June Newsletter

We are delighted to welcome 19 city, town and village entries to Thames & Chilterns in Bloom this year, including regular, new and returning entrants. We also have 6 entries in the RHS Parks category. Please see overleaf for details.
We have over 25 ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ (IYN) entries, ranging from residents associations to scout groups to community gardens. There are too many to list here, but we are so pleased to have all of these community groups involved in the local campaign.
The Judges and Assessors have been busy arranging dates for their visits - if you haven't heard from them yet you will do very soon. We are looking forward to seeing you all in late June or July - city town and village entries should send their planned itinerary, parking and meeting arrangements and any other information to their Judges at least a week in advance of their visit. IYN entries just need to ensure that their Assessors have directions and parking details.
City, town and village entries have been sent our ‘Tour hints and tips’ - but this is also available on our website in the ‘City Town and Village Entrants’ section - and is well worth a look for reminders about what to include and how to make your tour run smoothly.
Do check our website www.tc-in-bloom.org.uk as all the information you need should be there, but please contact your Judges / Assessors or tandcinbloom@gmail.com if you have any queries.
Thank you all for your support, we look forward to seeing you in the summer.
Ted Smith, Chairman

News and information for entrants
Open day at Jealotts Hill Community Landshare.
You will have received an invitation to an open day at Jealotts Hill Community Landshare on 18 June 2016. This is an unusual and fascinating horticultural garden managed by volunteers, and involving many diverse groups. Well worth a visit so do join us if you can. Refreshments and a
light lunch will be provided. Visit www.jealottshilllandshare.org.uk/ for information about the site.
To date we have had lots of interest - if you haven't already been in touch please let us know if you will be attending - please contact Ros Aitken at ros.aitken@btopenworld.com Regional awards We present Regional Awards to city, town and village entrants that demonstrate excellence in a particular area of the judging criteria. Entrants are encouraged to mention to the Judges if they would like to be considered for a particular Award, but this is not essential as the Judges can nominate entries at their discretion. Details of this years Awards are available on our website - including a new award following the RHS Greening Grey Britain ‘Health Happiness and Horticulture’ theme. This can be interpreted in many ways, so be imaginative!
The Mark Mattock Schools Challenge will be run as in 2015 with details available from our website. We have categories for nursery / infant, primary, secondary and special schools - and all schools visited by the Judges on their tour will be assessed for an award. We also
encourage schools in the region to sign up for the RHS school gardening campaign - see www.schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/home for more information.

Jealott's Hill Open Day

Jealott’s Hill Community Landshare (JHCL) is a six acre horticultural
garden managed by volunteers, providing a welcoming and safe
environment to grow produce and enjoy being close to nature.
The garden is located between Bracknell and Maidenhead
(Postcode RG42 6BQ) and features a 400 tree orchard, half acre
vineyard, large polytunnel, three acres of cultivated ground and a
half acre sensory garden.

Described by IYN Assessors
as an ‘Exemplar to others’
You will be able to have a look round on your own
and / or join a guided tour, listen to talks & meet
people from other T&C groups.
Coffee & lunch is provided
This is a FREE event

Read More


At the committee meeting on March 3rd it was decided to provisionally set the 3rd November as the date for the Seminar. More details to follow.

Our T&C Champion's Blog

https://www.rhs.org.uk/communities/community-blogs/community-gardeners/january-2016/Dodging-downpours Sorry You'll have to copy & paste the link.

Health Happiness & Horticulture

Today's RHS Chelsea Flower Show Press Launch revealed some exciting announcements, including Ann-Marie Powell designing the RHS Greening Grey Britain 'Health, Happiness & Horticulture' Garden! We also anounced 2 new RHS Ambassadors, and the launch of the 'Mary Berry Rose' by Harkness. Visit www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea for more info.

T&C Seminar

Unfortunutaley the Seminar has had to be postponed until sometime in the Autumn.

The committee are very sorry about this, but certain circumstances overtook us and we decided that in the best interest of everyone it was the the option.

Watch this space.

Case Studies of The Ridgeline Trust IYN & Wroxham Community Garden

The Ridgeline Trust

The Ridgeline Trust was established as a charity in 2003 and over a period of many years with the help of many volunteers, they have managed to transform a 2 acre piece of waste ground completely covered with weeds and brambles into a beautiful garden, with all the facilities needed to serve a variety of disabled gardeners and supporting volunteers - tools, storage sheds, a greenhouse, a polytunnel, wheelchair-friendly paths, raised beds and - finally, wonderfully, - a fully accessible timber building offering meeting space, kitchen and toilets - all funded by generous (and hard-won) donations and grants from various awarding bodies. It was a long journey and they are proud of what they have achieved.

