We have been back in the village, tidying and still watering as the dry weather continues. The aim is to get more shopkeepers interested in looking after planters and hanging baskets. And some of them have been great at watering this year, thanks for taking ownership and making a difference shopkeepers.
We have been on tenterhooks about the judges decision after their visit in July. And much relief – on 22nd September they announced we were to receive the GOLD award again!
After the hard work leading up to the judging, the team had a bit of a break, but because of the dry summer and heatwave there was still lots of watering to do. Even with regular watering some of the plants were struggling in the heat and we asked local businesses to water the planters near them where possible.
Fran and Ged were also invited the the end of term Summer Fayre at Oaklands Primary School where they showed children how to sow seeds. The children then took the pots home with them to nurture. We also promoted the Find the Flag trail, which was going well.. many families went on a hunt to find the 54 Commonwealth flags around the village. The businesses and shopkeepers also enjoyed the extra visitors coming in to hunt for the flags!
It was last minute improvements this month before the RHS Judges came along on Thursday 7th July, tidying, planting, painting and litter-picking on the days before, making sure everything looked its best for the day. Thanks to all the supporters. This film sums up the work of the team – and the great result. Thanks to Mick P for putting such a professional film together. We will find out the result from the Judges in September. Fingers crossed!
A busy gardening month. Lots of tidying and weeding and planting up the 22 planters, getting ready for our big Jubilee celebrations. More updates to come to this page soon.
The Village is a blaze of glorious colours this month, thanks to the mass planting of tulips. We continue to work every Sunday morning, weeding, sowing wildflower seeds and cutting back. Its been a cold but dry month, so we haven’t been hindered by the rain. However the ground is hard, so weeding is more effort. This month we also had a group tidy up of Yardley Road. The Council team and lots of volunteers helped to clean the road, report graffiti and sweep gutters.
We are preparing also for our Big Jubilee Street Event on 4th June, working with the council, stall-holders and local organisations to make it go with a swing.
The team of volunteers have been meeting up every Sunday and some Tuesdays to continue to prepare and tidy the beds and green spaces around the village. We have had some good turn outs and enjoyed tidying the beds to make room for all the spring bulbs coming through. Get in touch if you would like to join in from time to time!
To contact Village in Bloom – email co-ordinator : Fran Lee -email@example.com or click on “Contact Us”
A busy year ahead for the Village in Bloom team, this year the RHS judges plan to come an visit and score our work in real life, unlike the last two years, because of restrictions, where we have submitted portfolios and reports about our work. We are busy planning activities for the summer celebrations of the Queen’s Jubilee and tidying and preparing beds. To improve the look of the roads leading into Acocks Green we have been busy painting out graffiti. The cold weather doesn’t stop our efforts!
We have been working in St Mary’s Churchyard, shaping the fast growing laurel shrubs. Also down at the Triabout the wildflower area that looks so lovely in the summer, has been driven over by some visitors to the new restaurant nearby, so Fran had the good idea to put some heavy stones around the edge – that’ll stop them!
The team managed to get out and weed and tidy a few times before Christmas and finally planted the last few tulip bulbs. Over 1000 planted around the village, which should look stunning in the springtime! Fran even organised a lovely Christmas meal for the team at Porto Duoro.
The autumn is a time of cutting overgrown growth back and preparing beds for spring bulb planting. On 21st November we had 30 volunteers come out to plant 1600 tulip bulbs. The volunteers were local people, Acocks Green Lions and 260th Scouts. We look forward to seeing all the colourful flowers coming through in the spring time.
Also we have been weeding the Three Billboards bed on Yardley Road.. preparing it for a wildflower sowing in the spring. Last year was the first year of the meadow, and we did get a lot of weeds out of this land that had been left as wasteground for many years.
This month we received the great news that we had won Gold again!
Read all about it HERE including a chance to view the portfolio that was submitted to the judges – which sums up the work we’ve done, despite a world pandemic!
Also this month Fran has been working with two volunteers as part of the ‘Grow Social’ scheme, to get older and possibly isolated people, out in the fresh air, gardening.
Work continues on the Triabout, which included the planting of a tree as a memorial for a young lady who was sadly fatally injured close by. Her parents approached ViB to ask if this was possible, which of course the Bloom team were happy to do.
The long border on Woodcock Lane is a riot of yellow, with the flowering helianthus. Continued maintenance keeps the area looking lovely. The team had a great day at the
Acocks Green BID’s Bounce Back event – a post lockdown celebration of our village centre where lots of plants were sold and seed-sowing with families and even some glamorous dancers!
Summer time in Acocks Green. This year we worked for the first time with Acocks Green Library to deliver family activities on the library forecourt – sowing seeds, chatting to locals about gardening, and on one session our local bee-keeper came along to talk all about the wonderful world of bees! Nice to chat to local families and share the love of growing things and the natural world. It also fitted with the Library’s Summer Reading Challenge Theme – which was Wild World Heroes.
Great to work as a group again and enjoy the warmer weather. We have been weeding, watering and planting this month. The 22 planters along the High Street have been looking good, we’ve had to weed chickweed from them and water in dry periods but overall they bring welcome colour and cheeriness.
Some of the shops have hanging baskets that we offer as long as they promise to water. The trailing begonias look great. Wild flower meadows at The Triabout and the newly established Three Billboards site on Yardley Road are flourishing. A couple of volunteers recently spent 3 hours weeding the new 3 billboards meadow, as a pernicious weed and stingers still had a bit of a hold. Lots of nettle stings later it is looking much better and what a transformation from a couple of years ago, when it was wasteland of rubbish and weeds.
We were very upset by the theft of our hanging baskets from Acocks Green Railway Station. Each year these are put in place by volunteers and watered by a local resident often daily. It was so sad to see that they had been stolen after our hard work and efforts. The theft has been reported to the police.
Click on the images to enlarge.
What a busy month! Planting up the the street planters on the Warwick Road, watering, weeding and preparing for our first event for a while – The Plant Sale in and around Mallard Community Orchard on 5th June. We had such a glorious time, with lots of local people holding stalls, the local bee keeper showing us their bees and selling lots of honey, live music from local musician Jon. Also The Works organised a lovely bee-themed colouring activity and we had live sketching from Helen and Anne as well as a prize raffle. So many people turned up in the sunshine to enjoy the day and spend money. It was a really uplifting event and we made some money to continue our work in Acocks Green.
One of the driest months on record and lots of night frosts, but the hard work of volunteers bulb planting in Autumn has paid off. The tulips around the village have been a delight as we come out of lockdown and look towards a brighter future. Fran and team have been out every week tidying and weeding, keeping things looking good. Also a welcome new help from local painter Graham, who has been repainting our litter bins in the village.
