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

December 2010

Tetbury In Bloom – A Look Back at The Past Year

2010 has been an extremely exciting year for the Tetbury in Bloom team, and a busy one. 

We formally launched our 2010 campaign at a Wine Tasting evening back in April, hosted by Jackie Wheels of the Oxford Wine Company. Thank you to Jackie for such a wonderful evening – a light hearted start, belying all the hard work to come.  We wish Jackie every success with her new shop on The Chipping.  Also, a big thank you to Tetbury Tailor for the “goodie bags”, which were hugely popular (particularly with the men in the audience), and which helped to raise valuable funds through the raffle. 

Back in April, with the kind permission of the Dolphins Hall Committee and in conjunction with the Saint Mary’s Garden Club pupils, we planted a mix of native saplings on the Recreation Ground.  The silver birch had been grown from seed by Phoebe Ind.  Thank you, also, to the Lions for the provision of the rabbit guards which should ensure that the trees thrive and give pleasure to many generations to come. 

We held our first Open Garden Day back in June.  The day was so successful, with about 150 visitors to the five gardens, that we hope that it will become an annual event.  A big thank you to Margaret Gibbs, Frances Lay, Sue and Jeremy Townsend, and Ange Morrissey for sharing their gardens with us.   

In June we also judged the local Painting Competition at Saint Mary’s Primary School, selecting Emilia Thomas’ design to become this year’s mural.  The standard of entries was so very high.  We are also delighted to see last year’s mural, created by Leomi Potter, brightening up the entrance to the school.   

The annual local garden competition was held during the weekend of 3rd and 4th July.   We were delighted to have the Town Clerk (Sue Bailey), the Mayor (Caroline Morgan) and Tetbury in Bloom’s own Sue Hirst and Ange Morrissey as our judges. 

The Shop Window Display competition was timed to coincide with judging of the town in the Heart of England campaign on 22nd July.  This year we had a record 23 entries, giving the town a celebratory feel and clearly demonstrating support for Tetbury in Bloom. 

On judging day we filled the Market Hall to capacity - another demonstration of the huge levels of support we receive from across the community: from the primary school children, Guides and Scouts, to the residents of Abbey Field; from the leaders of the many clubs and societies, to Kathryn Limoi of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry; from many private individuals to Tetbury Town Councillors and traders. 

We were stunned and delighted to be awarded a third consecutive first prize for our scarecrow (Recycled Ron) in at the Tetbury Flower Show, narrowly beating the Lions  - come on all you clubs and societies out there we’d like to see more entries next year; it’s a bit of fun and every penny raised goes to local good causes. 

At the Heart of England awards ceremony, held on 16th September at Newcastle-Under-Lyme, we learned the wonderful news that we were officially the best of all the entrants from across the region.   

Unsurprisingly, a good time was had by all at the Prize Giving Evening the next evening.

Team members Sue and Stephen Hirst, and Mel and Ian Maslin have been delighted to get involved in the newly formed Christmas in Tetbury Team.  The Christmas trees, lights and shop window displays should help to make the town look extra special this festive season.  

Our hard work, planning and fund raising continues.  Tickets are still available for the “Britain in  Bloom Gold Cup Race Night” fund raising event, now scheduled for 26th February.  Please contact Sue Hirst on 504213 to reserve your tickets. 

Throughout the year we have received lots of kind messages of encouragement.  Back in July, out of the blue, we received an email from the nursery supervisor at Gosport Council, who had been passing through the town and was so impressed with our flowerbeds (which she described as “a joy to see”) that she requested details of our planting schemes.  We have also been working with Kingswood residents to help them create “the look”.  Remember, you saw it all here first!

All this would not have been possible without the support, financial and “in kind”, from so many, amongst them:  Tetbury Town Council, Tetbury Upton Parish Council, the Jack Lane Charitable Trust, the Parochial Church Council, The Feoffees, the Lions, the Civic Society, the Rotary Club of the South Cotswolds, the Women’s Institute, the Chamber of Commerce, the Co-operative, IHS Energy, Jesse Smiths, Perry, Bishop and Chambers, PSB Country Supplies, Pucklechurch Developments, Tetbury Audi, Tetbury Tailor, the Tetbury Pot and the Tetbury Skittles League.   Thank you.  (For a full list of sponsors and full details of our work, please visit our website

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Tetbury in Bloom team.  

