Sunday, 30 November 2008

Planting the library beds

The beds by the library were finally filled with soil last week so today we were able to plant them up. We used columnar yew, 2 types of winter-flowering shrub, ferns, grasses, other perennials and daffodils.

It was difficult area to plant because the beds have not much soil, lots of rubble, poor drainage and it is also in shade. But we managed to choose some tough, evergreen plants with foliage in different colours and shapes and flowers at various times of the year. There are some scented plants too. There is a vibrant purple, bronze, orange, yellow and white colour scheme.

Plants used:

taxus baccata fastigiata (columnar yew)

viburnum tinus
sarcococca confusa

carex 'Coppertop'
carex 'Evergold'
luzula nivea

polystichum polyblepharum 'Jade'
polystichum munitum
polypodium vulgare

dianella 'Tas Red'
geum 'Cooky'
heuchera 'Crimson Curls'
heuchera 'Melting Fire'
heuchera 'Frosted Violet'
digitalis parviflora 'Milk Chocolate'

Friday, 28 November 2008

Lowtown Beds

We have made the shortlist in the Community And City Pride Awards for the seating area we planted up on Lowtown.

We have also been invited to the presentation for the Community Cash Giveaway.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Plants for the beds by the library

We have all the plants now. We've gone for a variety of plants, all of them evergreen, so the area will look interesting all year round. We even got some of the grasses free from Hampson's garden centre, the luzula nivea. We'll also be using the plants from in front of the leisure centre in this area because the beds they are currently in will be removed in winter or spring.

We still need to find a new spot for the sun-loving plants that are currently in the beds around the car park.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Today we received £300 from the Pudsey Borough Charity.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Bulb planting

Today the group planted bulbs all around Pudsey. Lots of new volunteers turned up to help. Daffodils were planted in the grass by Church Lane and near the petrol station on Lowtown, as well as in containers.

The 12 barrier troughs at the traffic lights, having been emptied of summer bedding a few weeks ago, were planted with pansies and primulas for winter and spring, as well as some more bulbs such as miniature tulips, narcissus 'Tete a Tete' and crocus.

planting bulbs in the containers near the market

pruning shrubs in the container by the library

planting daffodils in the grass by Church Lane.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Pudsey In Bloom added to Pudsey Today community directory

The group and a link to this blog has been added to the Pudsey Today community directory in the environment and wildlife category -

This should be a great way to let more people know about us and hopefully find new volunteers.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Planting bulbs

Today we planted 50 Allium 'Purple Sensation' bulbs in the Lowtown seating area. These will flower in early summer, then get attractive seed heads. The flowers are loved by bees.

The beds are still looking good even thought it is late October. We will go back and dead head a few plants later, however, we will leave some of the seedheads on to look decorative through the winter and feed the birds.
The rudbeckias are still covered in flowers and the grasses have grown really well. All the grasses (and several of the other perennials) are evergreen so will provide lots of interest during the winter. The stipa arundinacea (the orange-ish one) looks especially good and the stipa giganteas have lots of impressive flower spikes on at the moment.
These beds contained rose bushes before, which would have just been bare twigs during the winter, so I think we have definitely greatly improved this area. There are still lots of parts of Pudsey still containing dated rose beds (Pudsey Park, Sparrow Park, etc) so we will be able to compare the Lowtown area we planted to these.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Planting crocus and alliums

Today we planted bulbs in the barrier troughs which contain drought tolerant alpine plants and succulents. We planted about 50 alliums and 350 crocus in total in the 7 troughs and the 2 containers by the park entrance.

The crocus varieties we chose are 'Barr's Purple' and 'Snowbunting', which are purple and white respectively (as you probably guessed from the names!) These will flower in February. The alliums we chose are a small species, allium azureum, which gets pale blue flowers in early summer.

The barrier troughs were planted up with alpines and succulents as an experiment to see if we could find a greener way of planting up containers. Usually the troughs contain bedding plants, which are bad for the environment due to the amount of water they require and the fact they have to be replaced every season. It also makes them very expensive; to have just one trough planted and watered by the council for just the summer would cost £100. By using alpines they cost us just under £20 each to plant up, nothing for water, and they will last for many years.

