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Knutsford Wins Again!

Knutsford's station picked up a major accolade recently - Cheshire's Best Kept Station  "in bloom" award 2014. Knutsford in Bloom played a major part in this - we have created new flowerbeds and managed existing ones, working closely with the station staff.

Knutsford in Bloom Front Garden and Business Floral Display Competitions 2014 and RHS North West in Bloom Judging

The RHS North West in Bloom judges are visiting Knutsford on Thursday 10th of July and all preparations are frantically under way.  Getting in touch with; CEC's Streetscape team, allotmenteers, schools, our business community and other groups like Friends of the Moor and Friends of the Heath to find out what they're doing so that we can let the NWIB judges have a taster of the various activities going on in our town. 
 
As a town Knutsford does so much over the year; Bunny Hop, Pumpkin Path, Promenade, Royal May Queen Celebrations, Green Flag award for our Moor, litter picks and not forgetting Knutsford in Bloom's Front Garden Competition and Business Floral Display Competition.  We hope as many people as possible help to make Knutsford look as stunning as possible over the visit.  It is already looking wonderful.

 

2013 1st Prize winner Mrs Helen Lockwood with judges Simon Tetlow, Head Gardener Tatton Park and Sam Youd, Garden Consultant and Honorary President Knutsford in Bloom and Yvonne Bancroft, Chairwoman Knutsford in Bloom. 

 

We hope that we receive more entries for the front garden competition this year.  There are no set rules in entering, all are welcome; small, large, hanging basket, cottage garden, formal.  Winners of the front garden competition will win garden centre vouchers and have their garden featured in the Knutsford Guardian and on our website. 

If you would like to enter, please send us your details; name, address, email contact, phone number and a brief description of your garden.  Both competitions will take place at the end of July.  Closing date to register your entry is 25 July. 
 
Please contact; [email protected] or write to Front Garden Competition, Knutsford in Bloom, c/o Beech House, Thorneyholme Drive, Knutsford, WA16 8BT

RHS Tatton Flower Show Judges visit Knutsford's Fabulous Displays 

The RHS Tatton Flower Show judges visited Knutsford to judge the business displays over the Tatton Show period.  The town looked stunning and the judges were amazed by the standard and number of entries.  40 displays were judged, with 9 taking the highest accolade of Distinction, 13 taking Highly Commended, 7 taking Commended, 8 taking Merit and 2 were unlucky to receive no award. 

 

All of the displays were a treat for visitors and residents to see and the judges thoroughly enjoyed their day.  They were very much taken with the 'vibe' in the town, its history and character as well as the displays. 

Here are the 2013 results:

Distinctions went to:

·         The Old Sessions House, Princess Street

·         Knutsford Wedding, Minshull Street

·         Pulse of Perfumery*, Princess Street

·         Black Rose, King Street

·         Belle Époque, King Street

·         Terence Paul, King Street

·         Gusto, King Street

·         Toni and Guy, Regent Street

·         Clare and Illingworth, Old Market Square

 

Highly Commended went to:

·         Hetherington Newman, Princess Street

·         The Heritage Centre, Heritage Way

·         Vermilion, Princess Street

·         Knutsford Wine Bar, King Street

·         Mughli, King Street

·         Cocaranti, King Street

·         Cross Keys, King Street

·         Cancer Research, King Street

·         Parma, Regent Street

·         Zapatos, Regent Street

·         Don Giovanni, King Street

·         Jax, Princess Street

·         Mr Simms, King Street

 

Commended went to:

·         Woods Butchers, Princess Street

·         Trinity, Princess Street

·         The Nail Studio, King Street

·         Aunty Mabel’s Seat, King Street

·         Knutsford Bloom, King Street

·         Techno Type, King Street

·         Rose and Crown, King Street

 

Merit went to:

·         The Lord Eldon, Tatton Street

·         Pudding Club, Minshull Street

·         Beau Bebe, Minshull Street

·         The White Bear, Canute Place

·         The Freemason’s Arms, Silk Mill Street

·         Stuart Rushton and Company, Princess Street

·         Boa, King Street

·         Bath House, King Street

 

No award (this time):

·         The Angel Inn, King Street

·         Knutsford Hair Spa, Princess Street

*Pulse of Perfumery also won Best in Show for the high quality display and use of fresh scented plants.

 

Businesses, you all did Knutsford proud.  Well Done!  And good luck for next year.

 

 

Knutsford in Bloom 2013 Competition Results

Competition entries were fantastic again this year, both in the front garden competition and the business floral displays.  Standards were very high across the board making the final decisions very difficult for the judges.

 

Here are the 2013 results.

 

Front Garden Winners:

1st - Mrs Helen Lockwood

2nd - Mr and Mrs Johnson

3rd - Mr and Mrs Dorsett

One aspect of Mrs Helen Lockwood's beautifully planted 1st prize winning garden.

 

Business Floral Display Winners:

Large Business Display:

1st - La Belle Époque, King Street

2nd - Gusto, King Street

3rd - Don Giovanni, King Street

 

One show stopping aspect of the large business display 1st place winner La Belle Époque. 