Wroxham Community Garden

It all began in Sept 2011 when residents of Wroxham contacted their local councillor to ask him if some unsightly concrete structures could be moved. Finding there was no money for removal, nine residents decided that disguise was the only option. Noticing a sale of log rolls, Jeff and Eileen Mann used them to make planters, and incorporated a bird table into the middle. The nine residents pooled resources to buy plants, and a local councillor gave a £100 grant to pay for materials and plants for a large border at the edge of the garden. Residents donated plants too, and ideas for further transformation came thick and fast: a border was created around a cherry tree, replacing weeds; daffodils, were planted, then spare seedlings were added from residents' grennhouses. What to do with an ugly asphalt area? Happily, the Recreational Facilities Manager provided some used bark chippings, and Jeff and Eileen added some more. And the rough grass area? Well, wild-flower seeds were sewn – cowslip, primrose, buttercup and knapweed – attractive to insects and residents alike! On the other side of the patch the group planted vegetables, fruit and flowers; and, after an attack by greedy slugs, Jeff built raised beds for these. Ever inventive, he also created a Mr Potter feature made from recycled pots, a broken fork and leaky willies. The herb garden sprouts from an old wheelbarrow. Other donations have brought colour and elegance: a mimosa, a large fern, a conker-grown chestnut tree and a bird bath. A salvaged water-butt has helped hugely with watering the pots, and a pew bought from a local church sale provides a delightful garden seat. Jeff’s carpentry skills have come in handy in responding to the wish-list of the children in the group. Hearing that they liked windmills, he constructed one; and learning that one little girl would like a wishing well he built one of those too, and filled it with plants. So in the years since that first planter was built this small group of neighbours has transformed the area into a lovely garden, giving pleasure to all the residents; and they feel that working together on this has brought them all much closer together.

Charity Christmas Bazaar

Whielden Gate Antiques & Collectables will be exhibiting at the American Women's Club Christmas Bazaar, Sunday 8th November 10 - 4 pm, along with over 60 stalls selling specialist gifts and crafts, collections of Chintz China, Silverware, Specialist Glassware including Cranberry/Bristol, Vintage Cut Glass and objets d'art along with selected collectables.

There will be food and drinks available throughout the day with some amazing raffle prizes donated by exhibitors and some very generous sponsors including Crown Plaza, Retail Pelugi, Stoke Park, Starbucks and the Buckinghamshire Golf Club plus an exclusive shopping trip to Bicester Village as the Grand Prize.

All funds raised will be for the benefit of the Epilepsy Society and the Pepper Foundation.

Funding opportunity for groups

Here's a link to the page the text below came from http://www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/tescocommunityscheme/Pages/large-grants-tes

(sorry, you'll need to copy & paste the link)

If you scroll down the page there is a Quiz to tell you if your project qualifies.

We will award six grants per year in each of the 428 Tesco regions to make sure the funding is spread evenly across England, Wales and Scotland*. In total the community grant scheme will support around 2,500 projects each year. Because we're expecting there to be a major demand for grants, Groundwork will assess all of the applications received and then provide a shortlist of the applications received for a Tesco regional panel to agree three successful projects to forward to a vote in Tesco stores. Tesco customers will vote over two weekends in their store for their favourite shortlisted local project. Grants will then be awarded as follows:

1st place in Tesco customer vote:  £12,000 grant
2nd place in Tesco customer vote: £10,000 grant
3rd place in Tesco customer vote:  £8,000 grant

Outstanding Contribution to Thames and Chilterns in Bloom

Sally Swift recieved the "Outstanding Contribution to T&C" Award at the
2015 Awards ceremony at Oxford Town Hall on Wednesday 16th September

Sally Swift was for many years a very effective supporter of Reading in Bloom, became a Regional Judge in 2005, and took up the very demanding role of Regional Coordinator in 2009, quickly making it her own.
She played a major role in supporting the transition of Thames and Chilterns in Bloom from what was basically the judges panel, to the properly constituted community based organisation it is today. She also participated in the early discussions which led to the recent formation of the RHS Britain in Bloom Federation.
Always cheerful and helpful, she finally stood down as coordinator in 2014, since when her role has been covered by several members of the Management Committee.
She is a worthy recipient of the 2015 Regional Award for her Outstanding Contribution to Thames & Chilterns in Bloom.

On receiving the awards she said: 

"Thank you for the invitation to the Thames and Chilterns Awards and to the Committee for considering me for the Outstanding Achievement Award.
I really enjoyed my years with T&C in Bloom and miss all the people involved across the region.
However it is lovely to get my summers back and just go to the towns and villages as a visitor, planting has been splendid this year."

She went on to wish good luck to all the participants both regionally and locally.

Thames & Chilterns Kate Dagnall now a National Judge

Kate has been selected as a RHS UK Britain in Bloom National Judge. She is now one of a total of 18 National Judges, and in August this year will be judging the national large village finalists across the UK.

Congratulations to Kate, something of an accolade for our Region, and of course for Kate.


Do you have a community space that needs to be regenerated? Do you want to be part of an international RHS flower show? then look no further! The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is looking for a community in England with a public space of no more than 150 sq m that is in need of regeneration. The selected community space will be featured at the show and then be given landscaping and plant materials to regenerate their area after the show.

This opportunity is open to any of the community gardening groups in England involved in the RHS campaigns listed below. The community space could be a neglected area outside a library/ community centre, a derelict alleyway or a vacant corner.If you think there is a space near you that would benefit from regeneration and you would like the opportunity to be a part of the 25th anniversary RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show then please CLICK HERE or for the application form CLICK HERE

If you would like to discuss this opportunity further please contact Dave Green (RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Show Manager) email: davegreen@rhs.org.uk tel: 0207 821 3332 or Sophie Dawson (Community Horticulture Programme Coordinator) email: sophiedawson@rhs.org.uk tel: 0207 821 3118

Kind regards,

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show team

  • The community participating must be involved in one of the following campaigns: Anglia in Bloom; Cumbria in Bloom; East Midlands in Bloom; Heart of England in Bloom; London in Bloom; Northumbria in Bloom; North West in Bloom; South & South East in Bloom; South West in Bloom; Thames & Chilterns in Bloom; Yorkshire in Bloom, The group could be either a Bloom or an It’s Your Neighbourhood group taking part in any of these campaigns.