November 2010

Tetbury in Bloom – Best of the Best

We have been overwhelmed by so many kind messages that you will no doubt have heard by now that Tetbury swept a host of awards in the Heart of England in Bloom competition. 

For those of you who haven’t heard, we won our fifth consecutive Gold award and, for the third time, we were judged Category Winner in the Small Town section.  Also, we won a judges discretionary award - the Subaru Community Achievement Award - were nominated to represent the region in the prestigious Britain in Bloom campaign next year and were judged to be the Overall Winner (and best of the best) of the 47 entries from across the region!

This is a remarkable achievement and is a testament to the hard work of so many. 

On your behalf I would like to publicly thank the team: Sue and Stephen Hirst, Ange and Pete Morrissey, Mel and Ian Maslin, Doreen and Eric Simpson, Mike Kniveton, Frances Collinson, Kirsty Taylor, Janet Hedley, Emma Thomas, Ken White and my husband Kevin.  Also a big “thank you” to everyone who helped and supported us. 

The judges (senior judge Les Goodman and David Wassell MBE) and Boyd Douglas-Davies of Webbs Garden Centres Ltd (representing the main sponsor) were particularly impressed by:

The rousing welcome from Derek Jackson, the Town Crier, the Tetbury in Bloom team and town dignitaries

The colourful roadside planting and, in particular, the stunning Star Roundabout

The floral displays throughout the town centre and in the shop windows

The permanent planting in Saint Mary’s Churchyard 

The beautiful mural and the strong working relationship we have with the pupils and teachers of Saint Mary’s Primary School and other youth groups

The levels of grass maintenance – well done and thank you to the Town Council grounds maintenance staff

The displays of hanging baskets on the Market Hall, Snooty Fox, Jesse Smiths and the Council Offices

The private gardens of Cookspool and the enthusiasm of its residents

The impressive levels of recycling – keep it up!

The obvious pride Tetbury has in its local heritage

The newly created paved area at the entrance to the Market Hall and the majestic planters, installed and paid for by the Feoffees

The overall levels of cleanliness – thanks to the band of people who helped us sweep and weed the whole judging route: Derek Bloxham , Di Bryan, Peter Fisher, Barry and Christine Gibbs, Roz Goodwin and her Mum, Terry and Elvia Guyler, Jean Henderson,  Pat Horton, Louise Marriage,  Pete and Theo Martin, Basil Mason-Smith, Lisa, Heidi and Wil Mustoe, Ron Poppleton, Alistair Taylor, David Thompson, Ken White and members of the First and Second Tetbury Guides, The Tetbury Cubs and Scouts 

And, of course, the impressive levels of community involvement, so clearly evidenced at the exhibition afterwards, which the judges said were “outstanding” and couldn’t be bettered.

And, the word “outstanding” just sums up Summer 2010 up for me.

This is the last year that either judge will be involved in the Heart of England competition.  It is therefore the end of an era.  Les Goodman has been visiting Tetbury for over a decade; he has seen many changes, both in the way we plant and manage the flowerbeds and in the levels of awareness of the competition itself and the support we receive.  Both have fond memories of the town.  The “in Bloom” team wishes them every happiness in their retirement. 

To raise funds for the 2011 campaign we are organising a Race Night, “The Britain in Bloom Gold Cup”, for the evening of Saturday 12th February. Admission price £5 per adult.  To order tickets please contact Sue Hirst on 01666 504213. 

In subsequent articles I will be seeking your support in other ways if we are to do equally as well in Britain in Bloom.... For now, let us all take time to reflect on, and enjoy, our successes. Once again, well done to you all.

October 2010

Local Competition Winners

At the time of writing this article (early September) we have yet to learn the outcome of the Heart of England in Bloom competition.  I am, however, delighted to be able to announce the winners of our own annual local garden competition and the children’s painting competition.

