Blooming Blogs

Newport’s Sunflowers

How are everyone’s Sunflowers doing……?
As you can see below, those on the Junior Bloomer Allotment have really grown and are standing proud and tall!
We;d love you to post some pictures of yours!

2020, “the year that never was”

2020 may be remembered as “the year that never was”, but that didn’t stop Newport from blooming (albeit on a smaller scale than previous years)!


Throughout the summer Blooming Buddies have been busy maintaining and improving public areas around Newport.
At the start of lockdown this meant working alone, but the result has been colourful beds and borders for all to enjoy . The plants in the corner by the steps down to the canal and the border along the hedge by the towpath have been really effective this summer.
When garden nurseries closed, our plans for a further new border by the canal had to be put on hold, but we are now hopeful that the plants will be delivered by the end of October.
A generous donation of pavers by SJL Garden Services meant we could make improvements to Wrekin Avenue Play Area.
The previously narrow border round the corner from the litter bin is now one metre wide and edged with the pavers and the excess turf has been used to make the very dry island bed nearest the first lime tree much smaller.
It has rained so much since the photo was taken that it is now hard to see the join. One small patch remains to be done once a cotoneaster stump has been removed.



A lot of new planting had been planned for areas along the tow path near Town Lock and fortunately most of this was completed before Social Distancing prevented us from continuing to work together on this,

The area we have not managed to finish is the hellebore bed, where we are trying to extend the flowering season by adding more woodland plants. We are hoping these will cope with the dry shade underneath the two trees.

Hellebores look lovely at the moment and white cyclamen will add sparkle in the autumn, so we are hoping to add interest in the summer months. This planting will now have to wait until the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The other side of the bridge will start to look more colourful as the new shrubs and perennials become established.



Unfortunately, given the unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves and considering the advice from the Government and Health Officials, we have taken the decision that many of our normal fundraising and annual Newport in Bloom activities may need to be cancelled or postponed.

The feasibility of the various fundraising activities we have planned for throughout the year will be assessed nearer the time of each event, and we will give those involved (as well as the general public) as much notice as possible.

We have also made the difficult decision not to continue with Junior Bloomers for this year only. For the children to experience the achievement of harvesting their vegetables in the summer, we would need to be getting together to prepare the beds, plan what is to be grown and buying the seeds within the next few weeks. Our first meeting of all Juniors is usually at Easter, and that is too soon in terms of the recent Coronavirus warnings.

We are very sorry to have to do this but we are sure that you will understand and hope that you and your children will come back to the group next year.

We “Senior Bloomers” may work on the allotment in isolation to produce vegetables for chutneys etc to sell at the Christmas Fayre and if children would like to start pumpkins in pots at home, we may be able to transfer them to the allotment later in the year, so that they are ready for Halloween. If you have any ideas to keep the interest of the Juniors alive for the next 12 months, please keep us informed and we will offer any advice and assistance that we can.

The health of our volunteers and residents is of upmost importance and must come first during these trying times. Newport in Bloom would like to thank you all for your continued support and we hope to see you all back again once normality prevails.

On an optimistic note – if we all spend the spring and summer of 2020 self-isolating in our own gardens, we should have some pretty amazing gardens to open for Through the Garden Gate next year – so watch this space!

Stay Safe & Healthy

From the Newport in Bloom Committee

The Sheep Island is getting a makeover!



Woodland Strip at Wrekin Avenue.

Since NIB volunteers started work at Wrekin Avenue Play Area in 2016, we have seen the Woodland Strip at the back of Ford Road cul-de-sac becoming more and more overgrown with brambles so strong that they are bringing down tree branches, Birds nest and feed. For this reason we wanted to act before this Woodland area became lost to them. Working together with T&W, we have spent time this January clearing away the brambles and nettles from the centre front, leaving ivy at both ends for wildlife. No trees have been removed, only dead branches together with some trimming at the front by T&W to facilitate mowing.

Gaps left by removing the overgrown brambles will be planted with wildlife friendly shrubs and the grass will re-grow across the front restoring the Woodland Area to its former size.

This has been ideal work to do in cold weather and we are grateful to all the residents of Ford Road and Leigh Road who have let us fill their Green Bins.

The finished result should show by the summer when the trees are green again and the shrubs starting to grow.

Christmas has come to Newport…….


Blooming Buddies Blog – Summer 2019 Update ………

The well established bed under 2 trees by the canal shows how successful Right Plant – Right Place can be. In deep, dry shade this bed is currently glowing with white cyclamen and is just as beautiful as the white hellebores were in spring.

Nearby, the small triangular bed between the sandstone bridge, black metal hand rail and brick steps was recently replanted with structural plants to suit their position. These plants have filled out over the summer and the red hot pokers are having a second flowering at the moment.

Blooming Buddies are now turning their attention to enhancing the edges of the tow path with rocks and appropriate planting for a south facing border in front of a hedge. We are raiding our own gardens for plants.

Sheep Island Update …….

As everyone is aware, we were going to tidy up the Sheep Island as the yellow rattle had not survived the hot summer of 2018 and this year was totally overgrown.

The Island and it’s planting has always been ahead of it’s time but now it is bang on trend. More public awareness and the highlighting and understanding of wild flower meadows on Countryfile and Gardener’s World will make it more popular with Newport locals!!

The aim was always to have the sheep grazing in a wild flower meadow but it is one of the hardest things to achieve. The yellow rattle ( like a dead nettle) is a parasitic plant which feds on grass roots enabling the wild flowers to multiply and not be suffocated by aggressive grasses.

The island has undergone two cut and collects but because of the rain, the grass has continued to grow very aggressively. Adrian, Stuart, Ray and other volunteers hand raked the thatch from the grass, a very hard job. We were unable to sow the yellow rattle seed and so last Sunday Roy who works for the Town Council hand mowed the Island and collected up the grass. It had stripes!!