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Tetbury in Bloom Mural created by Tetbury in Bloom and the pupils of St Mary's Primary School

Over the years, one of the ways we’ve been able to let people know what we are doing, is through a regular article in the Tetbury Advertiser - a free monthly magazine (excluding August & January) published by The Lions Club of Tetbury.

For 12 years Liz Farnham, now a former member of Tetbury in Bloom, wrote every one of the articles, but in December 2018 she, and her husband Kevin, who also designed and created this website, decided to retire from the organisation.

However, both the articles and website still continue, now written and updated by Sue Hirst, Tetbury in Bloom’s team leader.

Hover over the ‘Newsletters’ button on the left to find previous years’ articles.

2021 articles are shown below with the latest on top ….

December 2021

I’ve lost count of all the people who have said to me that they can’t believe it’s this time of year again and Christmas is once again upon us!!  The past twelve months seem to have just flown by! It’s at this time of year that we always take the opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the past year. Our grateful thanks go to Tetbury Town Council, not only for their financial support but for their much-needed practical assistance, without which we would really struggle at times!  Many thanks also go to the Feoffees of Tetbury, St Marys’ Parochial Church Council, The Rotary Club of the South Cotswolds, Tetbury Upton Parish Council, Hobbs House Bakery and Wildlife World for their generous donations. We also thank very much all the residents and traders who supported us by buying one or more of our hanging baskets and Christmas trees, and lastly: We’d like to thank again the volunteers who helped us keep the displays and beds watered throughout the summer months and to Sian who in June, helped us during our busiest time, to prepare the beds and plant them with summer bedding.

The support that everyone has given us is greatly appreciated and without it we wouldn’t be able to do as much as we do to make Tetbury look as attractive as it does, for the benefit of us all.  

There isn’t a January edition of the Tetbury Advertiser so by the time the February edition is delivered, the spring flowering season will have just started with the appearance of hellebores, snowdrops, cyclamen, and early flowering crocuses. This is my most favourite time of year when the days are noticeably getting longer, and the gardening year is full of promise for the months ahead.

Until then, from everyone on the Tetbury in Bloom team, we wish you all a merry Christmas and a safe, healthy, and very happy New Year.

Cyclamen and snowdrops that can be found in St Marys’ Churchyard during the early spring months

November 2021

Having spent the second half of October clearing the summer bedding plants from all the floral displays we tend and planting over 3000 spring flowering bulbs at various locations throughout the town, our focus is now turning toward Christmas. During the last week of November, we’ll be back working under the Market Hall fixing the lights to the Christmas trees that adorn the shop premises in the town centre and the contractors will arrive to install the lights on the lamp columns and the ones in the five large trees located at the outer edges of the town centre.

In recent years, the festive lights on the large trees and lamp columns have become more and more problematic with them tripping out either due to inclement weather or them developing intermittent faults that just couldn’t be located and easily rectified. Inevitably this caused huge disappointment and a great deal of frustration to myself (who’s job it’s been for the past 10 years to liaise with the contractors and get them back to deal with the faults when needed) and of course to everyone else in the town.   However, this year should be different! Together with Tetbury Town Council, we have raised sufficient funds to replace all the town’s lights, so with fingers tightly crossed, they will hopefully ALL stay on and bring much pleasure to everyone throughout the whole of the festive period!

Dressing the Christmas trees that adorn the town centre shop premises over the festive period

October 2021

Autumn is now very much upon us and it won’t be long before we are working our way around the town removing all the summer bedding plants from the beds and displays that we tend in readiness for bulb planting and the winter months ahead. Even though the colourful bedding geraniums will be gone, long flowering perennials such as penstemons and hardy fuchsias, will continue to flower until the first frosts.  The colourful foliage of the different shrubs that we use will also give interest and structure for a while longer and some will stay evergreen throughout the winter.

From the number of comments we are still receiving on a regular basis, it’s obvious that many people have enjoyed the floral displays over the past year and it continues to make us feel that our hard work is appreciated and worth all the effort. One of the most time consuming and challenging tasks we face each summer is watering, especially if we have a heat-wave or a long period with no rain. We are extremely grateful to those residents and traders (you know who you are!), who helped with this enormous task by taking on the regular responsibility of watering the bed at Braybrooke Close, Tesco filling station, the planter on Millennium Green, the tubs on the Chipping Steps and the troughs in Market Place. Your help with keeping these beds and planters watered made a huge difference to how much else WE could do, and we thank you all very much indeed.

By the end of this month it is likely that the hanging baskets we supplied to residents and traders will be going past their best.  I’ll therefore be contacting everyone who supported us by buying them, to arrange a time to collect the empty containers so we can wash and disinfect them ready for use again next year. There’s no hurry to finish with your baskets: just  as and when you’re ready. Many thanks

One of the geranium baskets that we supply to traders and residents in Tetbury

September 2021

With September arriving, we’re now meteorologically into autumn and apart from the very hot weather we had in July and a few warm sunny days since, the summer appears to have been short lived.   Despite the weather, the summer displays have done well and, from the numerous comments we have received, they have brought lots of pleasure to many people which makes us feel that the effort we put into it all is much appreciated and all worthwhile.  

