Cherry Tree In Bloom

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The Mount Fuji cherry tree that was planted on Oaklands Drive in February has blossomed!

Thanks go to Bob and Carol Newman for giving the newly planted tree so much care and attention.

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Town Council’s gardening campaigns

A significant part of the town’s entry into Thames and Chilterns in Bloom 2015 is the gardening campaigns sponsored by the Town Council.  There are four strands: schools, town centre businesses, allotment tenants and residents.

The schools campaign is divided into nurseries and infants; junior; and secondary.  Some 30 nurseries and schools have been invited to take part.  The Town Mayor visits all entrants in early July.

Gardeners from Hawthorns providing tips for the Mayoress

Gardeners from Hawthorns providing tips for the Mayoress

The campaign for townsfolk and their gardens is called ‘Green Fingers’.  This is divided into front gardens; back gardens; hanging baskets and containers; hanging baskets and containers for residents with physical or sensory disabilities; and care homes.  We hope that many people take part and choose to support the Bloom theme of ‘Greener Streets: Better Lives’.  Our chosen colours are purple, pink and orange.  Members of Wokingham Horticultural Association kindly undertake visiting each entrant in early July.  Prizes for 2015 start at £75.  However, it is the taking part which matters!  Please remember that the campaign is for residents who live within the Wokingham town boundary.  Full details can be found on the Town Council’s website.

Pretty flowers to brighten our day!

Pretty flowers to brighten our day!

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Pavilions Border: the spreading of wood chip

Many thanks to Sharon of Thames Valley Probation Service for her help in arranging the wood chip spreading today and to Claire the on-site TVPS supervisor for managing the offenders. Eight offenders serving community payback orders have spread the wood chip all over the soil. The aim is to suppress weeds from growing vigorously.

Thanks also to Ann for the photographs and to Juliette at Wokingham Superbowl for allowing the offenders to use the bowling alley’s toilets.  An essential part of arrangements with TVPS!

Juliette is also arranging to have Wokingham in Bloom’s water-butts attached to the drainpipe in the yard behind Superbowl. Should be in place next week. This will make it easier for Gerry and Rose Street Community payback2gardeners, and Vicky and Incredible Edible to water their plants and produce.  When the offenders finished moving the wood chip they moved on to Ormonde Road allotments and shifted two tonnes of 20mm aggregate to complete the drainage work started in January. Happy gardening over the Easter weekend!

 

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The community payback scheme in action.

 

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Trough by Wokingham Town Hall

Mrs Ann Davis, a long-standing Wokingham resident kindly tends the trough.  She purchases, plants and weeds the former horse trough.  You can’t tie your horse’s lead to the Town Hall any more or let it have a well-earned drink of water but you can admire Ann’s efforts.  Well done, Ann.

Saturday 10 Jan 2015

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Wokingham in Bloom’s colour scheme for 2015

The Town Council has a contract for hanging flower baskets to be installed around the town centre.  From May 2015 the number will be increased from 61 to 77, and for the first time baskets will be hung from lamp-columns on Rose Street.  A further innovation will be six hanging baskets on the Town Hall.

The colour scheme chosen by the Wokingham in Bloom steering group for this year is bright orange, purple and pink.  The flowers in the baskets will be a combination of Begonia Illumination (orange), Calibrachoa (dark lavender), Pellargonium Decora (dark pink) and Surfinia (hot pink). Cascades of colour will assault the judges when they visit in July.

Last week letters and order forms from Wokingham in Bloom were delivered by steering group members to all of the businesses in the town centre.  The contractor, Windowflowers, is able to offer fully planted, maintained and watered 20 inch hanging baskets with these flowers in them for the discounted rate of £50.00 plus VAT.  The baskets will look wonderful from May to October. Over the previous two years many businesses have taken one or more baskets and we hope that many more will do so in 2015.

All residents across the town are invited to use the bright orange, purple and pink colour scheme for their own gardens and hanging baskets.  If we can go anyway towards achieving this then the town will present a brilliantly colourful face for the judges to admire.  Happy planting!

If you want to get involved with Bloom please contact: Wokingham in Bloom at  amenities@wokingham-tc.gov.uk  

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Wokingham in Bloom, a potpourri

A great deal has happened in March around Bloom, not least the appearance of the crocuses on The Terrace which were planted last year thanks to the support of The Wokingham Society.

  • a raised brick bed has been cleared on Rose Street and planted with roses

    Bluebells

    Bluebells in Holt Copse

  • a letter and order form has been taken around all of the businesses in the town centre inviting them to take a fully serviced and maintained 20 inch hanging flower basket for summer.  The baskets will have the same flowers as the Town Council’s baskets
  • plans to restore the pond at Woosehill Meadows are well advanced.  An application has been sent to the Environment Agency for permission to carry out the work
  • Jenny Gilbert and Ann Crail have cleared  the winter weeds from the patch by the ramp to the Library, and tidied it up splendidly!