Small Business Display:

1st - Mr Simms Sweet Shop, King Street

2nd - Pulse of Perfumery, Princess Street

3rd - Boa, King Street

 

Pub Displays:

1st - The Cross Keys, King Street

2nd - The Old Sessions House, Princess Street

3rd - The Rose and Crown, King Street

 

1st Placed winner in the Pub Display category The Cross Keys always put on a good  year round show with judges Simon Tetlow and Sam Youd.

Hanging Basket Displays:

1st - Brammer Plc, Old Market Place

2nd - Canvas Lounge, King Street

3rd - Techno Type, King Street

Spectacular hanging basket by 3rd place winners Techno Type receiving their award from Sam Youd, Head Judge. 

Front Garden Competition 2013

If you have a large or small front garden, this is your chance to show it off and maybe win a first, second or third prize of garden centre gift vouchers of £30, £20 and £10.  The winning garden's will feature in the Knutsford Guardian and every garden entred will be photographed and placed on our photo gallery. 

Whether you have a fabulous hanging basket, are topiary crazy, a cottage garden queen, a wildlife haven provider, or have the odd veg in your front garden, you are all welcome.  There are no rules, but a guide would be to show that you really look after what you grow.   

   Lorraine and Ted Dorsett 2012 winners

The competition is organised by Knutsford in Bloom volunteers and will be judged this year by; Sam Youd, former head gardener of Tatton Park, Simon Tetlow, head gardener of Tatton Park and Cllr Barbara Coan, Knutsford Town Mayor. 

 

   Dorn Reed 2011 winner 

Judging will take place on Tuesday 30 July so, get your mowers and clippers out, keep an eye on the weeds and bring the WOW factor to your street this year.  Good luck everyone!

   Maryke Todd's winning garden 2010

Entries by 26 July.  Please send your details (Name, address, Tel and email) to: [email protected] or T 631833 and leave a message (ignore the beeps it's still recording) or write to: Knutsford in Bloom, C/o Beech House, Thorneyholme Drive, Knutsford, WA16 8BT.

Knutsford in Bloom 2013 is here!

The RHS North West in Bloom judges are coming to Knutsford on Wednesday 10 July.  Let's hope for some sunshine this year!

We will be taking the judges to see Manor Park School this year, to see the work done by the children including this year's 'Grow and Sell' initiative with Waitrose and the wider aspects of the RHS School Gardening Scheme of which  Manor Park has reached Level 3 so far.

Manor Park School has a small orchard, raised beds for; the children, parents and the community, growing fruit, vegetables and herbs and many planted areas around the school including a woodland area.

We will also be visiting last year's front garden winners Lorraine and Ted Dorsett.  Their garden was a WOW with the judges.  We shall be then visiting Sparrow Lane Allotments, our meadow, the town with it's fabulous displays provided by; the businesses, our volunteer beds and planters, hanging baskets and beds by Cheshire East Council Streetscape team and not forgetting our fabulous roundabout display in the centre of town designed and planted by the CEC Streetscape Team and the deer donated by Tatton Park (more info below). 

If everyone could do all they can to help with dead-heading flowers, picking up litter and the odd weed they might see, you will be helping our town to look as marvelous as ever.

National Garden Scheme (NGS) Garden here in Knutsford - July 2013

Somerford, 19 Leycester Road, Knutsford is open to visitors and raising money for charity. 

Majestic trees surround one and a half acres of garden which has been completely redesigned and planted.  Sculptures, lush herbaceous and perennial borders, cube-headed hornbeams, a corquet lawn, pond and vast oak pergola, snail trail walk, informal lawn and fernery.  Hosta beds, stable courtyard with box parterres and vegetable areas. 

The garden surrounds a 1909 arts and crafts house and has been redesigned over the years since 2006 by Emma Dearman and Joe Morris and is continuing to evolve.

Opening dates and times:

Evening opening £5, chd free, wine, Fri 5 July (6-8.30pm), Sun 14, Sun 28 July (12-5pm).  Visitors also welcome by appt 29 May - 23 Aug.  For visits by appt, cream teas are extra to admission.  Admission £4, child free. 

Contact: Emma Dearman & Joe Morris T: 01565 621095 Email: [email protected]  Post Code: WA16 8QR

www.ngs.org.uk/gardens

Elvis has arrived in Knutsford!

Have you seen our FAB new display on Canute Place roundabout? 

 

Knutsford in Bloom have been discussing the roundabout display in the centre of town since 2009 when the volunteer group was formed.  Last year we had another ideas session and several members of the group suggested a deer or something similar for the roundabout as a centre piece.  A deer is perfect to represent our town's semi-rural nature and our connections with Tatton Park. 

Sam Youd, our Honorary President and retired head gardener of Tatton Park remembered the deer from a previous show garden at the Tatton Flower Show and suggested getting in touch with the Tatton Park PR and garden teams.  Fortunately, Tatton Park loved the idea and offered their deer for our town's display.

Cheshire East Council's Streetscape team are responsible for the design, planting and upkeep of the roundabout display and were more than happy to create the wonderful display we can now all enjoy.  CEC Streetscape also got in touch with the West Park Community Garden Centre Project group for their help in stuffing 'Elvis' with moss.  The West Park group came up with the name while sprucing him up.