A piece of land in front of advertising hoardings on Yardley Road and belonging to the advertising company, has recently been cleared as they have replaced the boards. A member of the team contacted Global and asked if we could sow wild flower seeds on the site, to make a meadow of colourfulness and support the pollinating insects. When they said yes we were able to work as a team once more, we started digging over the ground, getting out buried litter, weeds and brambles, to prepare the ground for the wildflower seeds. Watch this space!
Because of Covid restrictions we were only allowed to work singularly or in pairs, but continued tidy up the beds and clearing up winter die back to make room for the new spring growth. Already the tulips are starting to come through, which will be a delight. So have your cameras ready.
Lockdown continues. However volunteers have been working individually and in pairs to tidy up the village green spaces. So nice to see the narcissi brightening up the planters, filling our hearts with hope for a brighter times to come. Volunteers have been out litter picking around the village too. Lockdown seems to have produced more litter with no cafes or pubs being open and people eating and drinking on the go (and not disposing or their rubbish responsibly!)
January 2021 – Updates from Acocks Green Village in Bloom ~ Fran Lee
Looking back to an article I wrote for the Neighbourhood Forum Newsletter in January last year, it was so full of hope for the year to come. We just managed to scrape in our community fund raising event “A Bloomin’ Good Night’ at the Westley Hotel before lockdown was upon us. Nevertheless we took it on the chin and some of us gardened alone and we watered the newly planted shrubs on the ‘Triabout’ as most of the time during the first lockdown it was hot and dry.
It did have its upsides – hardly any traffic and you could hear the birdsong so much more. We had taken on an allotment to put into practice the RHS theme ‘Grow Social’ but the situation we found ourselves in meant we had to be anti social! However, it was very useful when lockdown eased as Jeffries could deliver the hundreds of plants for planting on the high street so that we could sort them into planting sets and then individuals were able to plant them. People remarked how the sight of flowers was uplifted for the spirits as had the array of tulips displayed in all our beds in the village in April.
Lockdown V2 hampered our tulip team tulip planting and we had to leave planting the bulbs until December. Members of the 260th Scout troop, the Acocks Green Lions and other stalwarts of the community helped us to plant around 1600 bulbs.
Two of our team erected the polytunnel at the allotment and we are already overwintering plants there.
We are formulating plans for the year but we cannot involve people or organise any events at present. The team will carry on maintaining as best as possible our beds and await hopefully a good outcome of the vaccination programme and news for the future from The Royal Horticultural Society.
I have received several emails from the ‘litter champions’ working with us to’ Keep the Green Clean’ with photos of lots of grey bags they have filled. The community spirit and dedication of the people of Acocks Green never ceases to amaze me! Thank you to all our supporters and a Happy New Year.
Fran Lee – Co-ordinator – Acocks Green Village in Bloom – email: firstname.lastname@example.org: Telephone: 0121 706 0076
With Lockdown during November we weren’t able to do our group planned Mass Tulip Planting meet up, but we’ve been busy catching up with the task and working as individuals and in pairs. The Acocks Green Lions (post lockdown) came out to support Village in Bloom again, helping to plant 100s of bulbs on the Triabout. Thanks to the 260th scouts representatives too who lent the team a very welcome hand.
As well as erecting our very useful polytunnel, which will be great for overwintering tender plants, we worked with Arts in the Yard to give out free growing kits to local people. So many people have discovered the joys of gardening this lockdown thanks to the Lottery Funding that Arts in the Yard received.
Thanks to the 10 volunteers who came out for the Village in Bloom Great September Clean. The place looked a whole lot cleaner after 2 hours of litter-picking, volunteers concentrated on side roads and areas that get over-looked. Thanks to Fran for organising it.
Work has been going on at the Village in Bloom Allotment too. Volunteers are helping to construct a polytunnel which will be useful for overwintering plants and starting plants of earlier in the year. The old shed that was on the site previously has been transformed into a beautiful feature too.
We have been continuing to meet at least once a week to weed and tidy around the village, and watering in dry weeks. We were most saddened to see some of the plants stolen from the village planters and so have had to consolidate some of the plants. On the upside the culprit was caught and the suspect arrested!
This month we will be asking people to come forward to help tidy up the village as part of the Great British September Clean!
We have been putting up hanging baskets around the village for those businesses that have asked for them (and promised to water them regularly!) Also the lovely baskets are in place Acocks Green Railway Station, which are regularly watered by Lewis a very reliable local.
Each Sunday the team meet at a designated place to tidy/weed/water and have a chat and a catch up and lots of Community Feel Good Factor. The photos speak for themselves!
The team have been working most Sundays to tidy around the different green spaces of Acocks Green and have now planted up the 23 planters. Firstly they stripped out the dead daffodils which had been such boost of cheerfulness throughout the village during the spring, then topped up planters with fresh compost and following a detailed plan, designed by Fran, planted up each planter. The group worked individually to adhere to social distancing rules. They are now a delightful collection of colourful plants which will flourish with the help of regular watering. Volunteers are sought to ‘adopt’ a planter to water during dry weather – can you help Village in Bloom. Get in touch if you can.
And then Covid 19 hit the world. Who could have predicted this? We were told to stay in and all our planned outdoor events were cancelled and the RHS cancelled the usual Britain in Bloom contest that we enter each year. But the virus didn’t affect the bulbs flowering and brightening people’s day as they dealt with the shock of the pandemic. Fran has been also working in isolation at the allotment, which is proving a great resource.
The team has really missed meeting up for our gardening and chatting sessions. Some of us have individually carried on maintaining our village areas and even those on the Bloom judging route have been out regularly to ensure we keep up the standards for Acocks Green. Taija at Fox Hollies Park maintaining the orchard and planting near the pool and copse and John of St. Mary’s church has been mowing and weeding around the graves. He cannot raise the dead but can keep the spirits raised for all of us in this period of lockdown. The grass has been mown by the council and we have been maintaining our beautiful beds which with the all year round colour we are sure helps to bring a cheerful interlude into our residents’ lives.
Well what an amazingly busy month we had in March, preparing for our Big Night Out – Another Blooming Good Night. There was Brian the compare, fun quiz, live music from Canoe, a tasty buffet and lots of dancing. It was a sell out and Village in Bloom raised over £800 funds to continue planting and improving Acocks Green. Thank you to all the generous donations to the raffle and all those who came along and took part and made the night go with a swing!
Too much rain! We’ve still been out gardening when the weather allows, tidying and cutting back. It’s good to see the positive results of our bulb planting – the narcissi are coming up in all the planters and there are the first sign of tulips.
