Stony Stratford in Bloom

2014
The Community Project for Everyone

Silver Gilt Award 2008, 2009
Gold Award 2010, 2011, 2012,
2013
Best in Small Town Category
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
National Silver Award 2011

Part funded by


Introduction 2 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Contents
Introduction 3
Judges’ Route 5
Fifty years of Britain in Bloom: Growing for Gold 6
Centenary of First World War 9
Big Tree Plant 10
RHS ‘Wild about Gardens’ week 11
School Gardening and Young People 12
Sustainability 15
Community Involvement 20
Local Heritage and Pride of Place 22
Floral Impact 23
Fundraising 25
Relationship with Business 27
Communications and Publicity 28
Front cover photograph: ‘Growing for Gold’: children help celebrate fifty years of Britain in
Bloom by sowing sunflower seeds in pots to be planted out along the fence in Wolverton
Road Recreation Ground (see p. 7)

St Mary & St Giles pupils gather produce they have grown ready for Michele the chef to
make into school dinners
2 June 2013
12 September 2013

Introduction 3 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Introduction
Growing for Gold – Stony Stratford in Bloom
Celebrates 50 Years of Britain in Bloom
We know from our gardening sessions in local schools that children love planting seeds –
particularly sunflower seeds, which don’t float away when you breathe – so we contacted
the local Play Centre to see if they’d like to join us during the Easter holidays to
commemorate 50 years of Britain in Bloom, and a bunch of twenty-one enthusiastic children
gathered in the park, eager to plant the free sunflower seeds sent to Stony Stratford in Bloom
(SSIB) by the RHS as part of the Growing for Gold celebrations. Volunteers from the nearby
allotments also helped out – providing a trestle table and a tarpaulin for easier pot-planting.
A few weeks later the children proudly brought back their sunflowers, which they planted
in the bed along the Wolverton Road Allotments Fence. In the autumn there’ll be a
competition, and after the flowers are measured, the winner of the tallest sunflower will
receive a small prize. We’re hoping for a beautiful blaze of gold when the sunflowers bloom
later in the summer, and more gold too from the marigolds and yellow pansies that have
been planted in beds throughout the town.
Our other plans for 50 Year Celebrations include a talk on the History of Britain in Bloom
and its impact on Stony Stratford; and tapestry planting with the letters BIB and the number
50 delineated in sempervivum. The
talk has been organised with the
Friends of Stony Stratford Library, a
local community group which
recently campaigned successfully to
save the Library. As for the tapestry
planting, it’s the first time to Stony
Stratford in Bloom volunteers have
attempted it, and we’re waiting
excitedly to see how it works out!
Local volunteers made the boxes for
the display, which will be in the
Library Beds for residents and
visitors to see.
Another very significant anniversary
which to Stony Stratford in Bloom
volunteers have been
commemorating this year has been
the beginning of the First World War
and the men and women who lost
their lives. Local people gave
generously to our Poppy Appeal for
money for red poppy seeds, and also
Dobbies offered free seeds to
community groups. Again we

Introduction 4 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
involved children in the planting – all the schools taking part. In addition, swathes of
poppies have been planted in the Wolverton Road Recreation Ground, and elsewhere in the
town.
It’s been an exceptionally busy year for Stony Stratford in Bloom, as we provided the
volunteer force for the Town Council’s Big Tree Plant. Every Saturday and Sunday morning
from early November to March, a group of Stony Stratford in Bloom volunteers would turn
up in rain or shine to plant 152 trees – many of them fruit trees – in all the different parts of
the parish where residents had indicated they wanted them. Stony Stratford in Bloom, local
schools, children’s centres and community groups have offered to help maintain them.
And of course, in addition to these new projects, Stony Stratford in Bloom volunteers have
been turning out for their regular two work-parties a week to help maintain all the other
beds in the town we’ve created over the years – refreshing some with new shrubs; mulching;
planting two thousand new bluebells in the Bluebell Wood; getting rid of all those weeds
that have leapt up with the rain and sun. On top of all this there’s been the litter picking to
keep the town looking spruce. All our efforts no doubt contributed in September to Stony
Stratford not only winning the Buckinghamshire Best Kept Village competition for their
category – but being judged overall winners with the coveted Michaelis Cup. And happily,
we’ve had yet more volunteers joining us once again, so the workload has been shared.
Judy Deveson (Chair of Stony Stratford in Bloom)
Stony Stratford in Bloom activities are reported regularly in the Town Crier, published
quarterly by Stony Stratford Town Council, the Stony Stratford in Bloom website
http://www.stonyinbloom.org.uk and on our Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stony-in-Bloom/111313445624096?ref=ts.
Map on p. 5 contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2014.

