember ‘brown side down, green side up’!). But I did remember the three birthdays we have this month in the group, Pepi, Jenny and Stevie. They couldn’t all make it this month so we had plenty of cake to work off in the afternoon.#

More: And then there was Manor Farm Roundabout »

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Bradley Stoke in Bloom update for April

Posted on Thursday 9th May 2019 at 10:01 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Easter decorations on a 'Welcome' planter.

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

I sometimes feel that I haven’t done much – we seem to spend endless hours on paperwork and emails and then many more hours digging, seeding and planting with very little to show for it. But then spring arrives and a few flowers start to lift their heads above the cold and damp soil, and before you know it, it all comes together and everything is blooming! Well apart from our daffodils at the Aztec West bus stop, but you can’t have everything! After our spring clean, we asked John, the town council’s deputy clerk, why there were no longer any bins at this location, and to BSTC’s credit, within a matter of weeks two new bins had been installed (albeit one of them on our new daffs). But a bin’s a win, so we didn’t mind too much.

Photo of a large wicker rabbit created by sculptor Tom Hare.

You may have noticed that our ‘Welcome’ planters are sporting a few cheery Easter decorations and that some rabbits are now ‘hopping’ around the Great Stoke Roundabout. This is what we all know as ‘Rabbit Roundabout’ and I’m told that at a recent meeting, one of the local councils has discussed changing the name to its more well known one (amazing what you can learn at the local post office!). As well as our giant carrots, we have always hoped to install some appropriately sized rabbits and we have again contacted wicker artist Tom Hare, whose beautiful sculptures regularly feature in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, so we’re hopeful that plans are again progressing.

It does seem to be the month for new things – we’ve had several new members, so welcome to Suzanne, Tom and Stevie; Friends of Jubilee Green have donated lots of shiny garden tools to us (sorry guys, I think we’ve already got them muddy); and we think the RHS have finally renewed our membership, which will mean that we can once again enter their ‘In your Neighbourhood’ competition.

More: Debbie the heifer installed on Manor Farm Roundabout »

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‘In Bloom’ volunteers give town a spring clean

Posted on Sunday 10th March 2019 at 9:03 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of BSiB volunteers with collected rubbish.

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

This month once again saw us take part in South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Spring Clean campaign. Keeping a wary eye on the gathering clouds, we set off from the doctors’ surgery on Brook Way armed with hoops, litter pickers and an alarming assortment of different coloured bags. Once, a task like litter picking was simple, but now it seems to be governed by a Byzantine set of rules. However, we mostly managed to use the right bags and to separate the recyclable and the rubbish. Maybe I only have myself to blame for this, as listening to a talk from SGC on how we needed to do our bit and recycle more, I did point out that we residents are mostly doing all we can, but all the rubbish from the street bins goes straight to landfill, even if it had been sorted first! Soon after that, we received a new set of rules stipulating that blue bags are for rubbish, clear for recycling and black will not be collected, so maybe our observation was taken on board.

Our morning route took us along The Common East, Brackendene and along Bradley Stoke Way to the Aztec West Roundabout, stopping only to pat dogs and chat, something I like to think of as my second hobby. Many people told us that they always pick up rubbish while walking their dog, and I do feel that these unsung heroes are regularly doing something which is probably far more beneficial to the town than our spring time blitz. I’m sure you would all like to join me in thanking them all for their efforts.

At one time, SGC would give regular helpers their own litter picker, although I’m not sure they still do. I’m sure I’ll hear the words ‘budget constraints’, but it seems a very small outlay to win the ongoing battle of keeping our town clean.

More: 20 bags of litter left for collection by the town council »

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Positive start to the year for the Bradley Stoke in Bloom volunteers

Posted on Wednesday 13th February 2019 at 9:35 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Bradley Stoke in Bloom volunteers with an insect hotel at Manor Farm Corner.

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

First of all, I must say a big welcome to our newbies, Tom, Stevie and Suzanna. I’m just hoping we didn’t put them off on their first day with the huge amount of work we all accomplished, although they were well rewarded in biscuits, and the rain did finally stop! After a slightly late start (mix up with the padlock keys) we began at the Manor Farm Corner (Brook Way / Savages Wood Road). Or maybe that should be corners, as we’ve taken over the adjacent corner as well. The established corner was weeded and pruned and we put in some of my personal favourites: hostas and irises which were a gift from Almondsbury Garden Centre. The ‘new’ corner saw the remaining bramble dug up, an ongoing and thankless task, and the border weeded. Photo of a young BSiB helper.Before we knew it, Suzanna had whizzed round and put in a very neat looking edge, so now not only does the dogwood add a welcome splash of winter colour, but it all looks so much more professional. Under the trees, we have left the dandelions, as these are one of the first plants to flower in the spring and they give the newly woken bees a much needed boost. And we have finally installed the insect hotel, which was made during a skate park working day. Although we have kept it low, so that it can’t be used to climb over the wall, it is still large enough for many insects and there is even space underneath for a hedgehog ‘des-res’. There are special places for butterflies to overwinter and for solitary bees to lay their eggs, as well as many snug hiding places for all manner of creepy crawlies to enjoy, although I do find that they tend to ignore our carefully designed plans and just go where they feel like! Tom added the finishing touches to Stevie’s roof, while a young Max helped us to put in a few more bee homes and then the job was done.

More: The rose garden, The Common East and Aztec Triangle »

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