Due to the huge amount of rain the plants weren't quite as happy as they could have been! However, they have still lasted well and will look even better next year, especially now we have added some bulbs.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Leeds gardens competition

Today the members of the group who judged the Pudsey entries in the Leeds In Bloom gardens competition attended the awards ceremony to see the winners receive their prizes.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Judges' comments

From the Yorkshire in Bloom website -


Pudsey are certainly progressing and things have moved on since the Spring Judging with the adoption and replanting of old rose beds and the trial of drought tolerant barrier baskets. If the business sector can be engaged, Pudsey will 'bloom' even more.


The judges were particularly impressed by:
1. The hanging baskets and beds in front of the Leisure Centre.
3. The summer displays by residents on The Chase.
4. Creation of the 'sea monster' and other plants by the children of the local school.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Involvement of business sector to provide floral displays.
1. Improved maintenance to bedding areas in Pudsey Park.
4. More involvement from youth organizations.


The judges were particularly impressed by:
1. The trial of perennial plants (drought resistant) in barrier baskets.
1. The upkeep of Crimbles Allotment site.
2. The adoption of two old rose beds and their subsequent planting by the group with perennials.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Coordinated mowing of Pudsey Park to ensure follow up work is in keeping with general grass areas.
2. Speak with 'Total Garage' to see if anything can be done with shrub bed.
4. Continued adoption by group of older shrub/rose beds etc.


The judges were particularly impressed by:

1. Work within the school by children/volunteers on the wild area and involvement with recycling and composting.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Future planting/management of the pond area at Spinner Chase.
2. Possible extension of mulching to more beds.


The judges were particularly impressed by:

1. The general cleanliness of the streets.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Renovate the two benches at 'Low Town' recently newly adopted area.
2. A few sites noted which required graffiti removal.


The judges were particularly impressed by:
1. The involvement of the judges to award prizes to the winners of various children's competitions.
2. The posters displayed by houses on Robin and Spinners Chase.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Further publicity/press releases regarding the 'in bloom' group's work.
2. Future commercial sponsorship of areas etc.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Pudsey has been awarded a Silver in Yorkshire In Bloom. Our chairman, Robert, attended the award ceremony in Barnsley this evening.

Barrier troughs and Lowtown beds

This is one of our barrier troughs containing drought-tolerant alpines and succulents. Obviously the rainy summer hasn't been ideal for them, but they have survived! The calandrinia in the one above is absolutely covered in bright pink flowers.
These are the beds in the seating area on Lowtown. This shows the bed on the right. As you can see in the picture below, there are a few gaps at the front, however, we are growing some agastache from cuttings and will plant these out soon. The agastache will add some scent to the beds too; their foliage smells of aniseed.
Below is the bed on the left. The stipa giganteas are starting to flower on this side. In future years they will be even more impressive; their flower spikes can be over 6 foot tall.
The plants are all doing really well. When we planted them most were very young plants in 9cm pots so they have grown a lot since spring.
We chose rich warm colours in shades of pink, orange, yellow and purple. The picture below shows rudbeckias, potentillas, knautias and achilleas.
The grasses are doing well too. We chose evergreen species that will look good all year round. The one in the picture below in stipa arundinacea which has green and orange foliage.
The bright pink achilleas and bright yellow rudbeckias look really striking together. The rudbeckias were the smallest plants when we planted them, about 5cm high, but now they are the most visible.
Another evergreen foliage plant we used were heucheras. This purple-leaved variety looks great with the rudbeckias too.
The heucheras also get tall flower spikes of tiny blooms which contrast with the big bold flowers of the other perennials.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Article about judging

There is an article on the Pudsey Times website about the summer judging and a slideshow of photographs.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Our summer judging was today and we think it went well! They seemed impressed by Lowtown Primary School and the Crimbles allotments again, and the seating area we planted on Lowtown. They liked our alpines in the barrier troughs too and said we should suggest the idea to the council to save them money.