In September Stony Stratford was awarded Buckinghamshire Best Kept Town,
the Michaelis Small Towns Cup, and overall winner gaining the Sword of Excellence
18 October 2013

Stony Stratford
in Bloom
Judges’ Route
Wednesday, 2 July 2014
Key
0 Calcutta Brasserie Car Park
1 Library
2 Queen Eleanor Garden;
Millennium Bed and pond
3 Ancell Trust Sports Grounds
4 Stony Stratford Nature Park
5 St Mary & St Giles School
6 Wolverton Road Recreation Ground
7 Sensory Garden
London Road Allotments
8 Queen Eleanor Nursery School garden
9 Clailey Court Play Area
10 Four Seasons Garden
10a War Memorial
11 Ousebank Way residential gardens
12 Market Square
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
11
12
0
10
10a

Fifty years of Britain in Bloom:
Growing for Gold 6 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Fifty years of Britain in Bloom:
Growing for Gold

Celebratory gold reflected in the winter
colour theme of polyanthus and drifts of
daffodils along Wolverton Road
14 March 2014
19 March 2014

Fifty years of Britain in Bloom:
Growing for Gold 7 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
The poster and Facebook publicity
encouraged over twenty children to sow
sunflower seeds on 16 April 2014 (see front
cover picture) …














… and return six weeks later to plant out their young sunflowers, labelled with their names, in a bed
along the fence in Wolverton Road Recreation Ground
27 May 2014

Fifty years of Britain in Bloom:
Growing for Gold 8 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

Stony Stratford in
Bloom volunteers meet
in the school
polytunnel to plant out
tapestry plants spelling
BIB 50 in boxes for
later display outside
the Town Library
1 May 2014
1 May 2014

Centenary of First World War 9 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Centenary of First World War

In Wolverton Road Recreation ground, Stony Stratford in Bloom volunteers rotavate the soil and
prepare a ribbon bed, which was then sown with hundreds of poppy seeds, donated by Wolverton
Road Allotment members. Sequential sowings throughout the town were made with seeds from public
donations

Poppy-seed sowing by pupils of Queen Eleanor School, Galley Hill
19 February 2014
29 April 2014

Big Tree Plant 10 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Big Tree Plant
Stony Stratford in Bloom volunteers played a vital role in the Town Council’s Big Tree Plant
of 152 trees throughout the town

Young children at the Rowan’s Centre, Fullers
Slade, help with planting

Local residents plant one of the first trees, on
Fullers Slade

York House and Stony Stratford in Bloom volunteers combine to create an orchard of 25 fruit trees
5 December 2013
7 December 2013
11 January 2014
11 January 2014

RHS ‘Wild about Gardens’ week 11 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
RHS ‘Wild about Gardens’ week
One of several bulb-planting sessions across
the town: local families plant wild daffodils
and crocuses in Wolverton Road Recreation
Ground

Maintaining wildlife areas in the Bluebell Wood:

Planting over a thousand English bluebell
bulbs bought with money from fund-raising
events

Clearing cow parsley which
threatened to smother the young
bluebells

26 October 2013
22 January 2014
19 April 2014

School Gardening and Young People 12 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
School Gardening and Young People
Stony Stratford in Bloom volunteers provide weekly gardening sessions at all three schools
in the town during term time.
Russell Street Primary School children proud of
the pumpkin they grew in their raised bed,
which they later made into soup














Queen Eleanor First School pupils plant lettuce and cucumber seeds in the completed plastic bottle
greenhouse designed by teacher Fiona Collins
22 October 2013
29 April 2014

School Gardening and Young People 13 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

St Mary & St Giles Junior School: a gardening session to plant out young pea plants – grown by
pupils in the polytunnel – into the school allotment bed. In a recent survey by the Head, pupils chose
gardening and cooking as their favourite lessons

Michele the Chef uses vegetables and fruit grown
by the pupils – such as these strawberries – for her
healthy school dinners

St Mary & St Giles Junior School entered Stony
Stratford Harvest Show with several exhibits of
vegetables they had grown – and were
successful!
28 April 2014
12 July 2013 9 September 2013

School Gardening and Young People 14 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