Commercial Container Planting: Abbeyfield (Gold); Artique (Silver Gilt), Bonhams (Silver); Hortensia (Bronze); Jesse Smiths Butcher (Gold); Skeins (Silver); Tetbury Town Council (Silver Gilt); The Close Hotel (Silver Gilt); The Feoffees (Gold and Category Winner); The Snooty Fox (Gold)

Commercial Garden: Hortensia (Silver Gilt and Category Winner); Peter Hervé House (Silver) and The Close Hotel (Silver)

Shop Window Display: Anne Fowler (Silver Gilt); Ark Angel (Gold); Artique (Gold); Bella Blue (Silver); Bonhams (Silver Gilt); Cotswold Care Hospice (Silver); Creative Hairdressing (Gold); Direct Import (Silver); George Veterinary Group (Silver); Henrietta’s House (Silver Gilt); Highgrove (Silver Gilt); Jenny Norden (Silver); Kitchenmonger (Gold); Overider (Gold); Philip Adler (Gold and Category Winner); Qetty Bang Bang (Silver Gilt); Scentiments (Gold); Skeins (Silver); Strickland and Daughters (Silver); Tenovus (Silver); Tetbury Tailor (Silver); Two Toads (Bronze) and Yellow-Lighted Bookshop (Bronze)

Newly Created Garden: Terri White, Newleaze Gardens (Gold and Category Winner)

Private Rear Garden: Mrs Margaret Gibbs, Newleaze Gardens (Gold and Category Winner); Doreen Hampson, Chavenage Lane (Silver); Pat Horton, Northfield Close (Silver Gilt); Mrs Diana Melville, Romney Road  (Silver); Jo Penfold, Long Street (Silver); Mrs Gerda Smith, Close Gardens (Gold); Sue and Jeremy Townsend, Cutwell (Gold); Lance Vick, Northfield Avenue (Silver Gilt) and Terri White, Newleaze Gardens (Silver)

Private Front Garden: Lesley Brain, The Green (Silver Gilt); Pat Horton, Northfield Close (Silver Gilt); Jeanne McKenzie, Quail Meadows (Gold and Category Winner); Linda McWee, Cookspool (Silver Gilt); Mrs Diana Melville, Romney Road (Bronze)  and Mrs Gerda Smith, Close Gardens (Silver)

Private Container Planting:  Ali Bristow, Long Street (Silver Gilt); Roy Browning, Charlton Road (Gold); Doreen Hampson, Chavenage Lane (Silver); Pat Horton, Northfield Close (Silver); Mrs Diana Melville, Romney Road (Bronze);  Jo Penfold, Long Street (Gold and Category Winner); Mrs E Smith, Chavenage Lane (Silver Gilt); Mrs Gerda Smith, Close Gardens (Silver Gilt); David Tanner, Chavenage Lane (Gold); Lance Vick, Northfield Avenue (Gold) and Teri White, Newleaze Gardens (Silver)

Wildlife Friendly Garden: Mr and Mrs Barry Gibbs, Chavenage Lane (Gold and Category Winner); Pat Horton, Northfield Close (Silver); Mrs Diana Melville, Romney Road  (Silver); Hortense Oates, Market Place (Silver); Jo Penfold, Long Street (Silver Gilt) and Jayne West of Peter Hervé House (Silver Gilt)

The theme of this year’s children’s painting competition was “The Seasons” and, as usual, the pupils of Saint Mary’s Primary School amazed us with their imagination, skill and creativity.  The winners were:

Lower School (Infants): 1st Evie Iles; 2nd Georgia Smith and 3rd Theo James;

Commended: Jacob Scotford and Jamie Adiyaman

Upper School (Juniors): 1st Catherine Jablonski; 2nd Chloe Lewis and 3rd Aaron Hardiman; Commended: Charlotte Rushton, Thomas Bevan, Paige Marshall and Tom Bloomfield

You may have seen many of some of the pictures around town, advertising this year’s judging, or at art exhibition run by the Feoffees back in the summer.

We also submitted a selection of paintings (including those of our prize winners) into the regional Heart of England in Bloom competition and, this year had a number of successes.  Catherine Jablonski came third in her age group.  Aaron Hardiman came second in his age group and Charlotte Rushton was judged an impressive first.

