East Midlands In Bloom’s Visit to Oakham

Volunteers meet East Midlands In Bloom judges at the Library

Oakham In Bloom were delighted to welcome the East Midlands In Bloom judges, with a presentation and a tour of the town’s highlights, followed by afternoon tea at the Museum.

Judges Doug Stacey and Simon Lucas were welcomed at Oakham Castle by Oakham In Bloom and Rutland County Council before being taken on a tour of the town with Oakham In Bloom’s Chairman Chris Morten and Gardening Co-ordinator Craig Howat.  The tour included the town centre for our major floral displays, residential areas, Brooke Hill Academy, The Woodland Trust’s Gorse Field Wood, the bypass and much more.

The judges met gardening volunteers at the Library, where they also gave a short interview to Rutland Radio, before ending the tour at Rutland County Museum with an afternoon tea with the committee and guests.

Many thanks to all volunteers and supporters who made the day a great success – the judges were very complimentary of the level of community involvement  in Oakham – and also to Oakham Castle and Rutland County Museum for hosting the opening and closing events.

We now wait patiently until September to hear the results, which will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held in Rutland this year at Rutland Water Golf Club.  Also in the Town category this year are Bourne, Clowne in Bloom, Earl Shilton in Bloom and Immingham in Bloom.

Museum Garden


A Wheelie Great Garden

The new Inner Wheel Club garden on the Uppingham Road part of the bypass
The Inner Wheel Club garden on  Uppingham Road

A new garden has been created on Uppingham Road to celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Association of Inner Wheel Clubs of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Inner Wheel Association President this year asked every club in the country to complete a community project using “wheels” to celebrate this special anniversary – the Rutland Club chose to donate to Oakham in Bloom and together they created a round flower bed using a bicycle as its centrepiece alongside the cycle path on Uppingham Road and the bypass.

Rutland President Mary Parkin has coordinated the whole project by successfully ‘wheeling and dealing’ with local suppliers, whom we would like to thank for their generous support. They are: Rose Dejardin (designer of the garden), Palmers of Oakham, Howarth Timber & Building Suppliers of Corby, Gates Nurseries, Christine Davies, Barbara Clements, Oliver Hemsley of Paint it and Plant it.

On Friday 20 June the Inner Wheel members met with Chris Morten, Acting Chairman of Oakham In Bloom, for the official unveiling and handover of the Inner Wheel garden – the area will be maintained by Oakham In Bloom volunteers as part of their regular maintenance programme.

Chris Morten said “It’s wonderful to work with other community organisations and we’re delighted that the Inner Wheel Club chose to share their anniversary with Oakham In Bloom and the town itself. We hope that cyclists in particular will enjoy the garden on their route.”

The Inner Wheel Club meets monthly at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel. Anyone wishing to find out more information about the club, or wishing to join us, please contact secretary Mrs Pat Munro on 01572 723464.

To join Oakham In Bloom as a volunteer gardener or fundraiser please contact Chris Morten on 01572 759108 or email info@oakhaminbloom.org.uk

Maintenance for the Spitfire

Spitfire Maintenance 2014
Spitfire Maintenance 2014
John & Martin from Rutland Willows remove the Spitfire for maintenance

The Spitfire sculpture on the bypass is heading to the Rutland Willows workshop for a couple of weeks for some vital maintenance.

The Spitfire is in a vulnerable spot weather-wise and suffers all the elements through the year – John Shone and Martin Keeley will be working on the sculpture which, this year, requires significant repair.

Thanks to all who have donated to Oakham In Bloom to support this project, in particular the RAF Association who have again donated to the Spitfire project to enable us to continue the maintenance this year.

Ripe & Ready!

Stamford Road Boat filled with vegetablesOakham In Bloom are urging residents to pick the fruit and vegetables that have been grown in the containers in town.

The Britain In Bloom judges were very impressed with the new Grow Your Own theme that volunteers have planted and cared for, and now the fruit and vegetables are ready to eat!

The containers with fruit and vegetables ready to be picked are the large planter on the High Street outside Coop Funeralcare, the large planter outside the Odd House Tavern pub on Burley Road and the boat on the Stamford Road bypass roundabout.

Oakham In Bloom’s Derek Bilby said “Anybody passing by is invited to pick something to try – the cherry tomatoes taste great and there is also rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme and even a few strawberries!”

“The planting has been done with care, using peat-free compost and organic feed.”

The grow your own theme has been very successful, but Oakham In Bloom don’t want to see the produce going to waste, so please do take something to try.

The committee would like to thank staff at Coop Funeral Care and the Odd House Tavern for volunteering to water the containers.

Have you tried any of the community-grown produce? Please take a photo and share it with Oakham In Bloom on Facebook – www.facebook.com/oakhaminbloom and Twitter – www.twitter.com/oakhaminbloom

Oakham’s Spitfire Flying High

Oakham’s willow Spitfire sculpture, originally made for the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, has had its annual spring clean and repair!

John Shone of Rutland Willows, who designed and created the sculpture in 2010, regularly carries out maintenance with his son-in-law Martin Keeley to ensure the Spitfire continues to be pride of place in its bypass flowerbed.

“The Spitfire is still in excellent condition and this year needed a treatment of preservative and some of the structure replaced.” said John. “Next winter it may need a complete overhaul as winter can take its toll, especially as it is in such an open space along the roadside.”

Oakham In Bloom took over management of the Battle of Britain bed in 2011, by popular public demand, to ensure the Spitfire remained a long-term feature of Oakham’s floral and environmental displays.

And it’s not just the Spitfire that’s getting a revamp – the flowerbed itself is currently being transformed by volunteers from Wing Grange to become a wildflower bed.