Guides weeding their Guide & Brownie Bed on Galley Hill

Annual Bluebell Party in the Bluebell Wood for The Space Children’s Centre
30 April 2014
23 April 2014

Sustainability 15 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Sustainability
In October the summer display is replaced by winter planting, using
grasses, heuchera, polyanthus and vinca stored over the summer at our
allotment at York House.
Removing the summer plants:
some still look good and are given
away to the public; the remaining
plants are composted at York
House




Retrieving winter plants
from the York House storage
bed








Giving away to the public the more presentable used plants at a table on the
High Street
17 October 2013
17 October 2013
17 October 2013

Sustainability 16 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Bagging up spent summer
compost from the planters, for use
as mulch









Mature compost made in the
compost bins at St Mary &
St Giles Junior School
is collected for mulching








Mulching the Library Bed

6 October 2013
8 November 2013 8 November 2013
14 March 2014

Sustainability 17 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

Winter maintenance of Four
Seasons garden: prunings and
weeds are collected in green bins
for recycling by Milton Keynes
Borough Council
Emergency work party to retrieve
shrubs and perennials from the
Link Bed in King George’s
Crescent, after storms brought
down the fence. They were stored
in the nearby allotment bed at
St Mary & St Giles Junior School






After a new fence was built by the
Council, the Link Bed was
refurbished with the stored shrubs
and a few new ones
11 February 2014
15 January 2014
2 May 2014

Sustainability 18 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

Planting up the summer display at the start of June; winter plants are transported to
York House allotment to be used again the following October

Close links with Stony Stratford Business Association members and the
Christmas Lights team enable over 150 hanging baskets to be hung along the
High Street and planters placed on top of bus stops for extra colour and impact

Sustainability 19 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

A Community Tidy Day, binning the gutter weeds along the bridge for recycling

The Neighbourhood Action Group organised a response to a recent increase in dog fouling. New signs
and posters were put up, the number of dog bins increased and plastic glove dispensers were installed
in parks
29 June 2013
31 May 2014

Community Involvement 20 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Community Involvement

Annual Golden Gardens competition: Town gardeners gather in the Library to be presented with
prizes (donated by local Acorn Nursery, Emberton) and certificates by Anne Kempson, RHS regional
judge
Stony Stratford Town Council’s
Apple Day was held in Mortimer
Park and was attended by the Mayor
of Milton Keynes







This year the Stony Stratford in Bloom
Chair was given the honour of
switching on the Christmas Lights






6 July 2013
13 October 2013
30 November 2013 30 November 2013 30 November 2013 30 November 2013

Community Involvement 21 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
At the Christmas Lights switch-on, a
children’s planting event in the
Library was supported by Stony
Stratford in Bloom volunteers








York House Coffee Morning
and Seed Swap in April:
planting seeds and herbs at
York House Edible Bed







Stony Stratford Town Council’s Big
Lunch on the Mill Field: Stony Stratford
in Bloom volunteers help children plant
strawberry plants, to take away and
grow on themselves
30 November 2013
26 April 2014
1 June 2014

Local Heritage and Pride of Place 22 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Local Heritage and Pride of Place

Karen Parker in her tiny front garden, which won first prize in the Golden Gardens competition

Local resident Louise Reidy, who leads an IYN group, celebrates the Grand Opening of Galley Hill
Play Area, which she brought to fruition, obtaining funding and a grant from WREN She was
nominated by the Milton Keynes Council team for a community award
29 June 2013
11 November 2013

Floral Impact 23 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Floral Impact

The planting at Wolverton Road roundabout in late summer

The Market Square in summer
31 August 2013
22 July 2013

Floral Impact 24 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

Spring tulips and polyanthus along the Memorial Garden in London Road Cemetery
A spring garden outside the library










The Millennium Bed at the north
entrance to the town
22 April 2014
7 March 2014
3 May 2014

Fundraising 25 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Fundraising
Direct fundraising by Stony Stratford in Bloom is for the maintenance of our permanent
beds and on-going projects and to fund any new projects that its committee has agreed.
Fundraising is combined with community involvement and is always enjoyable.