You can’t have failed to have seen the painting, designed by Emilia Thomas, which she, Miss Thompson and fellow pupils from Saint Mary’s turned into a spectacular mural, and which we used to screen the vacant industrial unit along London Road.

Again the standard across all the competitions was very high this year.  I would not have liked to have judged between them.  A very well done to everyone who entered and thank you for supporting Tetbury in Bloom.  I hope that you enjoyed the prize giving evening, held on 17th September.

September 2010


Judging of this year’s Heart of England in Bloom competition, on 22nd July, feels like a long time ago.  Whilst our work is about more than just one day’s judging, it does focus our efforts, giving us something to aim for and an excuse to celebrate our achievements.  Most importantly, we hope that you like the results.   

The Heart of England in Bloom judges (senior judge Les Goodman and David Wassell), accompanied by Boyd Douglas-Davies of Webbs Garden Centres Ltd, were very impressed and highly complementary.  Indeed Boyd said that the flowerbeds on the roundabout “blew his socks off”!

Well done and thank you to everyone involved.  We could not do it all without our many supporters, amongst them:

The Council garden staff.

The many volunteers who came out, rain and shine, to help with planting, weeding, deadheading, litter picks and even sweeping the streets.

The many more that tidied up their gardens and cut their hedges.

The residents of Cookspool for sprucing up their corner of town and Princess, Linda and Monica for showing the judges around.

Mike Kniveton for almost single handedly keeping the London Road flower beds going during the hot dry spell, watering them daily.

Stephen Hirst for getting up at 6:45am, six days a week, to help water the hanging baskets and for going out again each evening to water the many flower beds.  Also, Pete Morrissey for assisting him.

The couple who live next door, for watering and caring for the flowerbeds at The Dolphins Hall. 

John Hughes, of Chipping Steps, for maintaining the verge at the bottom of the Steps, and the residents who care for the tubs.

The couple who live next to Anniversary gardens for allowing us to use their hose.

Colin Clark for watering the flowerbeds at the Fire Station.

Emma Thomas for watering all the flower beds in Saint Mary’s Churchyard. 

Derek Jackson, the Town Crier, for such a rousing welcome which, literally, stopped traffic. 

Tetbury Audi for loaning us the car to take the judges around the town and Dave Hicks for driving us.

Paul Grimes of Wotton Farm Shop, Tim Cordall from the Market Hall stall, Sanday’s Nursery at Almondsbury, Landcare Nurseries at Chipping Sodbury, Nurden’s at Malmesbury and Ollie Spenser from Close Nursery for supplying the plants and associated materials. 

Emilia Thomas, Miss Thompson, Mr Etherington and the pupils of Saint Mary’s Primary School for designing and painting the mural, which brightened up the entrance to the vacant industrial unit.    

Builders Ede for supplying the boards and allowing us to display them.

John Latter for the transport.

The many town traders who dressed their window displays so imaginatively, giving the town a celebratory feel.  We were overwhelmed by the levels of support. 

The Feoffees for the majestic planters which so proudly display our name, and, of course, for the use of the Market Hall.

The Camera Club for the loan of the display boards and the overhead projector for the presentation to the judges.

My husband, Kevin, for another beautiful display of photos, and Clark and Maslin Architects (Malmesbury) for printing some of the pictures.

The WI for such a welcome cup of tea and Stephen Hirst for the delicious cake.

The welcoming dignitaries and, of course, to everyone who visited the Exhibition, demonstrating to the judges, so clearly, the level of community support.

The drought and then the wind and heavy rains made it especially hard work this year.  Whether or not our efforts were enough to retain our title of “category winner” and therefore best small town in the Heart of England, we have to wait until 16th September to hear. 

Our thanks also go to Tetbury Skittles League, Pucklechurch Development Company Limited, the Tetbury Pot, Perry Bishop and Chambers Ltd, and John Newman for their donations, without which we could not continue our work. 

It has been a busy summer in many other ways.

