We continue to receive many complements about the quality of Tetbury's floral displays - thank you. I was delighted to hear that some residents have been inspired by the Tetbury in Bloom planting schemes. What is it they say? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
It has been another wonderful season despite the challenges the weather has thrown at us. The spring displays of narcissus brought an early splash of colour and were particularly beautiful. The geraniums blossomed in the mid-summer sun, transforming the flowerbeds and tubs. The begonias made a spectacular display of hanging baskets, despite the cold weather in May and first half of June, giving them a very difficult start.
The Open Gardens Day on 28th June was another great success. A special thank you to everyone involved, to: Jo and Alistair Blant, Teresa and Ian Cunningham, Helen and Paul Downey, Rachel and Chris Moody, Lorraine Scrivens and James Hudson, Julie and Alan Simcock, Elizabeth and Tony Sykes, Debbie and Chris Tetley, Sue and Jeremy Townsend, Pat and Lance Vick, and Sue and Stephen Hirst for opening their beautiful gardens to the general public; to the Womens' Institute for their many delicious cakes and for running the cafe; and to everyone who visited for all their support. Weren't we lucky with the weather?
The annual Race Night on 24th October was a lot of fun, raising a smile and valuable funds for Tetbury in Bloom and Christmas in Tetbury projects. Thank you to the race sponsors: Bell House Dental Practice, Clark and Maslin, Highgrove Enterprises, Perry Bishop and Chambers, Priory Gym, Tetbury Hardware, The Lions Club of Tetbury, and The Tetbury Tailor.
Thank you to Highgrove Enterprises (our main sponsor), Tetbury Town Council, The Lions Club of Tetbury, the Feoffees, The Rotary Club of the South Cotswolds and St Marys' Parochial Church Council and the many residents and small businesses within the town, for their financial support.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you from the Tetbury in Bloom team.
In Spring 2008, modest plans to trim back the pyracantha at the library blossomed into a full make over. With the permission of the Gloucestershire County Library Division, the old overgrown plants were removed and a new flowerbed was created. This was planted with white chaenomeles to climb the walls, yellow choisya, tall and low-growing phlox, spiraea "Gold Flame", hebe, heuchera "Crème Brulée" and euphorbia.
In Autumn 2014, to bring extra interest to the flowerbeds, the hebes (which had grown too large for their space) were removed and replaced by yellow and green variegated phormium.
This flowerbed looks beautiful even into the early autumn and we are delighted to include it amongst the Tetbury in Bloom portfolio.
Thank you to the library staff for their help with watering during the summer months.
Last month's Race Night was another success and a fun evening out. Thank you to everyone who attended and particularly to the sponsors: Clark and Maslin, Highgrove Enterprises, Perry Bishop and Chambers, Priory Gym, Tetbury Hardware, The Lions Club of Tetbury, and The Tetbury Tailor. All money raised going towards Tetbury in Bloom floral projects and the Christmas town lighting displays to ensure that Tetbury looks its best all year around.
How could I not mention the flowerbed alongside the Fire Station - it looked beautiful this summer.
In 2006, we widened the existing flowerbed and extended it; we added lots of manure and planted lots of shrubs and perennials, in keeping with the Tetbury colour scheme of reds, yellows and pinks. Amongst them we planted gaillardia, crocosmia and the aptly named kniphofia "Tetbury Torch". We left the original hydrangea, heuchera, and daylilies still present today. Annuals - red and pink begonias, orange and red geraniums, and mixed antirrhinums - are characteristic of all our flowerbeds. The addition of classic yellow chrysanthemum "Beppie Yellow", last year provided more colour and interest well into the autumn; some even survived last winter and are blooming again now!
During the autumn we will be planting more tulip bulbs: Beauty of Apeldoorn, Holland's Glory Orange Emperor and Yellow Flight (to name but a few). This will help to ensure a wonderful spring display - a particular favourite time of year in the garden.
At the time of writing, some tickets were still available for our Race Night fund raising event on Saturday 24th October. It is a fun evening of "virtual horse racing", with tote betting amongst friends. All profits go towards Tetbury in Bloom and Christmas in Tetbury projects. Tickets cost £5 and can be obtained from Sue Hirst on 504213 or by emailing us at email@example.com. More details can be found on our website www.tetburyinbloom.org.uk or look for our advert in this month's Tetbury Advertiser.
Many thanks to our race sponsors: Highgrove Enterprises, The Lions Club, Perry Bishop & Chambers, The Priory Gym, The Tetbury Tailor, Tetbury Hardware, Clark & Maslin and Bell House Dental Practice. And, of course, thank you to our many supporters.
I regularly work in London and enjoy my walk to the office through the Whitehall gardens, alongside the River Thames. Famed for their displays of summer bedding, this year I was surprised (and a little disappointed) to see empty flowerbeds even well into July.
By then, back here in Tetbury, the geraniums and antirrhinum were in full flower and the flowerbeds were looking wonderful.
Tetbury in Bloom maintains 33 flowerbeds throughout the town; this includes the two outside the Tesco petrol station. (We have done this since 2009, when we took over responsibility from the previous owners.)
