Well, the past 3 months have been very exciting in the garden!


The new vegetable beds produced runner beans, beetroot, spring onions, lettuce, cabbage, broad beans and french beans. Raspberries and blackberries produced a small crop in their first year with tomatoes not doing as well as expected. The squash and courgettes were also very disappointing, but, I think that was very widespread amongst gardeners. The early warm weather prompted planting too early and the plants just did not thrive.


Every gardener is very aware that failures are expected each year and we can all learn from them and try again next year. Hope is a mainstay for gardeners. Hoping the plans made in the winter months will work, hoping the plants will survive and grow to produce good crops / flowers, hoping that the weather will be kind and, of course, hoping that next year will be even better.


I expect you will all have seen the fantastic trellis that has been added to the wall facing Westbury car park. This is the handiwork of Richard Lathwood. Isn’t it amazing?! I was concerned about children climbing on and over the wall and I hope this will solve the problem as well as giving me a structure to grow some more plants. I have plans to plant a repeat flowering rambling rose called ‘Malvern Hills’ and an evergreen climber, yet to be decided. This will, hopefully, provide all year round colour and interest as well as a lovely backdrop for the beds in the car park.


As mentioned in my last update, the Church garden was entered in the Bristol in Bloom Community Participation Garden competition. Judging took place in late August and I was there to show the 2 judges around and explain how it had all started, how I got involved and the progress to date with the help of some Church funding, generous donations, the offer of practical help and fundraising in the form of the sale of the produce.


The judges seemed very impressed, took some photos and stated the results would be notified within about 10 days.


Imagine my amazement when I received a letter to state that we had won 1st place and a gold medal in the category. I was really excited and so pleased, and still am, for all the members of the Church and the public who comment so positively about the garden.


I was invited to attend the award ceremony at the Council House on 29 September with a guest and so took along Caroline Deval. Caroline has helped me on occasions in the garden and I thought would represent the Church admirably in her new capacity as a member of the LeadershipTeam.

An absolutely huge surprise and honour for me was to also receive a Special Award called The Pat and John Mortel Perpetual Trophy in the form of an engraved silver rose bowl. This is the first year the award has been presented as a dedication to the couple who are founder members of Bristol in Bloom and are retiring after many years of unstinting hard work.





As also mentioned in the last update, the beds I tend in Westbury car park were included in the judging for Bristol in Bloom Best Shopping Area. Westbury-on-Trym won this category and so I accompanied Sue Boyd and Arthur Brice to collect the award.


It was a lovely evening with all the category awards being presented along with the Allotment awards. It certainly made me feel very proud to represent the Church community, even better when I was able to put all the awards night on show at the Harvest Festival service for all to see.



Arrangements are now in hand to mount the certificates on the wall in the foyer and obtain a cabinet for the engraved glass photo frame. Also, as a result of my involvement, I have been asked to join both the Bristol in Bloom Committee and the Westbury-in-Bloom Committee. Wow!


After all that excitement I was back ‘down to earth’, literally, in October to clear/tidy the vegetable beds and plant garlic, broad beans and winter peas. I removed a very old lavender in the perennial bed and replaced it with a giant scabious, added mallow and astilbe along with some very pretty violas between the Scout and Guide emblems. Wallflowers have been planted in the front car park ready for Spring.


My next task to achieve before the weather closes in is to clear the ground around the back cottage gate in the car park. I will then obtain some compost from the Council and plant and then all the harder work will be completed. It will then just be a matter of maintenance.


What an amazing 3 months it has been!


It just leaves me wondering what the next growing season will bring.

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