Do look out for:

  • the eagerly anticipated return of the beehive to Woosehill roundabout…. any day now
  • the small scrub area by the Lord Raglan on Denmark Street will soon look a great deal lovelier
  • Transition Wokingham have put up a new fence at the Cockpit Path community garden and worked wonders in the garden
  • a piece of land on Alderman Willey Close, opposite Dickens Court, has been earmarked for another Incredible Edible project  -more power to their trowels!
  • please go to the Wokingham in Bloom website to see what the Holt Copse Conservation Volunteers have been up to
    The water trough by the Town Hall

    The water trough by the Town Hall

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    A broken buddleia and undergrowth removed from the Rose Street bed

    A broken buddleia and undergrowth removed from the Rose Street bed

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Footpath Work in Holt Copse

The Holt Copse Conservation Volunteers have now completed a second section of footpath renovation in Holt Copse. The project was begun last year with 80 metres of path being laid along the muddy main route through The Copse. Now the path has been extended by a further 75 metres, improving access for local residents and visitors.

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Compacting the new footpath

 

During the exercise around twenty tons of road planings were shifted in order to construct the footpath surface. This would not have been possible without the kind loan of a mini-digger and dumper truck for the day by Rapid Hire Centres of Wokingham. The Volunteers certainly enjoyed playing with their ‘big boys toys’!

Thanks to Rapid Hire Centres

Thanks to Rapid Hire Centres

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Cherry tree planted on Oaklands Drive: Wokingham in Bloom

On Thursday 19th February 2015 a willing band of volunteers gathered on Oaklands Drive and planted a Mount Fuji cherry tree. Many thanks to Ann, Jim, Guy, Bob and Carol for their hard work.

Bob and Carol identified  an available piece of grass verge and Julia and James from Wokingham Borough Council kindly allowed us to use the space.  There are several cherries along Oaklands Drive so the recent addition will feel right at home!

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Roses on Rose Street: Wokingham in Bloom

It has been a long-held ambition of Rose Street residents and others to see the half-moon shaped brick bed opposite WADE’s shop tidied up and replanted. This ambition has now been realised.  The rotten buddleia stump, ivy, rocks and weeds along with several unidentified self-sown plants have been removed and replaced with roses.  To allow more light and sunshine to filter down the adjacent cherry tree has been crown lifted.  To prepare the bed for planting well-rotted manure and topsoil has been dug in.

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A tea beak!

So many people, groups and organisations have been involved in this: many thanks to Julia and James from Wokingham Borough Council for their support and encouragement;  WBC’s contractor Quadron for the initial clearance work and crown lifting; offenders serving community payback orders under the supervision of Thames Valley Probation Service for further clearance; OCS street cleaning team for the removal of much debris and especially to Rose Street Gardeners for spreading the manure and topsoil and, of course, for planting the roses.

Many thanks to all of the passers-by last Saturday for their words of encouragement and gratitude.

Several Rose Street residents have volunteered to help look after the roses which are guaranteed to provide much pleasure over the coming months.  If you are in the neighbourhood do go and have a look.

This new planting will add to the excellent planting Rose Street residents make outside of their front doors.  In summer the roses around door and window frames are a real delight.

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Cleared and planted. Roll on summer!

 

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Apple pressing at community garden

On Sunday 21st September members of Transition Wokingham brought their apple press to the community garden by Cockpit Path.  Apples galore were pressed and much fresh juice was both drunk and taken away in bottles.

Many thanks to Transition for organising this, a great time was had by all – young and old.  Do look out for an article about the pressing in the local newspapers this week (hopefully).

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Spring bulbs for Cockpit Path community garden and orchard

The mist on the fields this morning means that autumn really is just around the corner.  Transition Wokingham and its volunteer gardeners want to plant loads of daffodils, tulips and crocuses at the community garden for a fabulous display early in 2015 on the raised bank and among the perennial plants.

If anyone reading this has any spare bulbs or knows anyone who has some we would be delighted to receive them. They can be brought to the Information Centre at the Town Hall from 10am to 2pm Mondays to Fridays and from 10am to 3pm on Saturdays.  Many thanks.

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Community Garden and Orchard / Norreys Garden Care Scheme: It’s Your Neighbourhood

Yesterday evening (3rd) two assessors from Thames and Chilterns in Bloom visited both the garden care scheme and the community orchard and garden to consider their progress as part of the It’s Your Neighbourhood section of Thames and Chilterns in Bloom.  In this section individual standalone projects are assessed on their own merits on a non-competitive basis.
The results will be announced at the Bloom presentation event at Henley Town Hall on 17th September.

