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New community garden takes shape thanks to team effort

Nowton Neighbourhood Residents Association planting bulbs and wild flowers in waste woodland off Grange Walk on the Nowton Estate.

Mariam Ghaemi
West Suffolk reporter

A Bury St Edmunds community has come together to transform an area of waste woodland on an estate into a garden for the area.
  The Nowton Neighbourhood Residents’ Association came up with the idea for the woodland garden in the space between Grange Walk and Home Farm Lane on the Nowton Estate
  With funding from the locality budgets of borough councillors Sarah Stamp and Patrick Chung, who represent Southgate, the donation of some of the bulbs by Bury in Bloom and support from Nowton Park Nurseries, the idea is becoming a reality.
  Last Wednesday, children from nearby Hardwick Primary School helped to plant 1,250 garlic bulbs, and were joined by members of the residents’ association, Phil Ewing, from Nowton Park Nurseries, Alison Findlay from the Royal Horticultural Society and Mr Chung.
  Cyclamen was planted a few weeks ago, buddleia was also planted on the day, with more to come, and snowdrop bulbs and aconites will be planted in the future.
Bark chipping will mean wider footpaths so parents with children in pushchairs can also make the most of the garden.
  Ann Williamson, chairman of the residents’ association, said: “The idea is it’s for the community.
  “There are people on this estate who don’t have gardens, or people on their own or who are lonely, and if they are physically unable to help out they can just look at it.
  “It’s a really, really untidy area of the estate we wanted to make look better.”
  Teaching assistant Sue Hammond-Bray, who runs Hardwick Primary’s gardening club, said the seven children from the gardening club who she took along last Wednesday had had a “brilliant time”.
  “We have a great link with the community here so we get involved with community projects like the litterpick.
  “The mayor, Patrick Chung, lives locally and has a good link with the school.”
  The residents’ association hopes to involve pupils through-out the development of the garden, designing a plaque and naming the site, and having trees, some of which are 200 years old, named to add to the educational benefit of the project.

East Anglian - Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dedicated Bury team celebrates victory

This year’s Bury In Bloom contributors celebrate in the Abbey Gardens.

It took a dedicated team of gardening enthusiasts many hours of toil to secure a triple victory for Bury St Edmunds in this year’s Anglia in Bloom competition.

But the hard work paid off, with the town carrying off awards for best large park (Nowton Park), best local authority floral display (Abbey Gardens) and best community project. Celebrating this week, In Bloom co-ordina-tor Melanie Lesser, said: “What’s so pleasing is we have lots of different awards showing how many people are involved.”

East Anglian Daily Times - Monday, September 21, 2015

Our towns are all blooming beautiful

Halstead has won the 2015 Anglia in Bloom competition

Edmund Crosthwaite

Halstead, Halesworth and Bury St Edmunds were all winners at the prestigious Anglia in Bloom awards.
  The annual competition pits the floral skills of communities in Suffolk and Essex against neighbours in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Bedfordshire.
  Yesterday, at a ceremony at Wodson Park in Ware, 14 awards were dished out to projects in our area.
  Halstead was named Anglia in Bloom champion, and bagged two other awards.
  Halstead in Bloom secretary Julia Smith said: “We have dedicated our success today to our late president Michael Portway.
  “He started the current Halstead in Bloom in 2000. He would have been so proud.”
  While Halstead has won before, Mrs Smith said this year’s win was a surprise. “We certainly didn’t expect to win it this year but it’s brilliant. It’s really good for the town.”
  Halstead also won the best town award and its hospital won the End of World War Two Commemoration category for its Loom Garden.
  Also celebrating was Halesworth, winner of best small town. Robert Le Rougetel, from Halesworth in Bloom, said: “To win such an award so soon after coming in to existence three years ago is a remarkable achievement
and much of the credit is due to the team’s leader, Tamsyn Imison.
  “The splendid new town signs and planters at the major entrances to the town have been designed and executed on the initiative of Halesworth in Bloom.”
  Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft triumphed in the best small park category; Weeley’s crematorium was named the region’s best; and five locations in Colchester picked up awards – best new entry (High Woods Country Park), best conservation project (High Woods), best drought/sustainable garden (Castle Park Drought Scheme), best individual/ community floral display (Leroy andCharles Smith) and best public open space (Castle Park).
  Bury St Edmunds also tasted victory in the best large park (Nowton Park), best local authority floral display (Abbey Gardens) and best community project (Certificate of Merit scheme) categories.
  Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, said: “I think what’s been so pleasing is we have got lots of different awards showing how many people are involved, really – all the different community groups.
  “The Abbey Gardens Friends will be delighted, and there’s Nowton Park with the rangers and their volunteers.”

East Anglian Daily Times - Friday, September 18, 2015

Roundabout improved thanks to new plants

Armstrong’s Funeral Parlour has sponsored a roundabout. From left to right, Nick Armstrong, Tracy Richards, Jon Hemsley, Ian Atkinson, Barry Hall and Melanie Lesser.

A roundabout in Bury St Edmunds now features a sustainable planting scheme thanks to a new sponsor coming on board.

Bury in Bloom is delighted that Armstrongs Independent Family Funeral Service in Bury has sponsored a roundabout in Compiegne Way, enabling it to be replanted by local company Proscape. The sustainable planting scheme was designed by Rebecca Davis, horticultural officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, said: “With this latest sponsorship we now have all available roundabouts sponsored.”

East Anglian Daily Times - Thursday, September 3, 2015

First in bloom awards for seniors

The winners of Senior Green Fingers, a competition for nursing homes and day centres in Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds’ first ever Bury in Bloom competition for care home residents, Senior Green Fingers, has been hailed a success by organisers.
  The competition saw those at five Bury care homes and day clubs take part, but the successful “trial run” has left organisers hoping for an even bigger event in 2016.
  In Bloom coordinator Melanie Lesser said she was overwhelmed by the feedback from those taking part.
  “It has been a brilliant success,” she said. “Keeping the elderly active is important and they have been really enthusiastic.
  “It is a benefit for everyone, the care homes have been able to bounce ideas off each other, the residents stay active and they create wonderful gardens.
  “We are going to be running it again next year. This was a trial run, we already held Young Green Fingers and we thought we should do something at the other end of the spec-trum as well.
  “The feedback has been brilliant, from everyone involved. We are hoping to get even more care homes and day clubs involved for next year.”
  Prizes and awards were handed out to all of the green fingered residents at
the homes taking part.
  Elderberries, Cornwallis Court, Davers Court, Orbit Housing, in Cullum Road, and St Peter’s Nursing Home all entered.
  The competition was judged by keen gardeners Chris Hodgson, a retired GP, and Sue Thompson, a retired hospital consultant, both of whom are keen to promote the bene-fits of gardening for older people.
  The prizes were presented by Nick Evans, director of sales and purchas-ing, and Anita Steer, company secre-tary from Treatt, which sponsored the competition, at a ceremony held at Davers Court Day Centre, in Shakers Lane.
  The categories and prize winners were: commended for use of volun-teer gardeners, Elderberries; commended for display board and hanging baskets, Orbit Housing; commended for use of unusual seeds, Cornwallis Court; commended for art project, St Peter’s Nursing Home and commended for community involve-ment, Davers Court.
  The top prize went to Elderberries, who were awarded the title of best in show.

Any day clubs and care homes that want to get involved next year can contact Bury in Bloom’s Mrs Lesser on 01284 766955 or email melanie@buryinbloom.org.uk.

East Anglian Daily Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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