Stony Stratfordin Bloom 2010

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We are leaving this site in place as an archive.


To read about current activities of all those involved in Stony in Bloom, take a look at our News page and our Current Projects.

10 December 2010

Winter sun smiles on Stony in Bloom Saturday work parties


Stony in Bloom volunteers were busy in two different locations in Stony Stratford this Saturday (10 December), but only Phil Sarre managed to provide muscle for both.

At the north end of the High Street Mike Cooper, Ray Cobley, Julian Lambley and Anne Emel were energetically attacking the iron-hard soil in order to plant the flowering trees that will be part of the enhancement of that entrance to the town. So stubbornly impenetrable was the ground that they decided to summon Phil, who was pulling out an equally stubborn tree root in the perennial bed at the junction of Calverton Road and Augustus Road, as he has equipment for banging posts into such unyielding ground.

Meanwhile at the Augustus Road/Calverton Road bed Mary Sarre, Kathy Luff, Anne Lambley, Pat Thurling, Geraldine West, Joan Walker and Judy Deveson were pruning the lavender and roses and weeding the beds, ready for their winter slumber.

At half time their labours were sweetened by a delicious cup of coffee provided by a kindly resident.

A blue canopy above and sparkling winter sunshine made the work pleasurable for all, if exhausting for some!


6 December 2010

Too busy digging to take pictures

There has been a flurry of activity by Stony in Bloom members over the last month or two, but so much energy has gone into the ‘doing’ that members haven’t got around to taking many pictures. Progress has been made at the North End of the High Street in collaboration with the Futures Group, and the beautiful seats supplied by the Futures Group are now in place. Mike Cooper, Ray Cobley, Mary Sarre and Mary Robinson have been liaising over the design of the garden, and Ray has produced a temporary notice board (see below) explaining what Stony in Bloom is hoping to do as well as the history of the Queen Eleanor Cross and the links to Stony Stratford. The roses for the other side of the green expanse at the entrance to the north end of the High Street have been ordered, and a work party to plant them will take place when snow allows.

Ray Cobley has been liaising with Landscaping Department at Milton Keynes Council and with Highways, to gain permission to plant 300 roses in Galley Hill. The money for these comes from Phil Wharton’s allocation for the town. Amanda Box’s allocation has gone to buy fruit trees, fruit bushes and a fruit cage for St Mary & St Giles School, which will be tended by the children of the school in their gardening sessions with Stony in Bloom volunteers. They will then be able to eat the fruit for their lunches – always an enjoyable aspect of gardening! Money will also go to helping Queen Eleanor School build a greenhouse for gardening activities, and some plants. In Spring Stony in Bloom volunteers will begin gardening sessions at Queen Eleanor School.

Over the last few Saturdays there have been working parties to plant bluebell seeds in the Bluebell Wood, and to add saplings to the native hedge; and on another session to enlarge the bed outside the polytunnel at St Mary and St Giles School so the children can grow more potatoes next year. On Monday, 29 November a group of volunteers wrapped up warmly and braved the icy cold to thin the hedge between St Mary & St Giles School and the Wolverton Road Recreation Ground. Here Stony in Bloom was liaising with Tony Higgins from Milton Keynes Council Landscaping Department, as he would like to transform Wolverton Road Recreation Ground into a Green Flag Park. Milton Keynes Council had agreed to turn what was cut from the hedge into mulch, which Stony in Bloom can use in a number of beds.


As always, Stony in Bloom seized the opportunity offered by Stony Stratford’s Christmas Lights Switch-on Celebration to publicise our Gold Medal Victory and the National challenge next year. The Stony Stratford Business Association kindly gave Stony in Bloom their table free of charge, and invited Stony in Bloom to sell the Stony Stratford Calendars on a SAO basis, with the £2 mark-up per copy going to Stony in Bloom funds. Kate Davies had included three delightful pictures of gardening sessions at St Mary & St Giles School in this year’s calendar. Thirty-one calendars were sold, so adding £62 to Stony in Bloom funds. The table also gave Stony in Bloom a chance to draw attention to the fact that next year there will be a Stony Open Gardens and to encourage volunteers.

