As summer flowering annuals lose their lustre, and the threat of frost looms, it’s time for Stony in Bloom to remove the leggy petunias and pellargoniums in the summer to winter changeover of the planters. And it’s the time when the Business Association team take down the baskets from all the businesses and households in the High St that have loyally signed up for them during the summer months.
This year the SSBA removed the baskets and the summer-only planters earlier than last year, on October 8th, and SSIB volunteers emptied and then re-filled the planters a week later.
For the last two years, SSiB, (after discussiion with the SSBA), have designed the planting plan, ordered and taken delivery of the winter plants for winter, and then organised them ready for SSiB volunteers to plant them. This has saved the Town Council over £600 each year.
Part of the saving comes from the re-use of perennials and shrubs from SSiB’s York House Community bed, where they have been resting since they were taken out last autumn to make way for the summer blooms. The recycled plants include ivy, heuchera, and euonymus. New plants bought to add winter colour are blue and yellow pansies and pale yellow polyanthus.
SSIB volunteers are totally committed to avoiding wasting any plants, so arrange a plant give-away on the High St on changeover days.
This year Theresa Wedderburn’s Branch-out MK Clients joined her and Anne Ratcliffe in fronting the table and interesting passers-by in taking a pelargonium or fuchsia. The plants are available for free, but many generous residents dropped money in a donations box, contributing over £70 to SSIB finances.
The SSBA Changeover Day (with extra volunteers coming from David Odell’s shop and the Christmas Lights Team) went more smoothly than ever, as did the Stony in Bloom day the following week. Many residents stopped by to tell the volunteers how much they appreciate the work we do to keep the town looking beautiful.