The Open Gardens Day, held on the 27th June, was an enormous success.  Despite clashing with the England versus Germany World Cup football match, we had over 140 visitors, raising nearly £600 for our funds.  Our sincerest thanks go to those people who opened their gardens to the public: Margaret Gibbs, Frances Lay, Sue and Jeremy Townsend, and Ange Morrissey.  Also, a big thank you to my Mum, Rachel O’Brien, for the wonderful homemade cakes.  Some of you have expressed an interest regarding making this an annual event – we will be in touch once this year’s is over. 

Judging of the local garden competition took place over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th July; another hot weekend without much rain to assist the gardeners.  Again the standard was very high this year; well done to everyone who entered.   You should have been informed, by post, of your award and I will publish the results, including the category winners, after the Prize Giving evening on 17th September.  Thanks to Madam Mayor (Caroline Morgan) and the new Town Clerk (Sue Bailey) for giving up part of their weekend to assist with judging. 

I am delighted to report that the Morrissey’s (amongst others) took our window sticker “competition” to heart; their family and friends have sent us some wonderful photos of the Tetbury in Bloom logo in unusual and far flung places.  Thank you to Mike and Fon Morrissey for the photos of Perth, Fremantle, Adelaide and Melbourne (Australia) and Helen and Rob Morphew for their photos from New Zealand. (Can you do better?)   If you have any interesting photographs related to the work of Tetbury in Bloom, do send them to me at, I would enjoy seeing them. 

July 2010

Heart of England In Bloom Judging

It is that time of year again when we, and our band of helpers, are busy titivating the town ahead of judging day on the afternoon of Thursday 22ndJuly.  We are aiming for a fifth gold medal in the Heart of England in Bloom competition; we cannot achieve this without your continued support. 

Last year the judges were particularly impressed with the overall levels of cleanliness and this year we hope to impress them further and to return to the national Britain in Bloom competition in 2011. 

The judging will commence at 2pm with a rousing welcome from the Town Crier, Derek Jackson; an opportunity to meet the Tetbury in Bloom team, the Council outside work force (with whom we work closely) and town dignitaries; followed by a short presentation, highlighting our year round work and those initiatives we will not have time to show the judges in person.  The tour itself will commence at 2:15pm and include:

Finally, we will return to the Market Hall to meet our supporters and sponsors, to view an exhibition of photographs and to partake of refreshments, which will be served by the Women’s Institute. We look forward to seeing you there – everyone is welcome.

The “in Bloom” competition is about so much more than just flowers and floral displays.  We will be judged on horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and also community involvement.  Every garden will be assessed and every weed and every piece of litter will result in valuable marks lost. If you live along the judging route, we would be grateful if you could please check in front of your house on judging day and remove any litter or weeds that may be outside and hide unsightly wheelie bins and recycling boxes from view. It really will make a difference.  Thank you.

We have been out preparing the judging route since the beginning of June but it never ceases to surprise and saddens me the amount of dog fouling around the town and the number of used dog waste sacks that we find, particularly in the bushes and verges along London Road.  I appreciate that most dog walkers are responsible and dispose of the waste bags in the appropriate bins but for those that don’t, do remember these bags do not bio degrade.  The Town Council provides dedicated waste bins and bags, please use and dispose of them appropriately. 

Finally, I am delighted to report that we have received a grant of £600 from the Co-Operative Membership Community Fund, which helps local communities throughout the UK. 

Once again, thank you for your continued support and wish us luck!

Alliums and Tulips in the Princess Diana Memorial Bed

June 2010

Judging of the Local Garden Competition – July 2010

Our annual garden competition will soon be upon us.  It provides an excellent opportunity for garden lovers to showcase their garden.  So why not give it a go and enter?  As usual, there are nine different categories – and so I hope that there is something for everyone.

To apply, simply complete and return the attached entry form; it is as easy as that. 

The deadline for the receipt of entries is Monday 28th June 2010 so that we can plan the itinerary.  Entry is free and judging will take place during the weekend of 3rd and 4th July.  A welcome respite from the FIFA World Cup, perhaps!  Judging of the shop window displays will take place in July, to coincide with the visit by the Heart of England campaign judges. 

This year the competition will be judged by our very own Sue Hirst (Tetbury in Bloom Team Leader) and team members, and previous category winners, Ange Morrissey and Ian Maslin.  They will be assessing: visual impact, use of colour and the variety of plants, general tidiness, well cared for lawns with neat edges, the absence of weeds, environmentally responsible garden practices (such as composting facilities and water butts) and overall imagination. For more details of the judging criteria visit the “Local Competition” page on our website: .

