2020 in summary
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Well, when the new year rolled around, we were knee deep in planning for what was going to be the busiest time yet!
We were looking forward (and more than a little nervous!) that we were going to be showcasing Denbigh to both the Wales in Bloom and Britain in Bloom judges and that would be on top of all the usual maintenance and planting plans we had lined up. As we head into the festive season, we thought a round-up might be in order!
Early spring was full of promise as the bulbs started to peek through across town. Of course we all now know that things soon stopped as we adjusted to the new normal. It seems strange to think back now to a morning pruning in Temple Bar before social distancing was a phrase we all knew and used!
When lockdown hit, our intrepid volunteers were coming up with new and inventive ways to keep on top of the weeds! Many were popping out in the early hours to ensure they could maintain a social distance from anyone else and using their hour's exercise (as it was then) to tend to a border or flower bed somewhere.
Over the course of the summer, we were really missing the mass of colour that usually greets residents and visitors alike in the High Street. No planters, railing baskets or Pots for Shops were possible this year and we had to remove the planting from the telephone box too. We still managed to get around to the existing schemes though and despite everything the town still looked bright and cheerful and it was lovely to take part in some of the community competitions run by the Carnival too!
We were delighted to have so many entries to our virtual gardening competition too and our monthly winners were voted on by the public, online. It seemed everyone was gardening!
In late summer, early autumn, some of our volunteers started to look at some new projects. It wasn't always possible to do what we had done before (in some areas it is not possible to socially distance), so we wanted to try starting off in other locations that we'd had on the hit list! The biggest was Lower Parc - a beautiful resource in town that is home to the tennis and bowls club. It has been looking a little neglected for a while and was overrun with weeds. With such a vast space, we had over ten volunteers working together, each in their own section; so ideal for keeping everyone safe. And the difference is remarkable. It is well worth a visit if you haven't been recently and we're hoping for bigger things in 2021 too!
We were also delighted to have the sponsorship from Grwp Cynefin to add our second Welsh oak planter to the entry from Denbigh Green. We hope it will be a lovely welcome to everyone coming into Denbigh from that direction, as the plants become more established.
Another real highlight was partnering again with Denbigh Rotary to plant over 4,000 crocus bulbs across multiple sites - including Lower Parc, the Cross at the bottom of Henllan Street, Temple Bar and Trewen - to mark the Rotary's Purple4Polio campaign, aiming to eradicate polio forever.
Whilst winter isn't yet done, Bloom volunteers have still been hard at it. Big highlights for this time were the planting of over 1,200 spring bulbs in the Evan Pierce Memorial Gardens on Vale Street. We followed the plans that were drawn up in 2006 when the garden was renovated and hope it will be a glorious spectacle in the new year.
We also dedicated a crab apple tree, arranging a planting ceremony (at distance!) with support from the Denbigh Forget Me Not volunteers and Denbigh Infirmary. We wanted to recognise the efforts of all volunteers and key workers over the course of the year and have a way to remember those directly affected.
We also included our poppy wreath for Remembrance Sunday at Trewen, benefitted from the Co-op's fundraising in store and from their tombola and Davey kept on battling the litter and weeds in the High Street. We also really welcomed the opportunity to get back and put winter planting into some of the High Street, Vale Street and Railway planters. They're now looking fantastic!
It has been a very strange year, but we're heartened by all the support we've had from the local community and all the businesses who have kept their sponsorships on ice for next year. Let's hope there is even more to report and celebrate in 2021.
We'd like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and here's to a happy new year.