This has been a brilliant team project including; Knutsford in Bloom, gardening group West Park Community Garden Centre Project, Tatton Park and CEC and shows what can be achieved when we all work together.  Knutsford in Bloom would like to thank everyone involved in bringing this spectacular display to the town. 

There has been very positive feedback already and we hope that Elvis will make residents and visitors smile for a long time to come.

RHS National Dig Together Day Success - November 2012

After over a year of planning and working with Cheshire East Rail Line and Northern Rail Knutsford in Bloom have cleared up what was quite an eye sore.  The entrance to Knutsford by rail users was messy, overgrown with weeds and neglected.  Now there will be a welcome sight for residents and visitors to the town in the future.

Approximately 25 people came along with thier spades and trowels to help Knutsford in Bloom plant; cherry blossom trees, daffodil bulbs. crocosmia and skimmia shrubs on Sunday.  Members of the Brownies, allotmenteers, Friends of the Moor, Knutsford Lions, our town Mayor Vivien Davies and interested residents joined Knutsford in Bloom members to help in the big dig. 

The rain stopped, the sun came out and the big dig was successfully completed.  We can now look forward to an ever increasingly wonderful display over the years to come. 

In the early spring the cherry blossom trees will be covered in pink blossom, with burgundy leaves thoughout the summer, later in the autumn the leaves will turn a fiery red.  Beneath the canopy of the cherry blossom trees there will be bright yellow daffodils followed by orange and red crocosmia into the autumn.  In addition there are evergreen cotoneaster and skimia shrubs giving year round interest with berries providing colour and food for nearby birds.

3rd Consecutive 'Silver Gilt' win for Knutsford and a discretionary award too!

Despite another year of poor weather and a bit of a struggle to keep Knutsford blooming, we've done it again!

The RHS North West in Bloom judges visited Knutsford very early in July this year. at the beginning of the judging period.  Summer bedding, heavily relied upon in many towns and villages around the country, was barely getting going, however, our mixed planting of perennials and annuals made thier impact across the town.

Despite a slow start in the floral displays, the judges awarded Knutsford 'Silver Gilt' for the town's joint efforts in showing our commitment to making Knutsford beautiful to live in and welcoming to visitors.  This award recognises the whole town's efforts in floral displays and civic pride taking into account; grass cutting, litter in the streets, weed control in the pavements, street furniture (bins, benches etc), paving.  It's also in recognition of our joint efforts ie; litter picks, residents contribution to displays in the town and in their front gardens, schools teaching the wonderful benefits of growing plants whether it be edible, natural or purley for their beauty or interest, and much more.

Knutsford in Bloom was also awarded 'Best Commercial Effort' last won in 2010 in recognition of the efforts of the business community in providing floral and green displays in the town.  Several displays stood out for the judges as making that extra effort, in particular; the Belle Epoque, the Cross Keys, Marble Arch (resident display) and Ash Court (business/residents communal gardens). 

Knutsford in Bloom would also like to thank St Vincent's Primary School for once again allowing us to visit with the judges to see thier practical work and hear about thier studies and plans.  We would also like to thank Friends of the Moor and other groups for all their hard work in the town, helping to make our town such a lovely place to live. 

Our group would not be able to do what we do without the financial support from our town council and Cheshire East Council's streetscape team for their support in delivering friendly and helpful advice and service.  We must also give a big thank you to Stewart Jackson of Primrose Hill Nursery, High Legh for the wonderful red, white and blue barrier planters on display over this summer.

Finally, well done to the Knutsford in Bloom volunteer team for all their hard work in planting and work behind the scenes over the year.  The team plant and maintain all the town planters, the beds on Toft Road, at the station, the Civic Centre planters, the Fountain on the Heath, the meadow behind St Cross church and are planting cherry blossom trees in green areas of the town for added colour for years to come. 

Knutsford in Bloom's awards and trophy can be seen at the Heritage Centre off King Street over the next year.

Dig Together Day - Sunday 25 November 2012

Knutsford in Bloom would like to invite you, your friends, your families and any interested groups along to our BIG DIG TOGETHER DAY on Sunday, 25 November. 

This is an RHS national event to encourage as many people as possible to get out there, get some fresh air and exercise and plant trees and plants for our future enjoyment.  We will be planting cherry blossom trees and daffodil bulbs to transform the long neglected 'strip' running along the pedestrian path of the station main entrance car park. 

We are hoping that the overgrown evergreen shrubs will have been cut back or removed where necessary in preparation for our big dig.  It will be lovely to see the daffodils and blossom in the spring.  The cherry tree leaves will then turn a beautiful burgundy, turning fiery red in the autumn for their big finale at the end of the year. 

We will be meeting in the station main entrance car park (Manchester side) on Sunday, 25 November at 10.30amPlease bring gloves and something to dig with.  Everyone is welcome.  We look forward to seeing you on the day.

You can also find out more from the RHS website

Here are the winners of the 2012 Front Garden Competition and Knutsford's Business Displays

This year the standard was higher than ever despite the poor weather.  We have all struggled with a cold, late start to the spring, poor light levels, a colder than usual summer and the most rain during this summer than in one hundred years and that's official!   