We have been working hard planning our fundraising evening at the Westley – Another Bloomin’ Good Night! Also we have signed up to join in the Great British Spring Clean next month. Come and join us! Or is you want to organise your own litter pick just go to the
Keep Britain Tidy Website
There was last minute bulb-planting and general tidying up to do this month. Also there were lots of Christmas activities taking place around the village. On 13th December Village in Bloom volunteers attended the Stockfield Christmas Cracker where they helped local families plant up pots with spring bulbs to then take home and enjoy.
Community Pop-Up Market.
Acocks Green Village BID organised a seasonal market in the old Post Office building over 13th/14th December. Village in Bloom were also in attendance there, raising funds for future planting projects. Thanks to all those who came to support the team.
This month Village in Bloom organised the Annual Mass Community Bulb-Planting. The scouts and lots of volunteers came along to help. We planted hundreds of tulip bulbs in St Mary’s Church, the Main Island, War Memorial, The Triabout, Woodcock Lane corner and hundreds on the Triabout. So we all look forward to seeing a mass of colourful blooms in the springtime!
We’ve had to contend with an awful lot of wet weather during October, so quite a few times our gardening sessions were cancelled. However progress has been made on the Triabout and it has been planted up with a colourful array of shrubs. There is always plenty of work to do.. whatever the season!
We had a special outing this month too to The Hive, in the Jewellery Quarter. This amazing café and college teaches catering, creative activities and gardening on their fabulous roof top garden. Gary the gardener gave us a special tour of their ever-developing garden where they grow many crops to serve in the café on the ground floor. There are beehives, a wormery where all the kitchen waste is recycled and plans for ponds and hedgehogs. This type of gardening is called permaculture, where you work with nature. This is something we try to do as a team, gardening organically, planting wildflowers, having a bug hotel, small pond and compost bins and piles. Our visit to The Hive was inspiring, showing us how even in the most unlikely places, plants and nature can flourish.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the Late Summer Fayre on Woodcock Lane. It was a little damp, but we sold a lot of plants and donated tools and made over £300 funds to continue our work. And the excellent news is that the judges have awarded us GOLD again for the 5th year in a row! We scored top marks in Community Engagement so thanks for all the support over the year people! Here are a few photos of our work.. you can see what a great impact we have had on the entrance to Birmingham at the Triabout. Just a little more work to do on this area, but what a professional and attractive entrance to our city the volunteers have created! We need new volunteers, so get in touch if you would like to help.
We have been busy around the village, pruning and cutting back the flowers that have gone over and preparing for our Late Summer Fayre to raise funds which will take place at the end of this month on the spacious green space of Woodcock Lane/Warwick Road. Come along and support our cause!
Monday 1st July was the visit by the judges from Heart of England in Bloom.
We set out to make the village come alive for the judgement day and we definitely succeeded with our efforts. Our bunting decorated Woodcock Lane, the Inn on the Green and the Westley Hotel where we used their attractive conservatory for our presentation
to the judges.
Three bicycles were put into bicycle racks with floral displays to add to the 22 planters we had planted up in May. The BID had arranged for railing baskets and new for this year, the tiered planters were installed at the Aldi end of the village.
Steve, one of our team showed off his engineering skills by parking his restored bright red tractor on the ‘Triabout.’ On the corner of Woodcock Lane Jon from local band Canoe strummed his guitar and sang ‘I never promised you a rose garden.’
At the orchard, we were greeted by pupils of Holy Souls school who listened intently when one of the judges talked to them about growing apples.
When we visited Acocks Green School pupils were working in their vegetable beds, then crossing over the road we were greeted by Father Andrew and a group of volunteers at
St. Mary’s church and talked about the churchyard’s history and planting.
Alan Nicholson, Chair of Arden Road Residents enjoyed showing the judges the architectural delights of his road with houses built as long ago as the 17th century. They also have some attractive gardens with a delightful flower bed around the old oak tree and at the entrance to the road.
Taija met us at Fox Hollies park and showed off her splendid knowledge of trees illustrating all the new trees planted in the last couple of years – in their hundreds!
Taija also used her artistic talent to create a mural on one of the side walls of Mallard Close depicting what you ask? Well mallard ducks of course, historical records tell us there was a duck pond in the grounds of an old house that once stood where the close now is.
Over at Morrison’s they displayed their plants on our plant cart, really setting the scene.
One of the last stops was at S & H Jewellers who had created a theme around this year’s R.H.S. Theme – gardening with water. They hung a net with fish in it and had a themed window display – they did Acocks Green proud.
Ged had arranged for our ‘Keep the Green’ poster to be displayed in all the notice boards and the BID team and Bloom volunteers had installed a variety of hanging baskets outside some of the shops, the village looked at its best!
Will we gain Gold again? We have to wait til September to find out.
Acocks Green Carnival
The following Saturday, was Acocks Green Carnival where we love sowing seeds with children to take away and nurture. We sold many plants and talked to numerous people about gardening – what fun!
Then a week later, it was the Stockfield Fun Day, again we sowed seeds with local children. However, we also take along planters and plants for people to make their own attractive arrangement. We also arranged a plant swap which was very popular.
In amongst all this, Fran was asked by the Royal Horticultural Society to be a guest speaker at the Tatton Park community forum preceding one of the R.H.S. Garden shows. Fran’s presentation was addressed to Bloom groups, mainly from the North West region, and Fran was most proud to show slides and inform the audience about our activities involving our wonderful Acocks Green community.
Keep the Green Clean
Holy Souls school also invited us along to engage their pupils in becoming part of our litter champions campaign. This entails pupils working with parents over the holiday period litter picking in any part of Acocks Green. So far four families are keen
on taking part.
Birmingham City Council recently received funding for purchasing equipment for volunteers – rakes, brooms, rubbish bags and loops to keep them open, anti graffiti kits, first aid kits and gardening tools. Ashley from Montgomery Street delivered it to us and took a lot of interest in what we had achieved in Acocks Green. It is good to know that we have the support of the council to help us in our variety of duties around the village. It was really heart-warming when he pinned one of our ‘Keep the Green Clean’ badges to his jacket!
What a busy month!
There has been great team work down on the Triabout with some new volunteers coming forward to help speed up the completion of the circular raised bed in the centre of the triangular bed. There’s still plenty more to do but there have been great leaps forward thanks to the hard work of the Triabout Team!
In some ways the wet June has been good for Village in Bloom. We have not had to worry too much about watering the 22 planters we have planted up. But once the weather gets warm we could really do with a few more people to help water a planter. If you would like to get involved in this small way then please let us know.
Also one of our volunteers – Veronica, as a trustee of Westley Vale Millennium Green and part of Birmingham Open Spaces Forum, found out about the opportunity to be immortalised in 3D Model form. She was one of the twenty models of volunteers which formed part of Birmingham City Council’s entry in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for which they were awarded their 8th Gold.
