The supermarkets say buy
local but you cannot beat
            ‘growing your own’

Blog: TGV in Bloom

TGV in Bloom founders Pete Welsh and Stuart Olden bring you the latest news from the Tadpole Garden Village Britain in Bloom group. Bringing our community together through a common interest in the local environment and gardening.

It’s certainly been a strange last 10 weeks or so since our last post, and like everyone else we have been getting used to the socially distanced ‘new normal’.

We’ve seen the RHS Britain in Bloom competition cancelled, along with a number of events we had lined up within the village in preparation, building on the work the ‘GC Crew’ has been doing since the beginning of the year. But we definitley have come through it stronger. Whilst it has been a strange, worrying and uncertain time for all of us, we have seen our community come closer together – focussing on how to make our local environment better, working to get our HQ, the community allotment plot, fully up and running, and engaging with more of our fantastic residents through community activities.

We have also seen great generosity from local businesses, and real acts of kindness and support, in words and deeds, from our TGV residents. This has included a donation of 50 herb plants from a local landscape company (David Jarvis Associates), eight (yes – eight!) lorry loads of wood chippings gifted from a local housing development project (through Swindon Borough Council and their contractors Osborne), and a fantastic turn out at our first ‘open plot’ event to raise awareness of what ‘TGV in Bloom’ is all about; which also helped raise some much needed funds to enable us to do more work on the plot and out in the village – thank you to all those who supported.

We have also had to come up with inventive ways of continuing to work on the plot, as well as working out in the village, whilst complying with government social distancing guidelines. The wooden planters we made and planted out earlier in the year, and have been looked after on the plot since lockdown began, needed to be placed out in the village – but they are a two man lift! So we got our thinking caps on, and by using a combination of a sack trolley and a trailer (kindly loaned by our village maintenance team at ‘Cut N Clear’ – thanks Dave!), we managed to place them out into the village. And we think they look great!

The planters have also now been ‘adopted’ by TGV residents living in their vicinity, who now ensure they are kept well watered – a real challenge during the last few weeks of high temperatures!

And we have now completed work on the community plot, getting it up and running with 20 raised beds, a plant nursery and temporary green houses, a potting station, compost and fruit growing areas, and our new herb troughs. This will allow us to grow on the plants we need to go out into the village for our planter displays, and the veg and fruit we will be growing for local charities and to help us raise the funds to buy the materials, compost and tools we will need over the coming months & years as we ‘go for GOLD’. We are also thinking of putting in a much needed pallet furniture bench for that much needed rest and cup of tea!

And finally, and with much excitement, we have commenced the process of submitting a planning application for our community greenhouse, funded by a National Lottery grant award. This will be located at the allotments (Plot 20 to be precise) for the TGV in Bloom group, along with fellow plot holders, to use to grow and propogate the plants we will need all year round. We can’t wait!

And so as May bows out bathed in sunshine we look forward to June, when we will again be busy sowing the next batch of seeds, weeding and tidying in the village, and enjoying the great community we are lucky to be living in. Until next time – and we promise to not be so long this time! Stay safe and keep well.

Click here to visit the TGV in Bloom Facebook Group.