Other dates for your diary include:

Our first open garden day on Sunday 27th June from 1pm to 5pm. 

Five gardens will be open to the public: Bramble Cottage on West Street, 2 Cutwell, The Piece (Cutwell), 17 Newleaze Gardens and The Stables, Barton Abbots, The Green.  An entrance fee of £3 will permit entry to all gardens and all profits will go to Tetbury in Bloom projects.  Light refreshments will be available.  Parking will be available in the West Street car park.  Signs will be erected to point the way.   

Heart of England in Bloom judging is tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday 22nd July. 

Prize giving evening at the Dolphins Hall on Friday 17th September.     

And working parties are now out and about on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and evenings from 7:30pm.  Should you wish to join us, please contact Sue Hirst on 504213, or visit our website under “Latest News” to find out where we will be working.

Next month details of the Heart of England judging.  Until then ... “happy gardening”. 

May 2010


As I mentioned last month, our major project for this year will be to introduce more wildflowers to the town. 

This isn’t easy to achieve.  Good ground preparation is essential. The secret is a low fertility soil.  (A fertile soil will just cause vigorous growth of grasses and “weeds”'.)  To reduce fertility we will have to remove the topsoil and then lightly rake the soil to produce a seed bed. Only then can we sow the wildflower seed mix.  But I am sure that all our hard work will be worthwhile.

The RHS Britain in Bloom competition recognises the importance of wildflowers as a valuable habitat for wildlife.  For many years Les Goodman (senior judge with the Heart of England in Bloom campaign) has recommended a wildflower meadow as an area for improvement.  Our dilemma has been just where to put one.  In my opinion poppies look wonderful in a field, alongside country roads and, oddly enough, a mix of native wildflowers and garden plants has been used to great effect among the urban landscape, in such cities as Sheffield.  We want to create a wildflower effect close to the town centre and the “in Bloom” judging route, to minimise effort around judging time and to create a beautiful display, which looks well cared for but not neglected.  With the support of its residents, we have therefore selected the verges of Cutwell (on the north side of the ford) for our wildflower “meadow-effect”. 

2010 has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations ( – this is a term used to describe the rich myriad of plants, animal species and their habitats.

In response, this year the Royal Horticultural Society chose the theme of the In Bloom launch event (back in March) as “mass greening”.  Their aim is to create “a river of green across the UK” by developing a series of wildlife “corridors” between parks and larger green spaces.  I hope that you will agree that our plans to gradually introduce more wildflowers to the verges of Cutwell, the bank at the back of the West Street car park and parts of Saint Mary’s churchyard fit nicely with this aim. 

The wildflower area which we planted in Saint Mary’s churchyard last year should be maturing nicely.  It includes such varieties as: bird’s-foot trefoil, the most important larval food plant of the Common Blue butterfly larva and a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bees; English bluebells; field scabious, which should attract numerous insects; meadow crane’s-bill, favoured by various species of bumblebee and, a particular favourite of mine, the humble primrose which is one of the first plants to come in to bloom.  The judges were particularly impressed by the accompanying display boards calling them “exceptional” and “simple yet effective”.  With the funding we have received from IHS energy we should be able to introduce more.

A big thank you to the following for their donations, without whom we could not continue our work: Tetbury Town Council, The Jack Lane Trust, PSB(Country Supplies Ltd) of Hampton Street Industrial Estate, the Chamber of Commerce, the Parochial Church Council and many kind individuals. (You know who you are.) For a full list of our sponsors, and much more, visit our website at .

The Wine Tasting evening and Launch Event, held on 9th April, was a great success.  Everyone had a good time, tasted something new and, hopefully, learned some interesting facts.  Thank you to Jackie Wheels of the Oxford Wine Company for hosting the event and for donating the wine for auction. Thank you also to Tetbury Tailor for the gift of “goodie bags”, which were popular with the men.  And thank you to everyone who attended.  The evening raised vital funds towards this year’s campaign.