With the theme of ‘The Environment and Climate Change’, the models form a display that recognises the contribution and value of volunteers and Friends Groups who support the 500 parks and green spaces in the city.
Veronica brought her ‘mini me’ out to show the other gardeners on Sunday and we must say the likeness is startling!
The most active time in the gardening year..and haven’t the team been busy. The focus was Springfest – a fund-raising event to get the community together and celebrate springtime. Read more about it here.
This month we have also been planting up all 22 of the cast iron planters we have in the village. This is a lot of organisation, choosing the right combination of plants, working out the layout and preparing the beds ready for the new flowers. With military precision the team organised the project. Thanks to Jeffreys to supplying the lovely plants. They were all in place within a couple of hours and watered in from the water butts. Now let nature take its course and we look forward a long summer of colourful blooms.
“Oh to be in England now that April’s there…” so wrote Robert Browning. Well the village has looked splendid with the spring flowers, daffodils have been flowering all over the village en masse. Thanks to all those who helped plant bulbs in the Autumn. It was worth it! And we have had a whole weekend of working with schools and locals to do the Great British Spring Clean. So much litter.. we wish people would stop dropping it!
The work continues and we enjoy the flower bulbs planted over recent autumns. Watch out for the tulips, which are starting to come through now.
The latest project is sanding and varnishing the many benches around the village. The team have been using yacht varnish which should give them a hardwearing finish to protect them from the elements.
Spring is in the air and we have been working hard as usual, gardening (of course) and working with local schools on an Anti-Litter Campaign. We organised a poster competition to design a picture with the theme – Keep the Green Clean. We had 115 entries from 3 different local schools. We received some wonderful colourful pictures from lots of environmentally-aware children. Thank you for the support of all the schools with getting the message across. Thanks especially to Mrs Livesidge (below) at Acocks Green Primary, for inviting us to the assembly to present the prize and spread the message to local children.
We have also been planting lots of shrubs on The Triabout to make a colourful all-round impact as you arrive in Birmingham from Solihull. All the spring bulbs we have planted are looking at their best too.
We’ve been working on the corner of Woodcock Lane, putting new turf down where the grass had been taken over by aggressive weeds. We also planted a Japanese cherry tree in the place where a tree blew down last year.
We have been working on hard on The Triabout, laying down hardcore for the path around the raised bed and tidying edges. As well as lots of litter-picking, as this area gets particularly litter-strewn. We think a lot of people must be throwing rubbish out of car windows, especially people frequenting the drive through MacDonalds!
Happy New Year from Village in Bloom Team – we are straight back to it doing a bit of top dressing/mulching of our beds. A great mixture of well-rotted horse manure, leaf mould, blood fish and bone and potash. This is a picture of us stirring up the concoction to feed the beds of Acocks Green!
We also dug up the red dahlias to store and prepare for next summer from the War Memorial. The sun came out and we picked up litter and generally tidied the area. A good morning’s work. We meet every Sunday at 10am and Wednesdays at 10am. We also recruit local litter pickers, supplying litter-pickers, special council bags and a list of places to leave the litter bags for collection by the council. Would you like to keep your neighbourhood litter-free? Get in touch with us! Or come along and join our crew – always plenty to do.
The Village in Bloom influence continues. This is the Three Tree Project. Three community-minded ladies contacted Village in Bloom and Roger Harmer about making a feature of the tree beds on their road. So on 16th December we went out in force with Roger to prepare the beds and plant them up with lots of spring bulbs. The council have been informed not to spray the area, so we look forward to another road benefiting from a little TLC and planting..
Fran our Co-Ordinator was able to secure a large selection of native trees and shrubs from the Woodlands Trust to plant in our area. Having strong connections with Fox Hollies Park and it being on the Village in Bloom Judging route, a hardy bunch of volunteers came together to plant on Sunday 2nd December. Our friends from 260th Scout group were out in force again as well as lots of local residents. The whole event was co-ordinated and organised brilliantly by Taija from the Friends of Fox Hollies Park. Well done everyone who took part in this great community event.
We were so lucky with the weather for our mass tulip planting on Sunday 18th November. Lots of enthusiastic volunteers came out to help, including our friends the 260th Scout Troop. It didn’t take long to plant over 1000 bulbs around the village, including red bulbs for the War Memorial and an array of beautiful shades around St Marys Churchyard, The Main Island, Mallard Community Orchard and around the Triabout area. They had such lovely names too including Moonblush, Charming Lady, Jazz and Angelique! We look forward to seeing them appear in the springtime. Thanks again to all those community-spirited people who came along to help.
Thanks to everyone who came out and helped plant hundreds of daffodils around Acocks Green including the local scout troop. We planted on the wall at Morrison’s, around trees on Warwick Road and at the ‘Triabout’ heading towards Olton. Look out for the hosts of golden daffodils in the spring time. Our next planting session will be on Sunday 18th November when we will be planting tulips. We welcome people to come along and help.
Come along and join the team for this annual event:
What an amazing month. Acocks Green Village in Bloom received a GOLD award for the 4th time in a row this month. We are very proud of the achievement which wouldn’t be possible without so much support from volunteers, organisations and the local businesses.
Also this month we were asked to host the ‘Its Your Neighbourhood‘ Awards for the RHS Heart of England area. On Thursday 27th over 200 people attended the awards ceremony held at our prestigious St Mary’s Church. A perfect setting on a sunny day, surrounded by the churchyard and the sun pouring through the Burne-Jones window – thanks to the church volunteers and everyone who helped with the large organisation of the event. We hope that people enjoyed their day, many of whom had never visited Acocks Green before. You are always welcome in Acocks Green so come back soon.
Also an extra busy month as Acocks Green is playing host the RHS Neighbourhood Awards Ceremony for the Heart of England Britain in Bloom. This means about 300 people from across the region (that goes as far as Shropshire and Staffordshire) will be visiting our area, chosen because of our established success in the Village in Bloom campaign. To welcome the visitors and put our success on the map the team have developed a brochure which you can click on to view.
The volunteers have been busy tidying up St Marys Churchyard because this is where the ceremony will take place.
The heatwave and watering continues throughout the month, thankfully we had a bit of rain to start to green up the beds once more. Next month the team find out what award the village will receive – will it be Gold for the 4th time?
Jerome our volunteer bricklayer has been working Sundays on the raised bed on the Triabout too. We are hoping it will be ready before winter arrives.
Stalls and Prize-Giving
The team have been getting around village with a stall at Acocks Green Carnival at the beginning of July and more gardening activities at Stockfield Funday. Lots of children sowed seeds and grown ups enjoyed planting up attractive planters that they took home at the end of the Funday. The aim is to encourage more people to enjoy gardening and taking pride in their local environment. Something the Bloom Team are passionate about. They also visited local stalls to present prizes for the annual art competition. Thanks to the hundreds of children who took part. We had so many lovely entries.
