The Battle of Britain bed on the bypass was such a talking point with visitors and residents that Oakham In Bloom were delighted to take on the long-term maintenance and funding from the RAF Association to keep the bed and the Spitfire sculpture.
With the Spitfire back in place following refurbishment by John Shone of Rutland Willows, Oakham In Bloom volunteers and Paint It & Plant It set to work on the planting.
The bed is now planted with roses and euonymous – sustainable plants to ensure longevity of the bed and also meet the environmental aims of Oakham In Bloom.
Designer Teresa Thompson described her inspiration: “The spiral design of planting represents the spinning of propellers, the red and yellow roses are for the flames of the Blitz, and the evergreen euonymus that define the pattern are for the fortitude of the British people.”
After such a fantastic achievement for Oakham at the East Midlands In Bloom ceremony, the Oakham In Bloom volunteers and supporters were back to work to tidy and clear beds and containers to prepare them for winter bedding and spring bulbs.
Volunteers have been out and about every week and included support this year from Oakham School and Catmose College students. Teresa Thompson, Oakham In Bloom’s Gardening Co-ordinator was delighted with the efforts of the students “They all worked so hard and so quickly that we had to find other areas for them to work on!”.
The students not only worked on the library beds, but moved on to the Bandstand too, which the Oakham School students were particularly proud of as they talked of how they would see the bulbs coming to life as they pass the area most days.
At the library the volunteers were helped by Vale Contract Services, who work closely with Oakham In Bloom as part of their service to maintain the area and other sections of the town. Vale’s work was acknowledged by the East Midlands in Bloom judges who commented on “high levels of cleanliness throughout”.
The Vale team were very proud of such comments, Paul Dolman, Operations Manager, commented: “It is a real boost to the team when our work is acknowledged by an organisation such as East Midlands In Bloom. We enjoy working with the Oakham In Bloom team who have a real enthusiasm which spur us on and make us feel part of the community’s efforts.”
The Cory Environmental Trust have also been thanked for their contribution in the form of a grant which contributed hugely to the creation of the Prairie Garden at the Library. The feature was awarded ‘Best New Permanent Landscape’ by the East Midlands In Bloom judges.
The Baptist Church volunteers also took part in clearing the beds and planting spring bulbs on Melton Road. Oakham In Bloom are most grateful for their support in this area which receives much praise from Oakham residents.
And that’s not it for the year! There are many more maintenance parties and fundraising events planned throughout autumn and winter – the Oakham In Bloom volunteers and supporters know that the great achievements of East Midlands In Bloom and Britain In Bloom only come from year-round hard work!
At our annual AGM and awards ceremony last week many local residents and business owners joined us to find out who won the much sought-after local awards.
The winners are:
Best Front Garden Trophy presented by The Rutland Horticultural Society
Award Presented by Pat Simmonds
Third Place – Anna & Roy Foster – Noel Avenue
Second Place– Mr & Mrs Kennedy – Braunston Road
First Place – Lionel & Dot Francis – Mendip Road
Best Secret Garden – small garden Trophy presented by Tim Freeman
Award presented by Sara Forsyth High Sherriff
Third Place – Roland Meadows – Glen Drive
Second Place – Angela Betts – Redland Road
First Place – Charles & Joan Underwood – Westfield Avenue
Best Secret Garden – large garden Trophy presented by David Wilson Homes
Award presented by Lawrence Howard – Lord Lieutenant
Third Place – Pam & Trevor Barnet – Redland Road
Second Place – George & Joyce Burton – Cold Overton Road
First Place – Peter & Jacqueline Beanland – The Dell
Best Business Premises Trophy presented by Rutland Chamber of Trade.
Award presented by Ed Burrows MD Discover Rutland
Third Place – The Post Office – Market Place, Oakham
Second Place – The Maltings – Mill Street
First Place – L’Oliveto – Church Street
Best Public House Trophy presented by Barnsdale Hall & Country Club
Award presented by Mr Brian Naylor – President Lions Club of Rutland
Second Place – The Whipper-In
First Place – The Wheatsheaf
Best on Judging Route Trophy presented by Lands End Direct Merchants
Award presented by Sharon Spencer – Mayor of Oakham
Winner – Meadows World Travel
Chairman’s Award – a special award given by the Chairman to somebody who has made a significant contribution to Oakham in Bloom.
Presented by Mrs M Dodds & Sharon Spencer – Mayor of Oakham
Awarded to Mrs Teresa Thompson