The Pig Roast at York House in late July was a great success, and raised over £600. Stony Stratford
Fiddle Club provided the music for free

The ReLove Fashion Christmas evening: £58 was handed over for Stony Stratford
in Bloom coffers. Another of those win–win situations where Stony Stratford in Bloom
supports a local business, which in turn supports Stony Stratford in Bloom!
19 July 2013
18 November 2013

Fundraising 26 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

The Calcutta Brasserie meal is now an annual event, greatly enjoyed by 119 friends and supporters.
The grand total raised this year was a fantastic £839

The Stony Stratford in Bloom Plant Sale and York House Coffee Morning raised £450 for Stony
Stratford in Bloom
14 November 2013
26 April 2014

Relationship with Business 27 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Relationship with Business
Stony Stratford Town Council is the source of the major funding for Stony Stratford in
Bloom, funding the planter displays and the watering contract. In addition, the relationship
between Stony Stratford in Bloom and businesses in the town is very positive , with many
providing sponsorship either directly, or in kind.

Sponsors and supporters enjoy a party at the Swinfen Harris Hall to celebrate the success of Stony
Stratford in Bloom at the Thames and Chiltern awards

Stony Stratford Business Association fund the
170 plus hanging baskets in the High Street and
Market Square

Many businesses are planter sponsors
Freestone Creative provide the many attractive and informative notices for Stony Stratford
in Bloom projects.
Permanent beds are sometimes sponsored by organisations, e.g. the new Rotary Bed on
Wolverton Road and the Neighbourhood Action Group Bed outside the tennis courts.
20 November 2013
22 July 2013
30 May 2014

Communications and Publicity 28 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Communications and Publicity

Local garden designer Theresa Wedderburn gave a fascinating talk on ‘Gardening with Hardy Exotic
Plants’, encouraging local gardeners to extend their plant range

Derek Gibbon, an SSIB member, produces
excellent posters for SSIB, photographs events
and work parties, and posts them on Facebook,
providing up-to-date publicity

At the Christmas Lights switch-on, Stony
Stratford in Bloom volunteers at a publicity stall in
the High Street promote Stony Stratford Business
Association’s calendar ‘Stony Stratford 2014’, full
of Kate Davies’s beautiful photographs of Stony
Stratford throughout the year
12 March 2014
30 November 2013

Communications and Publicity 29 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014

Stony Stratford in Bloom members worked with local designer Roddy Clenaghan to produce ‘Stony
Stratford in Bloom-a Town Walk’, with the aid of sponsors. This leaflet is an illustrated walk taking
in all the major SSIB plantings and projects. Copies are available in the Library, the Health Centre
and local shops and hotels

As part of ‘Stony Live’, Stony Stratford in Bloom members led walking parties (here at the Four
Seasons garden), which were much enjoyed and had very positive feedback
8 June 2014
20 April 2014

Communications and Publicity 30 Stony Stratford in Bloom 2014
Getting the ‘In Bloom’ message out
This year we’ve been keen to get publicity for Stony Stratford in Bloom’s celebration of
50 Years of Britain in Bloom. The Town Crier, the town’s quarterly journal/newspaper, which
goes to all households, always includes an article about our activities, with pictures, and our
Growing for Gold events have been highlighted in each of the recent editions. In addition,
the local business flier, Essentially Local, produced every two months – which also includes a
regular column about SSIB events and activities, and goes to all households – has trumpeted
our Sunflower-Planting events, the tapestry planting and the talk on the History of Britain in
Bloom and its impact on Stony Stratford. In addition, the local Milton Keynes newspaper,
MK News, has highlighted our sunflower-planting event on its website, with photographs.
The link was sent to Ed Horne at the RHS, who re-tweeted it, so it had maximum publicity.
(http://www.mkweb.co.uk/Community/Milton-Keynes-town-start-Growing-for-Gold-as-
RHS-celebrate-50-years-of-Britain-in-Bloom-20140327210000.htm).
The Chair of SSIB has also been interviewed on two local radio stations – Secklow Radio,
17 April http://www.secklowsounds.org/ , which gave a great opportunity to show-case our
events and activities; and on BBC 3 Counties Radio, which put the spotlight on Stony
Stratford 2–5 June, with interviews with a number of local groups, including SSIB. It was
SSIB’s winter-to-summer changeover day, so the interview went out at 3 15 pm, Drivetime,
after the town had been transformed with the summer bedding plants.
With the number of ‘Likes’ on our very active Facebook page shooting up (251 now), and a
Twitter account now started, both of which have been fruitfully interacting with In-Bloom
Facebook and Twitter pages in Thames and Chiltern Region and the UK generally, Stony
Stratford in Bloom has been reaching out and publicising what has been happening very
effectively this year.












One of many historical plaques and heritage
information boards erected around the town by
the Futures Group of Stony Stratford
10 June 2014

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