Watering, watering and more watering!
One of our team, George, had been watering the 22 planters which we had planted along the High Street; however, in this sweltering heat, it was becoming impractical, as he had to ask for water from various businesses.
He said that we needed a bowser. We researched this on the internet, but an easy solution could not be found. So we contacted Ian Jeffries, who offered us one of his dutch trollies, along with two water butts – but the wheels were too small to pull the butts along the pavement and across the road. However, from one of his catalogues, Ian identified a garden trolley with larger wheels; he ordered it and it arrived the following morning.
The two butts stacked side-by-side on the trolley were not a success, as their centre of gravity was too high for the arrangement to be stable. But Ged, another member of our team, offered us an old water tank from her garden – would you believe that it fitted? With some modifications and improvements, including a new tap, made by a third team member, Mick, the final arrangement was ideal. We then walked our new ‘water wagon’ around the village to provide much-needed sustenance to the plants in the planters.
Although ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ came into my mind, George thought of something much more dynamic, namely ‘The “A” Team’, whose catchphrase, at the end of their programmes was:
“I love it when a plan comes together!”
We are the “AG in Bloom” Team, – we have lots of plans, which always come together
Fran Lee – Co-ordinator – Acocks Green Village in Bloom
LOTS of hard work in the last month in time to welcome the judges to Acocks Green on 4th July. Lots of final touches and endless watering in this incessant warm and dry summer. Roger and Trish, the judges from the Royal Horticultural Society both have links with Acocks Green and enjoyed walking around our village and Fox Hollies Park, admiring our community links that we have built and the positive spirit around the village.
Thank you to Acocks Green Library who made us so welcome to hold the slide presentation and welcome tea and coffee for the judges and all those involved. There are too many other people to thank but you know who you are.
We now await the result in September. Can we retain GOLD award for the 4th year?!!
If you can help with watering in this dry weather do let us know! We would like local businesses and residents to adopt a planter to water.
An enjoyable time weeding and tidying in our lovely orchard. Lots to do before judging day on 4th July.
This month spring really sprung and the autumn planting of bulbs has paid off, giving an been exceptional display around the village, we hope you agree. Such an array of wonderful colours, so many tulips, so many varieties.
Our local volunteer Jerome has continued the building of the circular raised bed on the Triabout and we had a very well attended Village in Bloom Launch at Mallard Community Orchard. Thanks to everyone who came and supported us.
Another successful night at the Westley, thanks for all the support from businesses and those who attended. We had a whale of a time and raised lots of money for our continued hard work. At last Spring seems to have arrived after the longest winter. We have been busy tidying and pruning. The spring bulbs planted in the autumn look a wonderful sight all though the village. Its a sea of daffodils at the moment an the tulips are just starting to appear.
We also this month launch our annual Children’s Art Competition. Draw a picture on the form and drop it off at the address on the form. The entries are shown to the judges and some will go on display in the library and on this website.
What a hectic month! The team have been so busy working on the Triabout, the planned round raised bed is going well – the deep foundations have been dug and EHSmiths have kindly donated a lot of bricks to build the bed.
The team have been recruiting litter-picking champions too, to help keep streets clean, supplying them with all the equipment provided. And on 24th March we had Yet Another Bloomin’ Good Night at the Westley Hotel to raise important funds to continue the ViB work. It was a sell out and a great success. See the front page for more details.
Tickets now on sale for the third annual Village in Bloom Shindig. Previous years have been a sell out and great success. Come and celebrate the third Gold Award with us!
Last year ViB team were delighted and surprised to receive a special award – only one is given for the whole of the Heart of England Region – to recognise the success of working in partnership with so many different parts of the community. Being glass it has been difficult to capture the detail, but thanks to Jacqui – one of the ViB team and a talented photographer, this photo shows it in all its glory. Well done Jacqui. Well done Village in Bloom.
And so the team continue to work on the big project of 2018, The Triabout. The extensive bed has been dug and we are relaying turf in the bare patches. Jerome a local handyman has kindly answered our call out and has offered to build a raised brick built round bed to add to impact. Much thought and discussion has gone into choosing the right shrubs to give all round colour and impact. We also spent a bit of time tidying up Mallard Community Orchard. Plenty to do as always! Get in touch if you would like to help!
The cold winter continues and so does the Triabout digging! It’s satisfying work though. The huge new bed is dug out, and we are now digging over and building up the ground to make an attractive and striking entrance to Birmingham. A local man has kindly come forward to offer to help with the brickwork for the raised bed that will go in the middle, so watch this space. If anyone would like to come and dig just let us know or turn up! (Sunday and Wednesday mornings from 10am).
Lots of work on the Triabout this month, when it wasn’t snowing! We are digging a much larger bed to give all year round colour. It will be a real positive impact to the Gateway to Birmingham. We need help with digging and bricklaying.
We were pleased to see the new Acocks Green Car Wash. Very attractive improvement.
The Acocks Green Calendars are now available
The team have applied for some funding from Aviva Community Fund. The more we get the more money to support Village in Bloom. So register and vote now! It only takes a couple of minutes.
Another busy month with bulb planting and preparing beds for wild flowers in Oak Meadow, tidying up the orchard in Mallard Close and St Marys.
We are hoping that local people to Oak Meadow can come along to help plant wildflower seeds to enhance this attractive green space next to the Grand Union Canal.
The team had a good turn out for the mass daffodil planting. Thanks to everyone who came along and look out for the next mass planting of TULIPS on 19th November.
After the announcement of our Gold and Special Community Award we have not rested on our laurels and work continues around the village, tidying up the late summer flowers, there is always something to do! Its great to have the help of young James too who is completing his Duke of Edinburgh Award, so all this volunteering goes towards his award. (We think he actually enjoys it too!)
HOORAY FOR BLOOM!
Great news we achieved a GOLD Award for 3rd year in a row…also a
Special Community Achievement award. Well done team! The judges were very complimentary about the hard work of the team and how well they engage the community:
The Acocks Green In Bloom team goes from strength to strength each year and this year it was clear to see that they had gone again to another level. Veronica’s statue on the island by the Inn was certainly the icing on the cake following another jam packed year of work, events, community involvement and improvements. It was a pleasure to judge with so many wonderful people involved!
Also thanks goes to Jeffries Hardware they have dedicated their window display to the work of the team, they have supported the team all the way along, supplying fabulous plants and tools.
The team have been working hard as usual, have you spotted them around?
Well the judging is over and we have to wait til September for results. Fingers crossed! Our work continues. The wildflowers at the triabout look a treat. We need local people to help water though. Get in touch if you can help. We will supply watering can! Below is some of the work we have been up to recently. The wildflowers on the Triabout look especially lovely at the moment – welcoming everyone to Acocks Green and Birmingham!