The judges:

Mary Johnson KIB Secretary and Yvonne Bancroft KIB Chairwoman accompanied judges; Vivian Davies Knutsford Town Mayor, Sam Youd former Tatton Park Head Gardener and Honorary President of KIB and Simon Tetlow Head Gardener Tatton Park in the Knutsford in Bloom 2012 competitions on Tuesday 24 July.

We would like to thank the judges and Stephen Bridgehouse of Juno Photographic for giving up so much of their time.  We all had a lovely day looking at the effort everyone had made to make our town so appealing. 

Front Garden Competition:

There are no set rules for the competition, because we don't want to put people off from entering, or stifle imagination.  The judges are looking for; first and formost IMPACT, secondly in the case of the front gardens, that there is some substance to the garden, an indication of year round interest rather than a reliance on summer bedding plants only. 

As we turned the corner in the car, everyone said "WOW!" when we saw the 1st prize winning garden.   We would love to have more people enter their front gardens in the competition, which would allow us to expand the categories to recognise the different styles and sizes of front gardens being entered. 

Business Displays:

The business displays should be summer long to maximise the benefit to the town and be well tended.  In all categories the judges are looking for displays that are well tended and in peak condition, showing clear signs of feeding and watering.

The business categories have been expanded this year to recognise the variety of displays in the town and now include; Pub and Inns, Large Business, Small Business and Business Hanging Basket displays.

The winners are listed below.  To see all the gardens and business displays please take a look at the gallery. 

The results:

Front Garden Competition:

1st - Lorraine and Ted Dorsett, 'Hedgrose' Woodside

2nd - Dorn Reed, 59 Overfields

3rd - Maria Heath, May Tree Cottage 21 Old Market Place

Pubs and Inns:

1st - Cross Keys, King Street

2nd - Rose and Crown, King Street

3rd - The Angel Hotel, King Street

Large Business Floral Displays:

1st - Belle Epoque, King Street

2nd - McLaren. Canute Place

3rd - Knutsford Day Nursery

Small Business Floral Displays: 

1st - The Nail Studio, King Street

2nd - Pulse of Perfumery, Princess Street

3rd - Boa, King Street

Business Hanging Basket Displays:

1st - Shamoli, King Street

2nd - Polished Glass, King Street

3rd - PR Jones, King Street

Thank you everyone for taking part and for making such a massive difference to Knutsford's appeal to residents and visitors.

Can we bring home Gold in 2012?

On 11 July the RHS North West in Bloom judges will visit Knutsford to see our town's efforts for 2012.  They will expect to see the town looking fabulous and floral and will be looking out to see signs of our civic pride.  

The judges will be looking at the beautiful floral displays in the town planted and maintained by our volunteer group, in particular; the barrier planters, the town planters, the Civic Centre planters, the meadow, the newly planted Bexton Lane cherry blossom trees, the flower beds at the station, by the White Bear,  in front of St John's church and the Rachel Bloor Memorial Gardens on Toft Road, the fountain on the Heath and the Gaskell Trough

They will also be looking at the Cheshire East displays in our town; on the roundabouts, in front of the council offices and the town hanging baskets along Toft Road and Canute Place.  The Cheshire East team have been very supportive and helpful with complimentary planting, watering our planters, street sweeping, weed control and grass cutting.

The business community has a big part to play in our town's fabulous kerb appeal and I am sure that they will be doing us proud again this year putting up hanging baskets and other displays along with the town centre residents.  We would also like to thank the businesses that sponsor our volunteer group.

Our Front Garden Competition and town centre displays competitions will be held after the RHS judges visit this year, however, we will taking them to see a previous winning front garden for a taster. 

Finally, we hope to take along our guest judges to one of our primary schools to see the fantastic work the children, teachers and parents do over the year.  Three of our primary schools are members of the RHS School Gardening Scheme.  St Vincent's school pupils also created our Knutsford in Bloom logo as seen on our signs and certificates.

Knutsford is very fortunate to have many groups involved in keeping Knutsford looking as wonderful as it does and involving residents and visitors in activities.  Groups such as the Friends of the Moor, Tatton Park, the Knutsford Flower Club, the Scouts and Guides etc, the Gaskell Society and Brook Street Chapel, the Heritage Centre and many more, all play their part in making Knutsford what it is. 

 

We have two hours to show the RHS judges our town on 11 July.  We hope you will all pull out all the stops to make Knutsford look spectacular again this year. 

Can we win gold?  If everyone does their bit and helps to keep the weeds at bay, litter from the streets and thier floral displays looking fabulous - yes, I think we can. 

Come on Knutsford!

Bring out your bloomers!

It's here again!  The Front Garden Competition 2012 will take place on 24 July this year.  It's time to get your gardens looking tip top and to join in the fun.

All are welcome fun, traditional, big and small.  This is a fun, not too serious, no rules competition to get you out in your street, making a difference and getting to know your neighbours.  You might have a glorious hanging basket, grow fruit or vegetables, have a smart or cottage frontage, all are welcome. 