Norreys Garden Care Scheme

Linda and Alan Newport manage this under the auspices of Transition Wokingham.  People who cannot manage their gardens allow others to tend them to grow fruit and vegetables: householders and growers share the produce.  Gardens and growers combined in the scheme number over 60.  It’s a great community based scheme…..unused gardens tended, food is produced and volunteers who garden may have social, emotional or physical problems benefit from taking part.

Community garden and orchard

After looking around the garden care scheme the assessors visited the above.  Linda and Alan and Mary Paul showed them around and explained how a piece of neglected waste ground is being turned into a lovely space for people to enjoy.  Really pleasing how a  father and his daughters from nearby saw what was happening and have taken on an area of the garden to look after – and they are enlisting help from their neighbours as well!  Since the previous post the lower limb of the horse chestnut tree has been removed, logs used to edge the paving slabs, Rebecca Reed and her Woodcraft Folk have built a deluxe bug hotel with and made a tremendous sign for it.  Special mention to Keith from Sale Garden Cottages for this work in watering the garden and as an honorary traffic warden!

Whatever the assessors say about these projects both are great success in their own right.  On behalf of Wokingham in Bloom heartfelt thanks to everyone involved.

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Trip Advisor awards five stars to new hotel in central Wokingham

A brand new five star bug hotel/ hibernation tower opened at Gipsy Lane allotments orchard on Saturday 14th June.

Once permission was received from the planning authorities a great deal of reclaimed building material was assembled over the last few days and construction started promptly at 9am.  By mid-morning the hotel was open for business and awaiting its first guests.

Many thanks to Nicola from the Gipsy Lane orchard group for her concept and her energy in making it happen.  Many thanks as well to the construction crew from 1st Finchampstead Scouts.  James was the hands-on foreman, ably assisted by master craftsmen Alex, Joshua and Matthew.

Great job everyone!

The hotel is for solitary bees, butterflies, centipedes, frogs and all of their chums.  This will help with pollination on the orchard and allotments and to keep other pests and diseases in check.

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Community garden and orchard

Many thanks to Linda, Alan and Mary and all of their volunteers for their hard work and commitment in transforming an area of barren land into a community garden and orchard.  The 200 square metres or so is owned by Wokingham Borough Council and can be found by Cockpit Path where it crosses the top of Howard Road.
Many thanks to Keith from Sale Garden Cottages who has undertaken  to water the plants.  It is hoped that the planting will be finished by the end of this week and that the flagstones donated by Balfour Beatty will all be laid.
A group of Woodcraft Folk will manage one section of the garden as will young uns from Sunbeam Play Group.  The raised beds will be looked after by some residents from Sale Garden Cottages.
The five apple trees for the orchard have arrived and will be planted very soon.  They are all heritage varieties with a long history of cultivation in southern England.
The garden and orchard is on the judging route for Bloom on 23rd July.  It has also been entered in Bloom’s ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ section as well.  This is not a competition but rather an ongoing assessment of community based projects.  Fingers crossed for everyone involved when the assessors visit in early July.
Whatever happens the group can be very proud of their efforts!

From this:

To this:

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Gipsy Lane allotments is bugging out!

This coming Saturday (14th) Nicola from Gipsy Lane allotments and a group of Scouts from 1st Finchampstead led by James Dunn, are constructing a large bug hibernation tower in the community orchard at Gipsy Lane.  The materials have all been donated and/or gathered locally.  The intention is to provide excellent quarters for all types of bees and other beneficial insects.  This very much supports the 2014 Bloom theme of wildlife and conservation.
Many thanks to all involved. Please look out for the articles about this in the local press next week.

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Wood chip spreading at Wokingham Superbowl

Many, many thanks to James Dunn, Scout leader, 1st Woosehill Scouts and eight members of his troop for the sterling work they did in spreading well over 50 wheelbarrow loads of woodchip among the plants by Superbowl.
They were guided, and ably assisted, by Ann Crail from Rose Street Gardeners, Wokingham Methodist Church and Jenny Gilbert from Wokingham Horticultural Association.
There were a few blisters at the end of the operation but a great deal was accomplished. on Saturday 31st May.

The wood chip has been donated by Arborfield Tree Care, Gardeneer, Gristman Tree Surgeons and Scottscape.  Many thanks to all of them for their time and trouble.

If you find yourself nearby do look out for the bee boxes Gerry Higson has put on the wall.  The recently installed information board highlights the wildlife we hope to attract.

The Scouts are turning their attention to constructing a bug hibernation tower at Gipsy Lane community orchard in the near future, in conjunction with members of the orchard group.

Many thanks to everyone involved with both projects from the Wokingham in Bloom steering group.

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