We are now selling car (or window) stickers so that you too can show your support for Tetbury in Bloom.  We are also inviting you to send us photographs of the stickers in unusual and far away locations as a bit of fun, to be publicised on our website!  Stickers only cost 50p and are available from Sue Hirst on 504213 or from our stall at Woolsack Day.  Photos should be emailed to

Finally, we are still seeking residents to join us in a Tetbury Open Gardens weekend.  If you are interested, we would be delighted to hear from you – please contact Ange Morrissey on 505723 and she can tell you more. 

April 2010

Our Plans for 2010

I am delighted to be able to confirm that we will be entering the regional Heart of England in Bloom competition again this summer, to defend our title of best Small Town and category winner, and with a view to convincing the judges to nominate us for the national Britain in Bloom finals next year. 

This is an ambitious plan and is, of course, subject to us securing the necessary funding and support to continue our work.  We are very grateful to the Feoffees, the Lions, the Rotary Club of the South Cotswolds, IHS Energy, Tetbury Upton Parish Council and Tetbury Chamber of Commerce, with whose ongoing support we have so far raised a further £2,350 towards our target of the £5,000 needed for this year’s campaign. (This includes £500 towards more wildflowers for the town; this will be our major project for 2010.) Thank you to everyone concerned for their generosity.  For a full list of our sponsors visit our website at

Sue Hirst and I have commenced a series of talks to local societies, to publicise our work.  If you would like us to come and talk to your society we would be delighted to do so; please contact Sue on 504213 to discuss the arrangements. 

We still have a few hanging baskets to sell.  This year, in addition to the ivy-leaf geraniums, they will include trailing begonias (which have proved so effective and eye-catching around the Market Hall and Snooty Fox in recent years), small-flowered “Decora” geraniums, bidens and lysimachia.  Hanging baskets cost £25 each.  To reserve your hanging basket, please complete the attached application form, contact Sue Hirst on 504213, or email her at

We still have copies of the “Local Roots” pamphlet for sale.  It is available at a cost of £1, from the Tourist Information Centre.  It takes you on a walk around the centre of Tetbury, describing the many floral displays and historic sites of interest along the way.  All proceeds go towards Tetbury in Bloom projects. 

We are planning, together with the Women’s Institute if possible, to hold a garden open day to show off some of Tetbury’s stunning gardens and to publicise our work – details to follow. 

We will, of course, be supporting the Woolsack Day races, by holding a plant stall in the town.  Do come along to say hello. 

We will be holding our annual local gardening competition in during the weekend of 3rd and 4th July – there will be more details, together with an application form, in the June Advertiser article.  Please make a note of the date in your dairies.

And, of course, we will be holding an exhibition to coincide with judging day.  This has proved extremely successful in recent years at demonstrating the wonderful levels of support we have received.  Indeed we were nominated for a special Community award in the 2009 RHS Britain in Bloom competition, narrowly missing out to Earsden in Northumbria.    

The day time team is already out and about on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and the evening work parties will commence on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30pm from 1st June, planting the summer bedding, weeding and sweeping the streets.  If you are interested in joining in, please do let us know.  You don’t have to turn up every week.  We would be delighted to see you whenever you can spare the time.  The more the merrier. 

March 2010

Thoughts of Spring and Beyond

Spring is on its way and I look forward to the first of many stunning floral displays.

The snowdrops and cyclamen, planted under the plum trees in Saint Mary’s churchyard last year, should create a wonderful display from February through March; this will improve year on year as the plants mature and spread.  (The inspiration was the gardens of Colesbourne Park, famous for its snowdrop collection, interspersed with other spring flowers for added impact.)  The daffodils, rescued from the entrance to the churchyard, should appear in March, followed by the primroses and tulips in April and May, and then the bluebells.  The summer wildflowers, planted among the gravestones, should also make for a more dramatic display this year. 

Saint Mary’s churchyard was our major project for 2009 and I am excited to see how it is maturing.  I am particularly looking forward to seeing the many and varied tulips, which have been added to the formal flowerbeds for the first time. 