The judges this year will be; Sam Youd our Honorary President who will be Head Judge, Simon Tetlow, Head Gardener of Tatton Park and Vivien Davies our Town Mayor.  Photos will be taken of all gardens visited and will be placed on our photo gallery for all interested to see.

Last year's winning garden below belongs to Miss Dorn Reed.

Take a look at previous entrants' gardens in our photo gallery for some inspiration.  You can view the gardens on full screen and in a slide show. 

Come on, get in touch.  It's fun and you could win some garden centre vouchers.

Vote for Knutsford in Bloom!

Vote Knutsford in Bloom!

Will you help our group to receive as many votes as possible please?  If you vote for us, and get your friends to vote for us, we may receive as much as £6000 for our group to spend on making the town look lovely!  It's part of the Nat West community project Community Force. 
 
To vote for Knutsford in Bloom volunteer group visit: http://communityforce.natwest.com I think you have to register and log in to vote.  Voting starts 26 September.
 
Thank you for your vote. 
Yvonne

Holding our breath on RHS North West in Bloom visit 2011

The RHS North West in Bloom judges visited our town on a horribly wet and windy day, however, the worst of the rain kept at bay while we walked around the town and visited Egerton Primary School.

The judges loved what Egerton Primary school has achieved on the Kenya Project, and the Magical wood.  They were also very impressed with the plans for a complete revamp of the school gardens. 

They loved our sustainable planting projects including; pernnial planting in the town planters with the roses, our wildflower meadow off Mobberley Road, and our civic centre planters. 

Walking around the town, the judges particularly liked the following displays:

  • The Cross Keys Inn
  • The Belle Epoque
  • The Lemon Tree
  • Marble Arch
  • Ash Court gardens

They took photos of these displays, and are hoping to have them on display at the awards ceremony to be held in October later this year. 

There were many more wonderful displays put on by the business community and residents lucky enough to live in the centre of the town.  A big thank you to all the business community for helping Knutsford to look so nice this summer, and to the businesses that have sponsored our town planters. 

Photos can be found in the gallery, for the best images please click on 'slide show' and 'full page'.

Winning Business Displays - 2011

This year there were fewer floral displays by some of our businesses, which do have an impact upon the town and the overall impression made to visitors.  Nevertheless yet again, there were some cracking displays too. 

The winners of the town displays were split into 2 catagories this year, the business floral display catagory and the pubs and inns floral display catagory.  The winners were;

Business Floral Display winners:

  • 1st The Belle Epoque
  • 2nd Gerald's of Knutsford
  • 3rd St Anne's Square Holdings Ltd

Pubs and Inns Floral Display winners:

  • 1st The Cross Keys Inn
  • 2nd The White Bear
  • 3rd The Rose and Crown

There were many wonderful displays including those from;  

  • The Lemon Tree, King Street
  • The Nail Studio, King Street
  • Partners, King Street
  • Polished Glass, King Street

Others making a fine effort were; The Angel, Mr Simms, The Hidden Gem, The Men’s Room, Fishwicks, Mason Jones, Hague Lambert, Barclays Bank, PR Jones, Shamoli, Facets, the Cheshire Building Society, The Cherry Tree, Church Gallery, The Orange Orchard, Clarity, Knutsford Nails and Beauty, Gusto, Zapatos, Mellor Braggins, Mono, The Lord Eldon, Pets at Home, Maclaren, Lees Furniture and the Knutsford Nursery.

To see the displays and others in the town, please go to 'gallery' and click on 'slide show' and 'full screne' for the best images.

Announcing Knutsford's Front Garden Winners - 2011

The second year of the Knutsford Front Garden Competition received entries from every area of the town, with lots of variety.  Many of the gardens entering this year had not entered last year.

Our judges this year were; Mayor Stuart Gardiner, councillor Barbara Coan, councillor Clive Nicholson and special guest judge Sam Youd, Head Gardener at Tatton Park.  We would like to thank all the judges for giving up thier time to judge the competitions.

The emphasis for judging this year was again on impact, taking into consideration both perennial planting for year round interest along with bedding plants for summer colour.  Design of the garden, hard landscaping, and care of the plants and lawn were all contributers to the final decision.  Interestingly, both amateur and professional gardeners were in general agreement on the winners.

The winners of the Front Garden Competition 2011 are:

 1st Miss Dorn Reed of 59 Overfields, Knutsford

Judges comments included:

‘Wow!’  The front garden was of the standard seen at the RHS Tatton Show, fantastic.  Immaculate lawn, complete with scalloped edges.  Packed with colour from perennials and annuals.  Masses of colour and lots of interest.  Miss Reed’s garden placing of 1st was a unanimous decision.

2nd Mrs Lorraine Dorsett of 'Hedgerose', 9 Woodside, Knutsford

Judges comments included:

‘Wow’, very good hanging baskets, very colourful with a good mix of perennials and annuals.  A wonderful established standard rose.  Lots of plants, no gaps.

3rd Maria Heath of 'May Tree Cottage', 21 Old Market Place, Knutsford, 

Judges comments included:

‘Lovely’, Window boxes, hanging baskets and pots all very well planted and looked after.  Nice paving setting everything off.  Plants included; a standard rose, roses in pots, foxgloves and Skimmia.  All clear of weeds and tidy.