Flaming June! We are working hard towards the Judging Day on Tuesday 4th July. Today we have been cutting back and tidying in the orchard. There’s lots of ripe raspberries and the cherries are just starting to ripen. There’s lots of watering to do!
Can you help? Anyone who would like to help by watering or in any other way do get in touch. We meet every Wednesday and Sunday but other days too at the moment. Its rewarding work and good exercise.
Children’s Art Competiton
Click on the link to find our annual art competition for children up to 16yrs. We look forward to a real imaginative collection of pictures inspired by the outdoors and supporting the natural world – Children’s Art Competition 2017
Launch Event at the Orchard
The Village in Bloom Launch Event on Saturday 13th May was a very pleasant community event. Thanks to all those who attended and added to the atmosphere. You know who you are! Also this year we had the added addition of the local bee keepers. And a great find – Barry the Busker, who played a great selection of 50s-70s music.
This is the month when everything starts growing like mad and new flowers appear each day. The team have been working really hard on the Triabout area, and have transformed the gateway into Birmingham, working with the council to improve the garden of the corner house that had become eyesore. They have also worked on a patch of waste ground, laying new turf and sowing wildflowers. Masses of tulips and daffodils have been planted on the triabout area and have been a delightful splash of colour to those arriving in Acocks Green.
And then there is the exciting news that our new Acocks Green Sculpture is ready for installation, so the team have been making the main island looks its very best in preparation for its arrival! All go!
Check out our Spring Newsletter
The team have been busy at St Mary’s and the Triabout, transforming the main A roads into the village, so that visitors will get a positive impression of entering Acocks Green!
Our autumn planting has paid off. So many people have remarked on how colourful the village is looking. It’s Tulipmania!
What a busy beginning to the month we have had. The fund raising night – Another Bloomin’ Good Night went off really well, a sell-out social evening that saw lots of people enjoying a great night of entertainment – here is what Fran Lee says about the night –
Fundraising for a voluntary group is never easy.
What better way to do it than involve the whole community. The Acocks Green Village in Bloom team organised a social event at the Westley Hotel – ‘Another Bloomin’ Good Night Out’ on Saturday 4th March. We had organised such a successful evening last year.
comprised of a live band ‘Canoe,’ a quiz, a buffet and a raffle. The prizes had been collected from the local shopkeepers in ‘the village’ and had donations from other community spirited people.
There were representatives from Arden and Hazelwood Road residents’ associations, the 260th Scout Troop, some shopkeepers and of course our local councillors – John O’Shea, Roger Harmer and Stewart Stacey who have given the Village in Bloom team lots of support.
Also from Hazelwood Residents’ Association, we had a volunteer compere, volunteer photographer and Angela Billingham made some jewellery especially for the raffle for this occasion. It was made of burnt copper comprising necklace and earrings in a leaf motif.
From this event, we have raised over £700
For the last two years, the Village in Bloom team has gained Gold in the Urban Category of Britain in Bloom – we are now aiming for Best in Urban category.
Fran Lee – Bloom Co-ordinator
ViB also got involved with the Great British Spring Clean activity, organised by Keep Britain Tidy. Working with around 40 Yr 7 children from Archbishop Ilsleys, the large groups picked loads of bags of litter round the back streets of the village.
Update from Fran – Co-Ordinator ViB:
‘The team believe it is best to carry on working all through the winter – beats the gym and keeps us warm. The raised bed on the corner of Woodcock Lane had been hurriedly planted when we had to move our plants from the central reservation to make way for the Smart Route. We set about a revamp. You will see the yellow of Achillea and Hellenium at the rear of the bed and then at the front will be the blues and whites of Salvia and Delphinium and at the height of Summer we have blue Agapanthus – so keep looking. We have also planted tulip bulbs in this bed as we have done in some of the other beds where the team gardens.
We are really moving in the ‘Triabout’ area and you will see from above photo that we have nearly finished digging alongside the garden of the house on the corner of Gospel Lane and Olton Boulevard East. Here we propose to mimic the beds on the main grassed area of the ‘Triabout’ and put a triangular lawn with a smaller triangle in the centre, edged in Box with a Magnolia tree in the centre.
Birmingham City Housing are now joining in as well as Council Highways Department and helping to enhance the garden at the end of Warwick Road where it joins Gospel Lane.
Here they are putting in picket fencing, improving the existing fencing and putting up trellising.
Casey Joe’s bar has even joined in by removing the large damaged sign and putting in one which enhances the area.
Won’t we see a change to the entrance of our super city?!’
The team’s Acocks Green Calendar proved a great success and all 400 calendars were sold. This raised funds for future improvement projects and plants so thanks to everyone who purchased one. We hope they are in pride of place now and reminding people of the attractiveness of our area.
More news – back by popular demand is a Bloomin’ Good Night. Following the success of last year’s first social evening under the Village in Bloom banner – tickets are now on sale for this year’s event. All info is below. If you would like tickets see below, it was a sell-out last year and tickets are going fast. Also if you would like to donate any good quality prizes for the Grand Raffle then please get in touch.
The team continues on improving the entrance into Birmingham, this week we were planting bulbs in freshly created triangular beds, echoing the shape of ‘The Triabout’ area, a name catching on in Acocks Green. Also we used the turf to improve the look of the corner house garden. It is such a busy corner. We are into creating a good impression of Birmingham and Acocks Green to the many people who travel on this road. The Bloom Team, with their years of experience, understand how important giving a positive impression of a place is. It is easy to not notice what you see every day, like litter and scruffy street furniture and untidy frontages. Working together, with the council, the businesses and individuals we can change our attitudes and continue to improve AG, making people proud to live and spend time here!
This Sunday we worked on tidying a very untidy corner as you enter Acocks Green. We are the gateway to Birmingham and so want to give a good impression!
Thanks to everyone who came out on 20th November to help plant 500 tulip bulbs around the village. The damp weather helped ease the deep planting of the bulbs. We look forward to our colourful springtime.
The Bloom team had long thought that the wrong impression was gained for Acocks Green and indeed Birmingham by the unloved appearance of the Boundary area. This is where Warwick Road, Olton Boulevard East and Gospel Lane meet where there is a triangular traffic island which we have named the ‘Triabout.’
We are going to be working in tandem with the council who are going to do some structural jobs including consolidating traffic signs, replacing the road signs with ‘heritage’ style ones and repairing the wall on the Warwick Road side of the grassed area. We are for our part are going to beautify the area including the grassed part of the triabout by planting. We have already tidied up the area by the garage of the house on the corner of Warwick Road. We have also planted additional daffodils (Narcissi) in the grass and around the trees. The council is aiming to complete their structural work by the end of March and our work will be ongoing. Do you live near here and want to help improve your environment? Many hands make light work, so don’t be shy, get in touch. Contact Fran on 0121 706 0076 or email: email@example.com.