These flowerbeds have looked particularly beautiful this summer. The tall majestic allium sphaerocephalon (or round-headed garlic), with their slender stems topped with purple-crimson "drumsticks", have thrived in the dry weather and desiccating winds. Set amongst heuchera, penstemon and golden euonymus, they give these flowerbeds their distinctive look, with dramatic vertical accents. These allium flower heads will last for weeks. They are perfectly hardy and will come back year after year.
Next month we will be holding our 5th annual race night at the Dolphins Hall. If you have never attended a race night before, you've missed a great night out. Everyone has the same chance of winning cash prizes and it can get very exciting! Look out for the details in October's Tetbury Advertiser or visit our website www.tetburyinbloom.org.uk.
We recently received praise for the "fabulous" flowerbeds at the pubic conveniences between the Old Brewery Lane and West Street car parks.
Did you know that these are award-winning flowerbeds?
In 2007, Tetbury in Bloom took over their maintenance and began to work its magic. Unbeknownst to us, the Heart of England judges nominated us for the British Toilet Association "Best Dressed Public Toilet" award, which we won two years running.
Taking inspiration from the building itself, we settled upon a cottage garden theme. English in origin, it relies on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure. We began by cutting back and tidying up many of the original shrubs - choisya, mahonia, clematis, pyracantha to name just a few - to create a backdrop for the new planting. We added penstemon, roses, diascia, linaria, heuchera, liatris and fuchsias. At this time of year, in shades of red, pink, white and mauve, we intersperse geraniums amongst the perennials to complete "the look".
This summer we are delighted that Highgrove Enterprises have agreed to be our main sponsor and are financing many of the floral displays throughout the town. We really do appreciate this wonderful support. Without it, and that of other Tetbury businesses, organisations and individuals, combined with our own fund raising initiatives, we would not be able to continue our work to the high standard we've all become accustomed to.
Another special thank you must go to Wotton Farm Shop, who supply all our baskets and plants and who, throughout June, give us tremendous help by bringing the plants to us as we need them.
June is by far our busiest month as we install 25 lamppost baskets and plant the 33 flowerbeds, 47 troughs and tubs. To get all this done, the Tetbury in Bloom volunteers work double shifts each Tuesday and Thursday morning and evening - they deserve a special thank you too!
In June, with summer upon us, gardens will be bursting into life. This is the ideal time to visit others' gardens for inspiration and a delightfully English afternoon out.
This year Tetbury Open Gardens Day is on Sunday 28th June, between 2.00pm and 6.00pm. An impressive eleven beautiful gardens will be open to the public, many of which have never been open to the general public before:
NEW FOR 2015
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
A very big thank you to all the gardeners.
Details of where to obtain your 'passport' allowing you entry to all the Open Gardens, can be found in our adjacent advert or visit our website: www.tetburyinbloom.org.uk
Refreshments will be served at 5 The Old Rope Walk again this year by members of the Women's' Institute - a big thank you to them for their generous support. There will be a raffle for Stephen Hirst's famous cakes, a plant stall and second hand tool sale, including a "Hayter" electric mower.
We look forward to seeing you.
May is the month when miracles start to happen in the herbaceous border.
Looking back over the past decade, the Anniversary Gardens has seen one of our most dramatic, but less well known, projects.
The Anniversary Gardens, located between The Chipping and The Ferns, was a tired space until it received the Tetbury in Bloom makeover in the spring 2007, to mark the 80th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. Inspired by the vision of our good friend, Eric Simpson, and with the support of the Civic Society and neighbours it is now a quiet oasis and beautiful sensory garden in the centre of town.
We added a pergola to give height and interest, to provide support for climbing plants such as clematis (which start to flower this month) and to draw visitors in. We added more paths and widened existing paths to make access easier. We extended the planting areas and we removed the old broken paving and walls and turfed the bare areas. We gave the existing rosebushes, rosa regosa (or "apple rose") a severe pruning to bring them back into life with luscious new growth, and added a further fifty rose bushes. We added crocuses among the grass. But we have had to remove the cherry tree due to disease but have plans to replace it with a new tree soon.
In 2013, we replaced the lavender bushes with hardy fuchsias to complement the white Japanese anemones and the red leaved heucheras. We added snowdrops and narcissus to extend the flowering season into early Spring.
Tetbury in Bloom Open Gardens Day is on Sunday 28th June, between 2.00pm and 6.00pm. There will be several new gardens to visit this year. Do look out for the details in my next article, for posters around town, or check out our website at www.tetburyinbloom.org.uk.
Many thanks go to Gerald and Hortense Oates of 'Hortensia' for donating the generous proceeds of their Easter egg auction which will go towards making Tetbury look even more attractive.
Hanging baskets in the centre of town add a wonderful splash of colour in summer.
The idea of hanging baskets and trailing plants in a garden is not a new concept. It is believed to stem back over 3,000 years, taking inspiration from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Tetbury in Bloom team has tried many different plants for our hanging baskets over the years before settling on large-headed begonias, which create a ball of flowers, literally dripping with colour. Flowering from May until the first frosts, they offer great value for money and are easy to look after, continually flowering even in shade. Often they do not need as much watering as other seasonal bedding, particularly with our new easy-water hanging baskets with their in-built water reservoir.
