Stone in Bloom – the Oscars!

Rosemary Webb and Gardener Martin Flowers at Aston Marina
Rosemary Webb and Gardener Martin Flowers at Aston Marina

Stone in Bloom has been busy inviting businesses to buy a Christmas tree, which will be wrapped with sparkling lights and erected on the front of their premises, and the response has been good.

For just £28 they will be taking part in supporting efforts to light up the town on November 19th for the Christmas light switch-on and during the Christmas period. Big thanks go to Stone Town Council for agreeing to spend £250 on daffodil bulbs and multi-coloured flowering cyclamen. We shall be out towards the end of October planting the bulbs and the cyclamen. Thank you to everyone who contacted us through the Gazette to volunteer and expect a call from us to let you know what date we will be meeting for the planting work party!

Stone in Bloom’s group of volunteers have been working their phlox off for the last month and one of our most pleasurable duties was the pub/restaurant judging. The overall winner of the best pub/restaurant garden category has been named by the In Bloom judges. Granville’s Brasserie of Stone is recognised as having the best garden and judges stated that

“on entering the garden area, senses were immediately stimulated, the perfume and colour of the many varieties of flowers and shrubs and ornaments discreetly placed in and around the garden were an overwhelming delight and in a busy area of the town, Granville’s garden is an oasis of calm and an enjoyable place to relax with friends”.

Adam and Mandy Jones at  Granvilles Brasserie
Adam and Mandy Jones at Granvilles Brasserie

Proprietors Adam and Mandy Jones have worked hard and succeeded in providing a typically English garden. The garden is well stocked with perennial plants, meaning they don’t have to replace everything each year, therefore a more sustainable method of gardening with plants getting bigger and stronger each year. Titanic Brewery pub The Royal Exchange in Radford Street is run by landlady Michelle Hughes and her team.

Yet another Gold has been awarded to them to add to their list of other gold awards won in previous years of the pub/restaurant best garden category. The pub was awarded top marks for community participation and very impressive hanging baskets and planters. Judges were particularly impressed with the quality and variety of blooms and the imaginative use of baskets and pots, creating an illusion of a much bigger space in what is a small beer garden at the rear of the pub. The Pheasant is run by Diane and Leonie Blakeman and has an attractive beer garden at the rear of its premises.

Sue and Jamie Sherlock at Langtrys
Sue and Jamie Sherlock at Langtrys

Stone in Bloom judges found well stocked planters, a variety of climbers, colourful, healthy, fully blooming hanging baskets and strong, healthy shrubs. The judges were enthusiastic in their praise of the gardening expertise of the two ladies and had no hesitation in awarding them Gold. Langtry’s is a new entrant to the Stone in Bloom competition and the hard work put into the magnificent hanging baskets has paid off for landlord and landlady Jamie and Sue Sherlock who are worthy winners of Gold.

Michelle Hughes  at The Royal Exchange
Michelle Hughes at The Royal Exchange

Stone in Bloom judges recognised their efforts to make their premises look appealing to passers-by and visitors to their pub, which stands between two very busy roads and had no garden area until Sue and Jamie took over. The overall visual impact of well stocked and very pretty and colourful hanging baskets was a welcome sight. Between the two of them they have transformed a very grey concrete area into an appealing place to relax and enjoy a drink and the summer sunshine.

Dianne and Leonie Blakeman at The Pheasant
Dianne and Leonie Blakeman at The Pheasant

Aston Marina was judged winner of the category Best Garden/Tourist Attraction. Mrs Rosemary Webb works hard with the help of her gardener Martin Flowers (what a fabulously appropriate name!) to maintain a very good variety and quality of planting and a well ordered placing of planters, tubs and shrubs. The Stone in Bloom judges, in their words, were

“Stunned at the professionally high standard of planting over such a large area. It was a very easy decision to award Aston Marina winners of the Tourist Category Best Garden”.

Rosemary told us she makes sure that all the plants are overwintered to bring out and use the following spring and summer. The newly planted trees are thriving and it was pleasing to see such a good range of natural materials used in building and creating the different sections of the garden area. Aston Marina is well worth a visit to see the success of seasonal planting, environmental sustainability, and the glowing autumn colours surrounding the marina.