30 October 2010

Residents of King George’s Crescent and Stony in Bloom volunteers tranform the entrance to St Mary & St Giles School

This Saturday’s working party (30 October) was at King George’s Crescent. The marigolds, cornflowers and sunflowers in the beds by the school entrance and on the opposite side along the fence, which had dazzled and charmed passers-by for the whole summer, had begun to fade, so the time had come to root them out and replace them with some permanent bedding.

Mary Sarre and Judy Deveson had tugged out four formiums from the patch near the Library, as these had grown voraciously and were looking overcrowded where they were; and brought them to the entrance to the school to replant. Meanwhile Pat Kyd, Moira Cooper and Geraldine West, together with a few residents from King George’s Crescent, were busy clearing the weeds ready for the formiums to be levered in. In addition to the formiums, some grasses were added, and camomile and evergreen shrubs from the bed inside the school grounds. One kind resident donated a number of plants to brighten up the patch.

The volunteers were very grateful for the cup of coffee that Lynn Carpenter produced to sweeten their labours half way through the morning.






30 September 2010

At the Thames and Chilterns Regional Awards ceremony on 30 September 2010 we learnt that Stony Stratford had won:

Gold Award 2010
Best in category: Small Town 2010
Ancell Trust Sports Ground wins Regional Award Best Park (Private) 2010
Stony Stratford National Finalists 2011

Awards announced on 30 September 2010

28 July 2010

RHS Judges come to Stony Stratford

Stony in Bloom volunteers were up early making sure that everything was at its best for the judges’ visit. It was good to see the council’s street cleaners out in force as well, making sure that the town was looking tidy and neat. The weather was kind to us,too, and the judges seemed very impressed with what they were shown.

Here is the route the judges took:

The numbered points along the route are:

  1. ‘Bluebell Wood’ at the end of London Road outside the Children's Centre
  2. Queen Eleanor School, Galley Hill
  3. Bellwhether, Fullers Slade
  4. King George’s Crescent and St Mary & St Giles School
  5. Fegans Court
  6. Ancell Trust Sports Ground
  7. Mill Field
  8. Market Square
  9. Odell’s Yard

Golden Garden Award presentations

Joint first-prize winner of Golden Gardens Award receiving her prize and certificatePrizes were presented to the winners and runners up in the recent Golden Front Gardens Awards.

Among the equal first prize winners, the owner of 6 Bennet Close receives her prize and certificate from Judy Deveson, Chair of the Stony in Bloom group.Joint second-prize winners of Golden Gardens Award, Margaret and Gerard Rowland of 10 Bennet Close, receiving their prize and certificate




Joint second prize winners were Margaret and Gerard Rowland of 10 Bennet Close and Daphne and Bruce Messenger of 137 Milford Avenue.Joint second-prize winners of Golden Gardens Award, Daphne and Bruce Messenger of 137 Milford Avenue, receiving their prize and certificate

Joint third prize winners were Kim Spratt and Linda Davis of 13 and 14 Bellwether, Fullers Slade.Joint third-prize winners of Golden Gardens Award, Kim Spratt and Linda Davis of 13 and 14 Bellwether, Fullers Slade, receiving their prizes and certificates









Here is a complete list of all the winning gardens:

1st prize (3 winners)

  • 6 Bennet Close
  • 11 Essenden Court
  • 56 Ousebank Way

2nd prize (3 winners)

  • 10 Bennet Close
  • 137 Milford Avenue
  • 87 Wolverton Road

3rd prize (2 winners)

  • 13 Bellwether
  • 14 Bellwether

25 July 2010

Fullers Slade Fun Day

Young competitors entering the Stony in Bloom Design a Garden competition at the Fullers Slade Fun Day on Sunday, 25 July 2020Among the many activities on offer at the Fullers Slade Fun Day on Sunday, 25 July, children were invitedYoung competitors entering the Stony in Bloom Design a Garden competition at the Fullers Slade Fun Day on Sunday, 25 July 2020 to take part in a Stony in Bloom ‘Design a Garden’ competition. There was no shortage of budding garden designers ready to let their imaginations blossom into creative designs.

14 July 2010

Golden Front Gardens competition

Twenty-three gardens were entered for the Golden Front Gardens Award and judging took place on Wednesday, 14 July. Here is what the judges had to say:

We judged the front gardens against a set of five criteria, including design and use of space through to standard of maintenance. The points were then totalled and we found we had three equal winners. Although each was completely different from the others in design and size, the winners all scored very highly on maintenance and also on their impact on the street around them.