For more information and photos of the gardens entered this year, please go to the 'photo gallary'.

RHS North West in Bloom 2011 - Judgement Day!

The RHS North West in Bloom judges will be visiting Knutsford on 18 July this year.  Our group will be out and about ensuring we do all we can to impress the judges.  Cheshire East Council have been working with us to ensure compatible planting schemes, and ensuring the streets are swept and weeds are kept at bay. 

Everyone can do their bit to help, by keeping litter from the streets and keeping an eye on weeds.

Why not join us on a regular basis?  It doesn't have to be a massive commitment, 15 minutes a week would make a big contribution.  If you are interested, please have a look at our 'Volunteer and Support' page, and see how you could help.  You could really make a difference.

Knutsford Meadow in Full Glory - June 2011

Our new town meadow of perennial and annual wildflowers is looking fantastic!  Please find time to wonder down through the Moor and up to the meadow, off Mobberley Road, behind St Cross Church, and have a look at the two thirds of an acre site.  It is filled with colour and buzzing with bees, butterflies and other insects, drawn to the classic meadow created earlier this year.

The meadow has been sown with both a perennial meadow mix and a classic annual cornfield mix of wildflower seed including; corn chamomile, cornflower, lesser knapweed, meadow buttercup, meadowsweet, red campion, ribwort plantain, and ox eye daisy.

Photographs demonstrating our progress can be found in the 'Photo Gallery'.  Open the meadow album and click on 'slide show' followed by 'full screen' for the full effect - fabulous!

Front Garden Competition 2011

Announcing the Knutsford residents Front Garden Competition 2011.  Judging will be in the week commencing 4 July 2011, with garden centre gift vouchers as prizes; 1st prize £30, 2nd prize £20 and 3rd prize £10.

Posters have gone up around the town in; cafes, shops, the Civic Centre, the train station, Booths supermarket, the library, the indoor market, the Heritage Centre and the leisure centre, hopefully catching the eye of as many residents as possible.

The Knutsford Guardian will be announcing our competition to all readers in the town, with contact details.  The Knutsford Directory is also giving a whole page to our poster for maximum coverage.

To enter the competition please contact us via; our email address, by phone or by writing to us c/o The Council Offices, please see our contact details.  All details are also shown on the poster.

A copy of our poster can be accessed by going to our 'Gallery' page.

Knutsford Meadow Sown - March 2011

The Knutsford in Bloom volunteers have finally sown the meadow, behind St Cross Church, off Mobberley Road.  They will now be looking forward to watching the wildflower meadow grow over the spring and summer, becoming a wonderful feature in the town for years to come. 

Invites were sent out via; our website, emails to interested individuals and groups, and posted into the homes in the immediate vicinity.  On the day, a group of 14, including members of ‘Friends of the Moor’, town councillors, volunteers from Cheshire East Council, and residents from Branden Drive and Ella Grove helped to sow the wildflower seed. 

The biggest challenge was treading the seed into the ground, necessary to ensure the seed did not wash away in the rain, or blow away in the wind. Our feet could have been treading away into Sunday, had it not been for the arrival of a large roller, courtesy of Cheshire East Council, which took 40 minutes to roll the whole 2/3 acre area.

Andrew McKeith of Cheshire East Council volunteered his own time to keep a watchful eye over us, ensuring good seed coverage of the area, and Kurt Finn, also a volunteer from Cheshire East Council did a marvellous job guiding the large roller over the seeds.

The meadow has been sown with both a perennial meadow mix and a classic annual cornfield mix of wildflower seed including; corn chamomile, cornflower, lesser knapweed, meadow buttercup, meadowsweet, red campion, ribwort plantain, and ox eye daisy.

The wildflower seed was funded by Cheshire Peaks and Plains Housing Trust, as a number of its residents overlook the area, and Cheshire East Council helped to prepare the ground for sowing. 

Knutsford in Bloom volunteer group would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone, for the funding, for the ground preparation, and for volunteering time to help sow the meadow.  

New Planting for 2011

Our town meadow is planned for March 2011.  Location; behind St Cross Church (small field), off Mobberly Road.  Please have a look at 'Project Progress' if you are interested in taking part.

The Fountain on the Heath, Manchester Road is now complete, daffodils should be seen in a few weeks.

Daffodil plantings have been made; in the beds on Toft Road, across the road from Simon Boyd, in front of the council offices and the library, and in the Civic Centre planters.

The town planters have been planted with shrub roses and daffodils, and will be planted with perennials throughout the year.

We have agreed to take on the Bexton Lane 'Paradise Garage Gardens' area from Cheshire East.  Work will begin on this area in the year.

We have also agreed to take on the bedding areas around the seating on Toft Road, in front of St John's Church, which will be planted with perennials for year round colour .

We have also discussed taking on the station beds at the main entrance.  Other areas we would like to transform in the future include; Booths gardens, and the library and courts gardens on Toft Road. 

As you can see this is quite a commitment, so please, even if you only have 15 minutes a week to offer, we would love to hear from you.