It’s amazing to think that by the end of this month, we’ll be turning our focus toward bulb planting again to enhance the spring displays for next year!  I will spend many hours studying the bulb catalogue trying to decide which variety of spring flowering bulbs we want for each bed or area that we tend.  Whereas daffodils, crocus and snowdrops increase in number each year, tulips on the other hand, which we only use in the beds, are renowned for ‘disappearing‘ over time, so every autumn we add more to those already planted. The number of bulbs needed to keep the displays looking full can run into several hundred, so it is with this imminent purchase in mind that I’d like to take this opportunity to give a huge thank you to the retiring committee of ‘The Tetbury Summer Show’. Having been in existence for over forty years, they chose ‘Tetbury in Bloom’ to receive a share of their remaining funds when the organisation sadly folded in July. We are delighted and honoured that they considered us worthy recipients of the money and it will be used to pay for the bulbs that the whole town will be able to enjoy next spring and for years to come.  

St Marys’ Church formal beds in summer

August 2021

With August arriving, it is exactly 10 years since we were national finalists for the second time in the Britain in Bloom campaign, the first occasion being in 2009. Having won a silver gilt award in both the national finals and six gold awards over the preceding 7 years in the annual regional campaign, including being awarded ‘Overall Regional Winner’ in 2010 and receiving a special award for our horticultural flair, we decided to retire from competing and just focus our efforts on tending the beds and floral displays, not only for our own pleasure, but for that of everyone in Tetbury.

Even though we no longer compete, we continue to follow the RHS philosophy of aiming to create a feel-good factor and sense of well-being within the town, by making it look an attractive and well -cared-for place to live, work and visit. During 2013 our efforts found national acclaim when we were invited to take part in the BBC2 series of The Great British Garden Revival and were also featured in a double page spread in the gardening section of the Saturday Telegraph newspaper.

It is an all-year round task to keep the beds and floral displays looking the best we can. The gardening-year goes round and round in a never-ending circle, with each new month bringing its own list of jobs to do. Apart from the regular tidying, weeding, and deadheading that we do on a weekly basis, whereby each bed or display is tended to at least every other week, there are also regular maintenance jobs to do and particular months during which we plant on a large scale i.e. summer bedding in June and spring bulbs in October – the latter of which we will be turning our attention to very soon!

The Tesco beds in summer

 July 2021

With July arriving, the summer season is now well upon us with the planting of the town having been completed at the end of last month. Our time over the next 12 weeks or so will be spent following a two-week rota making sure that the areas we tend are visited and maintained every other week. Deadheading, weeding and generally keeping everything looking neat and tidy is our main focus, together with the added task of watering all the freshly planted areas, especially during any hot dry periods. Once the bedding plants have become established though, they should be able to withstand reasonable drought conditions, making their maintenance a less time-consuming and odious job.

It took us several years of trial and error to find the best bedding plants to use to give maximum impact for minimum effort and the most successful we have found has been the bedding geranium, hence why we now use them every year.   Even using the larger potted variety of geranium wasn’t as successful as the smaller bedding variety, as we found they tended to need far more watering to sustain them when newly planted. The bedding variety appears to find it much easier to become established and although it may take them two or three weeks to come into full flower, once they do, their vibrant colours create an eye-catching display.   

With these little plants added to a framework of sustainable mixed planting, comprising different coloured shrubs and long flowering perennials, they provide a colourful, easy to care for combination of municipal planting; and apart from having to regularly deadhead them to keep them flowering, they want for little else.

The Knapp bed in summer

June 2021

June is always our busiest month with us planting the town and delivering hanging baskets. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning we will be out preparing the beds and containers ready for us to plant them in the evening. The four-week operation has become well practised over the years and this summer we will start the planting on Tuesday 1st June at the beds and tubs in London Road opposite Combers End. Systematically, over the following three and a half weeks, we will then work our way around the town, finishing at the London Road roundabout on Thursday 24th June.  By the time all the planting is completed, we will have added just short of four thousand plants to the beds and containers we tend, giving them an extra splash of colour throughout the summer months. We will be using drought resistant geraniums again in vibrant colours which complement the shrubs and perennials used in the different locations.  

In addition to all the planting, we will be delivering one hundred and forty hanging baskets to the residents and traders who have kindly supported us by buying them as part of our main fund-raising initiative. The profit raised from the sale of the baskets goes directly into the ‘Tetbury in Bloom’ funds, which allows us to continue making the town look as attractive as possible, all year long.

The summer planting and supply of hanging baskets would not be possible without the enormous input of Paul Grimes of Wotton Farm Shop in Wotton Under Edge.  For over a decade, he has not only supplied and delivered the hanging baskets, but on each of the eight planting sessions during June, working to a list that I send him before the evenings in question, he has also delivered to the different planting locations all the necessary plants we need making sure they arrive in tip-top condition, ready-watered and divided into their individual planting groups ready for us to use.  I can only say that his help and support over all these years has been immeasurable and something that we are truly grateful for.