Working with the Village Pub
The team have been working on another transformation project in conjunction with the village pub – Inn on the Green. The pub has recently opened it’s new Bottle Bar room and volunteers have been helping by organising a major tidy up of the car park and adding a touch of greenery in the bar. Check out the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures below:
One of the perennial events in the Village in Bloom calendar is the ‘Children’s Art Competition. We invite children up to the age of 16 to enter and always have some super entries usually from schools in Acocks Green. The theme this year was following the RHS mission: ‘Greening Grey Britain’.
Meanwhile, in our library, this year an event was held called ‘The Summer Reading Challenge.’ To respond to this challenge, the children attending the library were asked to read six books and those that complete the challenge are rewarded with a medal and certificate. During this period, the children were also asked if they wished to enter our Art Competition and the response was extremely good.
We awarded Maryam Khan who attends Ninestiles school, with the award of judges favourite. Her prize was a case of artists’ materials and a large sketch pad to encourage her to continue with her creativity. Below are a reminder of the winners from this year’s competition again, including Maryam’s colourful watering can.
Fran was asked to attend the prize giving party sponsored by the ‘Friends of the Library’ when our prize was handed over to Maryam, followed by the medals and certificates for those children who completed the summer reading challenge.
Thanks again to all the children who entered the competition – there were 390 entries altogether!
The weather was looking very dodgy first thing for our bulb planting sessio with heavy rain. But then the sun came out and so did the volunteers !
We had 13 people altogether.. so a big THANKYOU to everyone who came out. Many hands make light work and all narcissi bulbs successfully planted. Next mass bulb planting is 20th November when we will be planting tulips. So come along and make a difference!
The Bloom team do not rest on their laurels. Work continues around the Green and so far we have had lots of decent weather to get stuck in. We have a new focus – the entry into Birmingham – making an impact for those arriving into Birmingham from Solihull.
*** Next Sunday ( 16th Oct) 10am – meet at the Orchard for Spring Bulb Planting with the team. Everyone welcome***
Well Done Team! Gold again – well deserved after a year of working hard in Acocks Green, making a real difference, table top sales, The Carnival, Social Fund Raising Evening, newsletters, oh yes and some gardening too!
Why not play your part in improving Acocks Green this autumn and join the team for a morning of bulb planting? An activity suitable for all ages as we will be planting up the containers on Warwick Road:
Sunday 16th Oct, 10am daffodil planting
Sunday 20th November 10am- tulip planting.
Meet at the orchard. Equipment provided.
Expanding the influence of ‘Bloom’ some of the team have been working with a local resident to tidy up the corner of Malvern and Yardley Road. With the addition of the Heritage Trail board, it was decided that the area needed a little TLC, so the hedge has been tidied up and a new planter placed close to the board. They sensibly used masks when cutting back the hedge.
Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness down at the orchard. The delicious fruit is a lovely treat for the volunteers when they’ve been tidying up down at Mallard Close Orchard.
Work continues around the village. George has been staining and preserving the beautiful lych-gate of St Mary’s. Notice the before and after:
We’ve had quite a decent summer so far and there’s lots of work to do around the village including watering, pruning and general tidying. We have a local resident who waters the lovely hanging baskets outside the train station regularly and this year Dixons Estate Agents have brightened up their office with one of our colourful begonia baskets. Adam diligently waters it regularly to keep it looking great. We were very pleased to have a new regular volunteer too – Cathy has been a great addition to the team.
Although the judges have been and gone the tidying and gardening continues..
We had 390 entries to our Art Competition with the theme Greening Grey Britain. It was so difficult to choose winners as there were so many great entries, so thanks to the schools and every child that took part. Such imagination and originality. Below are just a few of our favourites. We have been giving out prizes this week, to show our appreciation.
The RHS Judges visited Acocks Green on Tuesday 12th July, in the pouring rain! The team had been working long days to make sure everything on the judges’ route looked great for the big day, including Westley Vale Millennium Green, St Marys, Hazelwood Road and Arden Road. They also visited the impressive school gardens of Acocks Green Primary. Thanks to the Inn on the Green for giving the team some welcome lunch. We have to wait until September 15th to find out the result. Fingers crossed!
Thanks to all those children who took part in the Art Competition, we had over 100 entries, some really imaginative and colourful pictures. We will choose some winners soon and put them on this website page.
The village has been a blaze of colour which we hope some of you have noticed. Certain areas have been transformed by some wildflowers and naturalistic planting, these sites particularly look so lovely at this time of year.
*** Launching our Children’s Art Competition****
Open to all children up to 16 yrs old. Design a picture with the theme RHS Britain in Bloom Theme “Greening Grey Britain for Health and Happiness” which is what we are aiming to do in Acocks Green. There will be prizes for different age groups, so print out the form today and get your pencils out! There is a jpg below or click on the pdf
Our spring planting has been flowering and brightening up the village. In gardening you always win some and lose some, here are some colourful shots of some winners.
Another busy month! We officially launched RHS Village in Bloom 2016 at our lovely orchard. After the early snow showers, the day brightened up and lots of people came along to buy plants and other goodies, chat to the gardeners, admire the orchard and the Acocks Green Hoard and sow seeds.
The three councillors visited and Jess Philips MP came along to show her support. Thanks to everyone who helped, contributed and supported the event. ViB made over £300 to spend on further enhancements to the village.
We also found time to do some work for Stockfield Community Association. To focus resident’s minds to the Gardening Competition we decided to encourage new people to the delights of gardening by giving away nasturtium seeds to all the residents, spending a couple of hours attaching seeds to the regular Stockfield News. The hope is that this will encourage people to garden, by planting the free seeds and enjoying seeing them grow and flower.
This month the Village in Bloom Co-ordinator, Fran Lee, was invited to a Birmingham in Bloom event held jointly by Birmingham Open Spaces Forum and Birmingham City Council. Predominantly, it was to promote Britain in Bloom and enhancing Neighbourhoods – ‘Greening Grey Britain’ is the current theme. Fran spoke about Acocks Green and moving from Bronze to Gold Award in four years. She showed how working with the council, the BID, the schools and the wider community has achieved so much here. She showed 80 photographs which illustrated the point. So much has been achieved, she did not really have time to get through the 80 slideshow pictures!
Darren Share, who recently gained an MBE for his services promoting the city through Britain in Bloom, also spoke about many points of interest from all over Britain.