Knutsford in Bloom are double award winners at RHS North West in Bloom ceremony 2010

As Chairwoman of Knutsford in Bloom volenteer group, I am so proud.  In our first year as a volunteer group, we came away with two awards, and a crystal trophy at the RHS NWIB ceremony in Southport yesterday (21 October).  Knutsford is the only town in the north of Cheshire to win an award this year.

Knutsford won a discretionary award (the crystal award and certificate) for 'Best Commercial Effort' in the whole of the North West region.  This was in recognition of our efforts in PR for Knutsford in Bloom and for encouraging the business community to become involved in our town's displays.  

We also won a coveted 'Silver Gilt' for Knutsford town's floral displays and community involvement!  This will be fantastic PR for Knutsford in the floral world, and is definitely an added bonus with the RHS Flower Show at Tatton, it may well bring in more visitors over the show period and over next summer.

Our group would like to thank our business community for helping by displaying hanging baskets and troughs, and for keeping them looking so good throughout the summer.  The displays in the town really did impress the RHS NWIB judges.

We would like to make special mention of our business sponsors for supporting us in our first year as a volunteer group;

Knutsford IT, Tatton Street

Guy Salmon Land Rover, Manchester Road

The Knutsford Hearing Centre, Princess Street

KBS Partnership LLP, Princess Street

I hope that this encourages you to get in touch and help us to achieve a Gold for 2011, come on, Knutsford needs you!

Knutsford Business Displays 2010 Win RHS awards

We all know how beautiful our market town is, and this year our business community made a wonderful effort, displaying hanging baskets and troughs to enhance our town.  The floral displays were kept to a high standard throughout the summer months, and made a big impact on the overall 'kerb appeal' of our town, and on the the RHS North West In Bloom judges. 

The big floral impact our business community contributed to our town, played a hugh part in Knutsford winning the 'Best Commercial Effort' award and crystal throphy, only one in the region.  It also helped us to win the 'Silver Gilt' for best town award.

Thank you all for contributing to our success as a town.  We hope more businesses join in next year and take us closer to 'Gold' and a chance to enter the coveted 'Britain in Bloom' awards.

Thank you.

Knutsford Business Display Winners 2010

Thank you all for the wonderful displays this year, and for taking care of them thoughout the season.  Judging was very difficult, but eventually we all agreed on the winners:

1st - Christine Ireland Gallery

2nd - The Rose and Crown

3rd - Gerald's of Knutsford

The Cross Keys was awarded 'Highly Commended' for it's wonderful display and Partners hair was awarded 'Commended' for a fine first effort.

Other businesses of note included; Shamoli, The Knutsford Wine Bar, The Angel, Aunty Mabel's Seat, Technotype, Facets, PR Jones, Barclays Bank, The Cooks Emporium, The Hidden Gem, The Guthrie Centre, The Nail Studio, Fishwick, The Lord Eldon, Fibre and Clay, Mono, Mellor Braggins, Apadana and Rolls Royce.

Thank you all for a fine effort.  We are looking forward to more businesses taking part in 2011.

Front Garden Competition 2010

All front gardens make an impact on the town; they can bring joy to passers by, peace and relaxation to the head gardener and helpers, help neighbours to meet each other, provide a haven to wildlife, and an improved environment, to name but a few benefits.

The winners of this years competition are;

1st - Maryke Todd, Heath Drive

2nd - Mr and Mrs Ikin, Middle Walk

3rd - Mr Burgess, Boothfields

The winners made a fabulous effort, well done!  Photos of the winning gardens, and other entrants, can be found on our photo gallery. 

We would like to thank all the entrants taking part in this year's competition, and look forward to viewing more gardens next year. 

A special thank you to our judges; Councillor Tony Want, Councillor Jennifer Want and Councillor Barbara Austin, who made the judging day so relaxed and fun.

Finally, a BIG thank you to James Wilson reporter at 'The Knutsford Guardian' for covering our story throughout the year, and for the fabulous spread featuring our Business Dispaly and Front Garden winners this summer.

Knutsford in Bloom would love to hear from you.

If you have some interesting information you want to share with us why not get in touch.  We would love to know what you have done, whether it's at your school, at Scouts, Girl Guides, at work or at home.  If you have some good ideas or tips why not share them? 

Contact us at E: [email protected] or T: 01565 631833

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Cranford Connection

2010 is the 200th Anniversary of Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell, author of ‘Cranford’, based upon Knutsford, and adapted for the TV program of the same name.  

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) was born Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson in Chelsea on 29 September 1810.  Unfortunately, Elizabeth's mother died when she was only one year old, and she was brought to Knutsford to be cared for by her Aunt Hannah Lumb, her mother's sister.  'Cranford' is partly based upon her childhood memories of the Knutsford community and her homorous, but sympathetic depiction of the social etiquette of the ladies who lived in Knutsford in 'elegant economy'.

She was an accomplished writer of novels and short stories.  She also wrote the biography of her friend Charlotte Bronte, as well as 'Wives and Daughters' and 'North and South'.  Her first novel 'Mary Barton' highlighted the horrors of the industrial system in Manchester, where she moved to after her marriage.  Disease, poverty, starvation and the deniel of the vote to working men are all subjects of her writing.  Dickens was enthusiastic about Elizabeth's writing and encouraged her by publishing 'Cranford' and later works in instalments in his magazine 'Household Words'.