The London Road beds in summer

May 2021

With May arriving, and the tulip displays having almost finished, the bulbs will now be left to die down naturally to allow them to absorb the nutrients left in the leaves so they can flower successfully again next year. Unfortunately, as a result, the beds will look their worst for a while. However, the later spring flowering shrubs and perennials should have started to come in to their own and on 1st June we will start planting the displays with seasonal bedding, ready for the summer months ahead.

 Our work in The Anniversary Garden continues. For those who are unaware of its existence, it is a small public garden located in Eccles Court that runs between The Ferns and The Chipping. The land was originally part of the grounds of Sir William Romney’s school, Long Street, which is now the present-day doctor’s surgery.

In 1977, after the school grounds had been sold to developers for housing, this small area was developed into a garden by Brigadier Meyrick Nielsen, the founder of the original ‘Tetbury in Bloom’, to commemorate HM The Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

By 2007, the garden looked sad and unloved, so to commemorate its 30th anniversary and to mark the 80th birthday of The Queen, The Civic Society provided funds for its makeover.

Eric Simpson, a former member of this current ‘Tetbury in Bloom’ team and the Civic Society, took it upon himself to redesign the garden and almost single handedly did all the work himself. He built the rose arbour that we have today and created new beds. The original rosa regosa bushes alongside the adjacent footpath had just been left to grow and had become a visual barrier into the garden. These were given a severe pruning which produced luscious new growth and most of them, after all these years, still survive today.

‘Tetbury in Bloom’ have continued to tend the garden over the past 14 years and during this time have had two additional benches installed to allow people to sit and enjoy this hidden gem.

The Anniversary Garden, spring 2021

April 2021

Last autumn, we planted several hundred more tulip bulbs in various beds around the town, augmenting those that have been planted in previous years. The wait for their appearance is almost over, as April is the month when we will see the results of our hard work.  The tulip displays are the crescendo of the town’s spring display: Starting in January with the subtle appearance of snowdrops, these are followed by brighter flowering crocus and then the heart lifting sight of bright yellow daffodils everywhere. This month masses of vibrant coloured tulips will come into flower throughout the town and these will continue to bloom until early May. Every variety is carefully chosen, not only for its height and colour but also for when it flowers.  Our aim is for the display to finish in time for all the bulbs to die down naturally, ready for us to plant the summer bedding in early June.

As I write we are waiting to hear whether the ‘Rule of Six’ will be reintroduced on 29th March and if it is, with all the fundamental restrictions still in place, we’ll be able to work together as a full team again. Our first job will be to wash and disinfect all the empty hanging basket containers, so they can go to the nursery to be replanted ready for the summer.  Many thanks to everyone who returned their empty containers to us, it is very much appreciated.

If you have had in mind to order baskets from us and haven’t managed to get round to doing so, please hurry because we are selling out fast. The choice of flowers comprises easy-care, trailing begonias in pink, red and apricot shades OR you can choose a colourful mix of vibrant trailing geraniums.  For those living in Tetbury, they will be delivered to your door by arrangement during the first couple of weeks in June. This is our main fundraising initiative for 2021 with all the profits going directly towards ‘In Bloom’ projects which benefit everyone who lives, works, or visits the town.

Tulip display at West Street toilets

March 2021

Working right up to the week before Christmas, we made good progress in starting our latest project of improving the planting in The Anniversary Garden (located in Eccles Court running between The Chipping and The Ferns.) A new tree - an Amelanchier ‘Canadensis’, has been planted to replace the rowan tree that had failed to thrive. The side beds have been worked on by transplanting or removing several of the shrubs and we have reduced the size of the over-large clumps of perennials.  This will allow us to add a selection of suitable, long flowering and easy-to-care-for plants.  

Just before Christmas, Wildlife World Ltd, located in Chavenage Lane, very kindly donated to us several hundred spring bulbs which included many narcissi and tulips.  Wishing to improve the overall planting in the Anniversary Garden and having only just dug the beds, it was the ideal location to plant them all. From now til May, they will give a welcome boost to the spring display and our work in the garden will be ongoing throughout the year ahead.

At the end of 2020 Charlie & Sue Grene, who had been members of ‘Tetbury in Bloom’ since 2016, decided it was time to hang up their trowels. We thank them very much indeed for their hard work and commitment over the past four years. They will be greatly missed.

With life being on hold since January and us fast forwarding to March, we are now taking orders for our summer hanging baskets.  They will comprise easy-care, trailing begonias in pink, red and apricot shades OR you can choose a colourful mix of vibrant trailing geraniums.  For those living in Tetbury, they will be delivered to your door by arrangement during the first week in June. All the profits raised will go towards ‘In Bloom’ projects.

The Anniversary Garden, summer 2011

February 2021

There was no February edition of the Tetbury Advertiser due to Covid-19 Lockdown 3 restrictions

January 2021

There is no Tetbury Advertiser in January

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