As you can imagine, lots of thought goes in to choosing plants for their dramatic colour combinations, height and flowering times and we have something special planned.  This includes the following varieties of tulips: Bestseller (orange), Apeldoorn (orangey scarlet), Couleur Cardinal (deep crimson), Aafke (lilac) and Sjakamaro (purple).   Some, such as Albi (violet) and Happy Family (pink), are multi-headed; having up to four flower heads per stem, they provide added impact.

In addition to creating a beautiful display, the flowers (both native and garden varieties) provide an important source of nectar for many insects.  We have also installed bird and insect boxes, to create a wildlife haven. 

Did you know that 2010 is the United Nations’ Year for Biodiversity?  The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) will be holding a range of projects and events throughout the year.  “Plants for Bugs”, a project already underway at the RHS Garden Wisley, aims to help gardeners chose more wildlife-friendly plants.  Gardens provide areas rich in a wide range of plants, insects, birds and small mammals.  I think that Tetbury in Bloom is already doing its bit but, of course, there is always room for improvement.  More about our plans for this year in my next article.

We are now taking orders for summer hanging baskets.  This year, for added impact, we will be using showy, trailing begonias complemented by small-flowered “Decora” geraniums, bidens and lysimachia.  These will match the flower displays in the mangers and troughs and will carry the Tetbury colour theme of reds, apricots, pinks and yellows throughout the town.  The hanging baskets cost £25 each and will be available from the end of May.  To reserve your hanging basket, call Sue Hirst on 504213, or email her on (Please note that the small profit we make will provide vital funds to help us keeping the town looking its very best.) 

Thank you to Tetbury Tailor of their donation of £50. 

We will launch our 2010 campaign at a wine tasting evening, hosted by Jackie Wheels (formerly Bona Wines, now with The Oxford Wine Company) on 9th April.  Tickets will £8.50 each – contact Sue early to avoid disappointment. 

Finally, we are considering holding an Open Gardens day to publicise our work and to raise much needed funds.  If you would be interested in opening your garden to the public in support, we would be delighted to hear from you – again please contact Sue on 504213.

February 2010

The Year Ahead

At this time of year our thoughts turn to the season ahead: planting schemes, work schedules and funding. 

The Tetbury in Bloom team is proud of its use of sustainable mixed planting schemes, which not only keeps our costs down (because plants are used year on year) but also provides us with all year round interest.  Indeed, we narrowly missed out on a special award in the 2009 RHS Britain in Bloom competition for Permanent Landscaping.  Also our Chairman, Sue Hirst, was asked to speak at the autumn Heart of England in Bloom seminar on our unique style of planting.

We use a combination of shrubs, chosen for their colourful foliage, and long flowering perennials to provide structure.   These include: phormium, red berberis, choisya, heuchera, various grasses and penstemons.  We then infill the gaps with seasonal bedding, to add a splash of extra colour.  Chosen for their drought tolerance, we typically use a mix of geraniums and begonias, interspersed with mixed antirrhinums and taller marguerites.  To complete “the look” the striking Kniphofia “Tetbury Torch” provides added interest. 

We like to think of it as gardening but on a grander scale, a far cry from traditional municipal bedding schemes.    

Tetbury in Bloom is financed solely by donations and we estimate that we need a minimum of £5,000 this year to put on another good show.  This will pay for new plants, seasonal bedding, spring bulbs, hanging baskets, replacement tubs and containers, compost, fertiliser, etc. 

We have already begun fund raising.  We have plans to hold another wine tasting evening later in the year.  Also a very big “thank you” to the Civic Society, who raised an impressive £286 for us at their quiz and fish and chip supper on 20th November.  

If you can help us financially, or are a business that would like to sponsor us, do let us know.  For those of you who have already asked, please make cheques payable to “Tetbury in Bloom”; they can be delivered to me at 2 Cutwell or via the Town Council Offices.  Every penny goes towards Tetbury in Bloom projects and every penny counts.  Our time is given free and so there is no administration charge. 

Alternatively, if you wish to join one of the working parties, we would be delighted to hear from you.  Please contact Sue Hirst on 504213.  Members of the team can be seen out and about once a week at this time of year, weather permitting.  What better way to keep that New Year’s resolution to get fit, to give something back to the Community or to make new friends?

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