Oakham in Bloom 2021
Oakham in Bloom stopped work parties before the National Lock-down due to our risk assessment that many of our volunteers were vulnerable. March is a very busy month for 01B with the preparation of the perennial beds including light weeding and dividing the plants.
Although the borders looked good the Tufted-hair Grass did swamp the prairie bed and Bristly Oxtongue the Lands-end Bed. We were also unable to plant our summer bedding although the violas looked lovely until August.
We then packed a lot of very well attended work parties (with new volunteers) who undertook mammoth dead heading and weeding.
We also started to work on the library bed that had a large tree and old shrubs removed.
We planted these with perennial oriental poppies 'Allegro', Purple Fennel, Lychnis coronaria 'Magenta', Stipa tenuissima, Sunflower 'Alchemy', Penstemon and annual seed mix.
Keeping Oakham Beautiful all year round
Although the recovery was intensive the continued restrictions meant this was one of the few social activities allowed demonstrating the importance of 01B work for mental health and social isolation.
Besides all the gardening work and chores we undertake O in B does a lot of tidying of weeds and stray areas, weeding and litter picking.
Transforming the Traffic Island
After major drainage work in the centre of the roundabout in 2019 the grass sward never recovered and became evermore weedy. As there are proposals to modify the roundabout in the future we considered
Transforming a grotty traffic island into a loved flower border. Poppies are very loved by the public. We see many people taking selfies by the bed and its always popular when posted on social media.
At Barleythorpe we created a new 12m diameter perennial flowerbed in the centre of the roundabout. The colour scheme was based on the crimson flowers of the existing Trumpeter Rose with a contrast of silver foliage plants. The turf was stripped and composted. 4 tons of horse manure were added to the rich soil.
Accordingly with the richer soil, we planted the flowers that thrive in those conditions starting with the old rose: 'Beauty of Bengal', Eupatorium Atropurpureum, Geraniums, Achillea Red Velvet, Anemone Queen Charlotte, Astrantia 'Hadspen Blood', Purple Sage, Persicaria 'Fats Domino' and Echinacea 'Bravado' and for silver folliage: Cardoon in the centre and Artemisia Powys Castle with an uplift of yellow from Anthemis 'EC Buxton'.