Knutsford in Bloom have chosen to use pastel colours for our displays this year to compliment Mrs Gaskell’s era, which will hopefully impress visitors to our town interested in ’the Cranford connection’.

The Knutsford Heritage Centre runs tours of the town every Sunday at 2pm, tracing the steps of our historical past.  For further information visit http://www.knutsfordheritage.co.uk/ .

Brook Street Chapel Flower Festival to celebrate Elizabeth Gaskell's 200th Anniversary

The 300 year old Brook Street Chapel is the final resting place of Elizabeth Gaskell.  Mrs Gaskell, her ancestors and family are all buried in the Brook Street Chapel graveyard.  The chapel has planned a flower festival to be held between 14 - 17 May with Knutsford and District Flower Club to commemorate Mrs Gaskell's bi-centenary.  The chapel will be open from 10.30am - 5.30pm and from 1pm - 5.30 on Sunday.  Entry is free, donations welcome.     

For further information telephone  01565 632673 or 01565 751197 http://www.brookstreetchapel.org/ and http://www.gaskellsociety.co.uk/ .

Civic Centre; New Planters Begin To Arrive (April 2010)

One of our local craftsmen is working on the new Civic Centre planters, which will provide the opportunity to make a floral impact in the centre of the town.  Richard Barnes is making the bespoke planters which will be ready for planting in the next week or so. 

Your Community in Bloom ('The Garden' March 2010)

The launch theme for this year's RHS Britain in Bloom is planting and 'mass greening'.  Each year mone than 1000 communities take part in Britain in Bloom, and in 2010 66 will participate in the finals.

August is D Day (or is that J Day)!  In August the RHS judges will visit each community finalist to appraise, advise and inspire.  For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom .

Knutsford in Bloom Logo School Competition - The Winners!

Congratulations to Annie Cusselle and Tom Quenby of St Vincent's Primary School.  Annie's picture is a perfect representation of what we are all about and Tom's caption is so uplifting it couldn't be ignored, we had to incorporate it into the logo.  Together Annie and Tom have won the £25 garden centre voucher, which will  make a good contribution to the school gardening activities at St Vincent's Primary School.  Well done Annie and Tom!

Look out for our logo around the town.

Knutsford Childminding Win Wildlife Friendly Garden Award (Knutsford Guardian - Feb 2010)

This Knutsford childminding business have scooped a bronze award from Cheshire Wildlife Trust and are working towards gaining a silver award.  If you are interested in the awards check out http://www.cheshirewildlifetrust.co.uk/ .

Knutsford Bloomers Clear Up Fountain Monument on Heath (January 2010)

Our first project has begun, we are returning the fountain monument on the edge of the Heath, Manchester Road to it's former glory. 

So far we have weeded the fountain and cleared the overgrown grass and soil revealing beautiful granite sets.  There are a couple missing which we would like to replace.  28 sacks later it's looking rather glorious.  What do you think?  You could let us know on the guestbook page.  Have a look at the photo galary to see our progress so far.

The next stage is to reinstate the border around the display, lifting overgrown grass and planting up with spring and summer plants.  We will post the next planned clear up on the web, so if you would like to come along, we would love to see you. 

Well Done Knutsford High School (Knutsford Guardian - February 2010)

Knutsford High School students have won Best Kept Station in Cheshire East.  The art students have created some fantastic artwork displayed on the walls of the station, whilst the planting and design of two flower beds have been undertaken by children at the school.

Tatton Park Creative Activities for the year

Tatton Park is planning to run creative classes this year, including; watercolour workshops, willow weaving, working with wool, nature walks and horitultural courses.  To find out more telephone 01625 374428 or visit www.tattonpark.org.uk/education/lifelonglearninghome.uk.htm.

Knutsford Business Floral Displays 2010

Our beautiful narrow streets, with character buildings are a big draw with visitors to our region.  In the past Knutsford has won Britain in Bloom awards, which helped to promote Knutsford and bring visitors into the town.  

The Knutsford in Bloom volunteer group would like to return to these heady days of success.  To do this, the town is dependent upon the support of it's business community.  King Street, Minshull Street and Princess Street in particular are dependent upon the retail businesses displaying hanging baskets, as the footpaths are far too narrow to allow any other form of external display. 

We hope that as many as possible of the business community will join in to enhance our wonderful town, which will in turn, improve the economic viability of individual businesses and Knutsford. 

The Knutsford in Bloom group have written to all businesses in the town to join in and contribute in various ways to the floralisation of Knutsford, whether that be hanging baskets, tubs and containers, replanting existing containers, or sponsorship of the town planters.  We have also tried to make things as easy as possible and can arrange for hanging baskets to be delivered to business premises.

As this is the 200th Anniversary of Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell, author of 'Cranford', based upon Knutsford, and adapted for the TV program of the same name, pastel colours were decided upon to compliment Mrs Gaskell's era.  We hope that the town displays will impress visitors, and encourage them to return.

All business displays will be judged for impact upon the town, with first prize of £30, second prize £20 and third prize £10, and a decal to display.