This year our baskets contain the "Illumination" variety of begonias in warm rose, light pink, orange and apricot shades, complementing the Cotswold stone. Their cascading free-flowering habit and weather-proof blooms make them the ideal choice for hanging baskets.
In the troughs by the Tourist Information Centre and outside the public conveniences at the Chipping, we will also add the upright "Non Stop" variety of begonias, their sturdy blooms adding a bright splash of colour in areas of partial shade and low sunlight levels.
We are still taking orders for our summer hanging baskets. Details can be found in our adjacent advertisement or on our website www.tetburyinbloom.org.uk All profits raised help go towards In Bloom projects. If you purchased our hanging baskets last summer and still have the empty containers, we'd really appreciate their return so we can re-use them for this year. To arrange collection, please ring Sue Hirst on 504213.
Plans are being made for this year's Open Gardens Day which will be held on Sunday 28th June. If you are interested in opening your garden for us then please contact Ange Morrissey on 505723 as soon as possible. We are also looking for donations of old tools to enable us to raise further funds on this day. If you have any that you're willing to donate to us, again, please contact Ange and we will be delighted to collect them.
An important part of Tetbury in Bloom planting scheme is the "Tetbury style". It comprises:
A mix of perennials and shrubs, complemented by spring bulbs and summer bedding to give that added splash of colour and "wow" factor. Rich red, pink, orange and yellow blooms - these are dominant colours contrast well with their surroundings.
We garden sustainably, creating long-lasting floral displays.
Prior to 2005, the London Road flowerbeds were planted very formally with summer bedding; these provided a decorative, yet short-lived display. Today red berberis, yellow leafed spiraeas and dark leafed phormiums provide a framework, interspersed with orange geum, red penstemon, hardy fuchsias, and yellow leafed grasses. From early February, spring-flowering crocus, with their elegant goblet-shaped blooms in yellows, purple and white, herald the arrival of spring. Lemon and orange narcissi 'Falconet and 'Red Devon' follow in March and then give way to a wonderful display of Tulips in a variety of striking reds, deep pinks, oranges and yellows - 'Perestroyka', Yellow Flight', Red Georgette and Beauty of Apeldoorn to name just a few. In early June we plant antirrhinums, geraniums and begonias to keep the colour going all season long. For minimal outlay, we provide a floral display from February right through to late October.
We have already planned ahead for next season and are now taking orders for our summer hanging baskets which comprise easy-care, trailing begonias in pink, red, orange and apricots shades. They will be delivered to your door by arrangement at the beginning of June; all you need to do is to install them, water them regularly and give them the occasional feed. Details can be found in our adjacent advertisement or on or website www.tetburyinbloom.org.uk All profits raised help go towards In Bloom projects. If you purchased our hanging baskets last summer and still have the empty containers, we'd really appreciate their return so we can re-use them for this year. To arrange collection, please ring Sue Hirst on 504213.
In March, the current incarnation of the Tetbury in Bloom team, led by Sue Hirst, will celebrate its tenth anniversary!
Tetbury in Bloom has come a long way since being given permission in 2005 by Tetbury Town Council and the Feoffees to take over the planning and maintenance of the flowerbed on the Knapp! We now have between five and nine regular volunteers out and about in Tetbury on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year (except when there is snow on the ground or a really hard frost!), increasing to thirteen on evenings in June when we plant the summer bedding.
Between us we look after: the iconic roundabout at the Cirencester entrance to the town, all the beautiful flowerbeds on London Road and in Saint Marys' churchyard; The Diana Memorial bed; Anniversary Gardens; the roadside bed at the hospital; the bed on the Knapp; the public toilets in Old Brewery Lane; the fire station; the library; the Twizzle; the delightful garden at the front of Old Coombe House; the side garden and frontage of The Dolphins Hall; the troughs at each entrance to the town; the floral displays in the many planters around the centre of town and on the lampposts!
Over the course of the next few articles I will explain just how our planting schemes have evolved over the past decade.
Tetbury in Bloom is a year round effort.
In December we support the Christmas in Tetbury committee with dressing the trees that adorn the shop premises and supporting the switch-on of the Christmas lights. We also maintain a website (www.tetburyinbloom.org.uk) which includes details of all our fundraising events and many beautiful photographs of our achievements.
You are probably aware from the local and national press, that the wedding cake tree ("Cornus Controversa Variegata") has been taken from Saint Marys' Churchyard; it was planted by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (patron of Tetbury in Bloom) on 3rd May 2011 to commemorate the Royal Wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. What makes it so sad is that we doubt that the tree will survive being uprooted so brutally. We will not, however, be deterred and are in discussions with the Womens' Institute regarding its replacement.
Thank you to the Tetbury Town Council, Tetbury Upton Parish Council, the Feoffees, Tetbury Parochial Church Council, the Lions Club of Tetbury, the Rotary Club, AG Carrick, Jenny Norden, Pegasus Life and many individuals for their kind donations.