These are the winning gardens:

56 Ousebank WayGolden Gardens Award winning garden at 56 Ousebank Way

A medium sized garden, this was immaculately kept – in fact the owner was working on it when we arrived! The design showed a good use of a large variety of plants and also a range of hard landscaping features.

6 Bennet Close

Golden Gardens Award winning garden at 6 Bennett CloseThis was a relatively small space, but well designed using a variety of hard landscaping and containers. It was beautifully kept and with the variety of bright plants made a significant impact on its surroundings.

11 Essenden Court

Also a relatively small space, but well designed with a very large variety of plants seen at their best. A clever use of plants of different heights made best use of the space and had a huge impact on the surrounding street.Golden Gardens Award winning garden at 11 Essenden Court

All the gardens we saw have their own charm and add considerably to the environment of Stony Stratford, and we thank the owners for the opportunity to spend a very pleasant afternoon looking into their gardens!

Prizes for the Golden Front Gardens Awards were kindly sponsored by Roman Way Garden Centre, Potterspury.

24 April 2010

Stony in Bloom Plant Sale at York House

Hundreds of eager gardeners were supplied with young plants, vegetables and herbs donated by local people at the Stony in Bloom plant sale held in front of York House. At the same time York House Committee ran a successful fund-raising cake and coffee morning inside York House. The plant sale raised £450 for Stony in Bloom to spend on beautifying the town.

25 March 2010

Stony springs into Bloom

First it was the deep purple crocuses,Purple crocuses flowering alongside Wolverton Road March 2010 then a scattering of gold, and after that the little yellow tête-à-tête narcissi to delight the eyes. Finally the daffodils are beginning to nod and wave and prove that spring is actually here. If the Russell Street School children who helped Stony in Bloom volunteers plant crocuses and tête-à-tête in the autumn take a stroll through Cofferidge Close they’ll see how pretty it has looked over the last couple of weeks. The crocuses planted by Breton residents and their children and grandchildren have bloomed beautifully. Stony in Bloom volunteers have started work again on the Millennium Beds at the entrances to the town, and we hope that Stony Stratford residents will agree that they look particularly attractive this spring, with the ornamental grasses providing a pretty backcloth for the cheerful tête-à-tête.

18 January 2010

Archaeology of Stowe Gardens

The packed audience at the Crown to hear Gary Marshall’s talk onthe archaeology of Stowe Gardens

On Monday, 18 January 2010, a packed audience at The Crown heard a fascinating account by Gary Marshall of the role of an archaeologist in the National Trust’s restoration of the beautiful landscape garden at Stowe to its former glory.

In addition to being a ‘Stony in Bloom’ volunteer, Gary is the National Trust’s archaeologist for the Thames Region, based at Stowe. He described how the design of the gardens had evolved from formal parterres in the seventeenth century to the naturalistic landscaping of William Kent, Charles Bridgeman and ‘Capability’ Brown in the eighteenth century. Gary showing the lightning-damaged window frame from Lord Cobham's monument at StoweSince 1990, horticultural archaeology has provided vital evidence for the National Trust in its re-instatement of lost walks, replacement of specimen trees and woodland, and restoration of lakes and monuments. Gary brought along some ‘finds’ to illustrate his talk: a lightning-damaged metal window frame which had enabled the right proportions to be used for the restoration of Lord Cobham’s monument, simple but beautifully decorated clay flowerpots, and locally-made roof tiles from the derelict eighteenth-century coaching inn, the New Inn. Simply decorated eighteenth-century clay flowerpots excavated from Stowe GardensThis inn, and its adjoining farmhouse, are being restored to provide a first-class Visitor Centre at a South Entrance to Stowe Gardens, planned to open in 2011.

At the end of the talk, Judy Deveson thanked Gary warmly on our behalf, and he was soon surrounded by interested members of the audience for further discussion.


Medland's view of the entry to Stowe gardens in the 1790s

7 January 2010

Work starts on London Road lychgate

Passers by in London Road will have seen that the lychgate is enclosed in scaffolding. This is the latest Stony in Bloom project to get under way. For more information visit our Current Projects page.

To find out what is happening now for Stony in Bloom, take a look at our News page and our Current Projects.

To see what we did in 2009 go to Stony in Bloom 2009.

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