Springtime in the Orchard
The sun even came out whilst out tidying up the Mallard Community Orchard on the Spring Equinox. The daffodils were looking their best. We are working hard to make the orchard look its best in readiness for the launch of Acocks Green Village in Bloom Launch on 16th April. There will be lots of plants for sale, refreshments, seed-sowing and lots more.
What a great night we had at the Westley Hotel at the end of February. It was our first Village in Bloom Fund Raising social evening which we entitled A Bloomin’ Good Night! It lived up to its name. 130 locals, friends and family joined the celebration. Canoe rocked out some great tunes, people ate, drank, quizzed, danced and won great prizes on the raffle.
Thanks to EVERYONE who supported the event, too many to list, but its fair to say it was a great success and helped to raise the profile and lots of money to continue our work in Acocks Green Village.
The year marches on and we continue work at St Marys, tidying graves, planting and weeding. The daffodils are coming out around the village now and there are lots of snowdrops at Woodcock Lane, where we were tidying in the winter sunshine this week
We are very excited about our Fund Raising Social Evening – A Bloomin Good Night, we have virtually sold out now, so it should be a great celebration and get together.
Happy New Year from the Village in Bloom Team. Each week we meet up even during the winter and work on improving the village. Last week we dug a new bed in front of the St Mary’s Church sign. We also spent quite a while on the main island, cutting back perennials and tidying up. There should be a mass of spring flowers appearing soon and all our work will be worth it.
The other big news on the Bloom Calendar is our first ever Celebration and Social Evening at the Westley Hotel. All the details are below. It should be a super get together and an opportunity to raise funds. Tickets are selling fast, they are only available in advance and can be bought from Swan Trio or Jeffries Hardware.
The Bloom Team aren’t ones for long lazy Christmas holidays and the team were out in force today fixing the new wrought iron handle on the recently replaced lychgate. It is now restored to its former glory in time for St Mary’s 150th year celebration in 2016. The team have also worked hard sprucing up the graveyard since late summer.
Also thanks to the teams efforts lots of bulbs and flowers are in place to give a beautiful spring display to be appreciated from Warwick Road, so keep visiting our site to see the updates and look out for a new splash of colour in the graveyard soon.
Work continues at St Mary’s Churchyard. Tidying graves, and colourful planting. The Bloom team were also joined by some children from Cottesbrooke Junior School to see the unveiling of the new sign on the Bug Hotel made by Acocks Green Scouts. Pupils from Cottesbrooke helped build the hotel last year. Also it was great to see the 17 new trees being planted in the village. They are a nice variety and semi mature, so add the finishing touches to the Smart Route. We await the large planters which will also contain decorative shrubs. These should be appearing soon.
In the last month the team have been concentrating efforts on St Mary’s Churchyard. Handyman Extraordinaire Mick has been setting up a new water butt, fixing the gate back on the lych-gate and scaling scary heights to prune the Yew Tree. And as Remembrance Sunday is soon approaching the team spent quite a bit of time tidying around the memorial and planting some lovely red cyclamen to keep the traditional red floral theme. They have also been down the Orchard tidying up and picking the last of the redcurrants. In the next week or so they will be planting tulip and other bulbs. If you would like to help then get in touch.
Making the most of the autumn sunshine, the Bloom team have been busy working on their new project, to make new beds in St Marys Churchyard. The idea is that this attractive planting will have a colourful and positive impact as people arrive into Acocks Green along Warwick Road, from the direction of Tyseley. There will be wallflowers and later the team will plant tulips. Also pink hardy geraniums will edge and spill over the wall.
The word is spreading about our Gold Award:
Fantastic News – for the first time Acocks Green Village received a GOLD AWARD by RHS Britain in Bloom, thanks to the hard work of the volunteers and support from Acocks Green BID, schools and businesses.
For the first time the station has had hanging baskets, bought, tended and watered by local volunteers. The team are always looking for people to help in different ways, just watering is an important part of the work, can you help next year?
The whistles and Village in Bloom planting bed is looking particularly colourful in the sunshine. Great to see the poppies coming through, appropriate for this commemorative flowerbed.
Mallard Community Orchard – A Fruitful Year
Our Community Orchard is full of fruit at this time of year, and is there for local people to enjoy. If you are going to pick the fruit though, make sure it is ripe. It is still another month or so before the apples and pears will be ripe. There are lots of redcurrants and raspberries though, delicious on your breakfast cereal. And don’t forget all the herbs in the central herb garden – rosemary, sage, mint, chives.. liven up your cooking with locally grown herbs.
Bloom at Stockfield Funday
Thanks to Stockfield Community Association for inviting us along to their annual Fun Day at Stockfield Park. It was a lively event with lots to see and do and the team enjoyed being part of it. We had a the tall giving out free gardening advice, a demonstration on how to plant up a successful Hanging Basket, which we then added to the raffle, and seed sowing of a variety of flowers and herbs. If any of people who sowed seeds that day has some photos of the plants do pass them on to us – we’d love to see them!
The Royal Horticultural Society Judges visited Acocks Green on 8th July. They were very impressed with the achievements of the Village in Bloom team and also the hard work and involvement of so many other community organisations and businesses. We have to wait til September 10th for the announcement of the result.
The Bloom team also judged the Children’s Art Competition. There were around 130 very colourful and well designed entries. Thanks to everyone who took part. Three winners were chosen. One from each of the schools which entered – Cottesbrooke Junior, Acocks Green Primary and Holy Souls Infants & Junior.
Here are a selection of some of the entries as well as the 3 winning pictures:
In Harmony with Fitzgerald ‘s
People may have noticed that there is ongoing mayhem happening in Acocks Green with the construction of the ‘Smart Route.’
However, with all this going on, the Bloom team have been working away and Fitzgerald the contractor has helped us to reach some of Village in Bloom goals. You may remember that on the central reservation, there was a wall constructed out of stone which was rescued from a convent which once stood on the land where Sainsbury’s is now.
They retained some of the stones and delivered them to the corner of Woodcock Lane and Warwick Road where we now have a glorious flower bed, not only so that we could construct a raised bed but that we could retain a little of Acocks Green’s history. They also cut them up into more manageable pieces.
They also helped the Bloom team when they made over the garden on the other side of the road by providing loads of gravel. What would we have done without them? Wait until the ‘Smart Route’ is finished, coupled with our tender loving care, Acocks Green will be all the better for it.
Fran Lee – Co-ordinator – Acocks Green Village in Bloom
To volunteer: e.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0121 706 0076
Watch the slideshow to see some of the work we have been involved with this year.
RHS Britain in Bloom Theme 2015-2017
Greener Streets : Better Lives
June 2015 – The hanging baskets are in place outside Acocks Green train station and a local resident has kindly promised to water them. Also we finally arranged for London Midland to display the Village in Bloom poster designed by our volunteer Veronica, so that passers by can see the positive image of the Village.