Yes, it really is that near at hand. A great deal of work is going on to present the town in the best light to the two experienced Thames and Chilterns in Bloom judges. It sounds like a cliche but getting a good score won’t have been for the want of trying. Everyone in the town can play their part particularly if you live near one of the featured stops for the judges and especially if you live along the route the judges will be taken along. Both can be found on our website and the route is also on the Town Council’s website If you do live on the route it would be very much appreciated if you could look at the front of your property and deal with any weeds which are lurking there. They seem to grow when you turn your back. The eyes of the judges are everywhere! We were delighted to receive prestigious Silver Gilt medals in 2013 and 2014 and hope to at least do the same in 2015.
The empty hive, brilliantly restored by John and Jenny Gilbert, has been returned to the roundabout, with the kind permission of Wokingham Borough Council and Martin & Pole who sponsor the planting on there. This year it benefits from its own sign designed and produced by a student from the Holt School
It welcomes people to Wokingham and says this is a Bloom town. It seems to support the Britain in Bloom theme of ‘Greener Streets: Better Lives’ in a way that you can’t quite pin down. Please let the Town Council know if you spot significant numbers of bees loitering – although this is unlikely!
One evening at the end of 2014 the Town Hall was filled by volunteers who had helped with that year’s Thames and Chilterns in Bloom entry. Part of the evening was a ‘brainstorm’ about projects for 2015. One scheme that received an overwhelming thumbs-up was the restoration of five large brick built raised beds by Windsor Ward at Wokingham Hospital. The impetus and drive to get this to a great place has come from Sally Maloy at the hospital, supported by the enthusiasm and horticultural expertise of Jenny Gilbert and Pauline MacBrayne. At heart Sally wanted drab conifers and shrubs supplanted by more colourful flowers.
- many large shrubs were removed from the beds by the hospital’s facilities team
- Gardeneer donated a member of its team for several hours to remove a mountain of old shrubs
- stumps and roots were ground out
- Bloom volunteers spread loads of topsoil and compost
- planting was planned and the plants purchased
- On Sunday 14th June large numbers of 1st Woosehill cubs, beavers and scouts with their leaders and helpers undertook the planting
- On Monday 15th june this was completed by patients attending the Young People with Dementia clinic at the hospital.
Truly a team effort. Particular thanks to Public Health, Wokingham Borough Council for their help with funding, without which Sally’s ambitious plans would not have been so fully realised. Patients and staff are so pleased with the outcome.
Fired by this success Sally has plans for a wildflower bank and more plants by Ascot Ward.
On Saturday 20th June 2015, with the threat of rain lurking in the humid air, an intrepid band of scouts from 1st Finchampstead gathered at the Pavilions Border off Wellington Road.
Marshalled by Scout Leader James Dunn and Rose Street gardener Mrs Gerry Higson the scouts were set to work. A caravan of wheelbarrows moved tons of woodchip from the big heap at the bottom of the footpath to the planting by Wokingham Superbowl. Scout team B spread the woodchip all around. The planting which is now in full flower looks wonderful.
For two years volunteers from the Methodist Church have toiled to create a community garden from scrubland and have succeeded mightily.
1st Finchampstead have supported the gardeners on many occasions. Well done to one and all.
On Saturday Town Mayor Cllr Philip Mirfin was very impressed with the boys application and achievements. Oh and for good measure the scouts rounded off their morning with a litter pick!
Friends of the Emm Brook realised their long-held ambition to improve and expand the small pond at Woosehill Meadows, between Brookside and Woosehill Community Hall. On Friday 5th June 2015 our contractor deepened, stepped and dammed the pond.
Foteb have subsequently replaced the plants around the pond, previously removed for safe-keepng.
This major project for FOTEB and Wokingham in Bloom will now benefit from some much needed rain! Many, many thanks to Charles, Sue and Roland from FOTEB for all of their help. Especially Roland without whose detailed plans nothing would have happened.