We will find out how we've done and if we've got a medal in late summer.

After our tour of Pudsey we went back to the library to present the competition winners with their prizes. They loved the cactus gardens.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Ready for judging

The town is looking good and we have planted up the cactus gardens ready to present to the competition winners.

Thursday, 3 July 2008


Today members of the group delivered posters to houses and shops all around Pudsey ready for the judges' visit. The posters were designed by Lowtown Primary School pupils.

The art competition was also judged today. 3 winners have been chosen and they will be presented with their prizes on tuesday.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Seating area on Lowtown

This area is looking really good now; nearly everything is in flower. There were lots of bees buzzing around too.

geum 'Lady Stratheden' and potentilla 'Miss Wilmott'

penstemon 'Rondo' and knautia 'Melton pastels'

penstemon 'Husker red' and mixed plants, including knautia and heuchera flowers.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


We have placed some barrels by the car park next to St Lawrence's Church.
The area, and several other parts of Pudsey, have also been weeded.

Thursday, 26 June 2008


Today we discussed preparations for judging.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Hanging baskets

The hanging baskets we ordered from the council have finally been put up on the Town Hall and the leisure centre. The ones on the Town Hall are mostly white and purple; the others are a bit more garish.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Greenside Primary School

Members of the group were invited to Greenside Primary School for the unveiling of their new mural of Pudsey Park the pupils have painted.

Monday, 16 June 2008


Members of the group have mulched the beds in front of the leisure centre with bark chippings. We got the bark chippings for free.

An article appeared on the Pudsey Times website about our art competition for children today too.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Win a cactus garden!

We are organising an art competition for children. The theme is 'Flowers in Pudsey'. Anyone under 16 can enter and you can do a drawing or painting.

3 winners will each receive a cactus garden and a book.

Hand your entry in at the library before the 2nd of July. Please write your name, age, address and phone number on the back. Pictures should be A4 sized or smaller.

Winning entries will be displayed at the library and shown to the Yorkshire in Bloom judges. We will put some of the pictures on the blog too.


At our meeting today we discussed the route for the summer judging, our art competition and buying some new containers.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Tripe baths

The old bedding was removed from the tripe baths today and replaced with some interesting foliage plants: ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens (black grass) and 2 native ferns, asplenium trichomanes and asplenium scolopendrium.

These are all nice tough plants and look striking together. The ferns used are species which can be seen growing in walls around the town.

Leisure centre beds weeded

There were a lot of nettle seedlings and we didn't bring gloves but we didn't get stung too much!

The plants in these beds are all doing really well. They get the sun in the evening and the red heuchera leaves glow. They are starting to flower too. The geums flowered all spring but are still going, and should get even more flowers later in the year. The hemerocallis will probably flower in about a month.

Monday, 9 June 2008

The rest of the troughs planted

The remaining barrier troughs have now been planted up. Drought tolerant plants have been used in these to save money and be more environmentally friendly. We are not going to water these at all.

We have used the following alpines and succulents:
sempervivums (red or green rosettes of leaves, pink flowers)
penstemon pinifolius (bright orange flowers)
silene 'Druetts variegated' (white flowers, white and green leaves)
armeria maritima 'Nifty Thrifty' (bright pink flowers, variegated foliage)
calandrinia umbellata (bright pink flowers)
phlox subulata 'Emerald blue' (purple-blue flowers)
saxifraga 'Southside seedling group' (white flowers with red spots)
sedum hispanicum glaucum (pink leaves and flowers)
sedum spathulifolium purpureum (yellow flowers, purple leaves)
and some mixed sedums
We have used some striking combinations of plants and they are looking good already.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Judging date

We found out our summer judging date today: Tuesday 8th July.

Monday, 2 June 2008


The barrier troughs were planted today; they now contain fuchsias, gazanias, petunias and pelargoniums.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

barrier troughs

The old bedding was removed from the barrier troughs (in the rain!) and the compost replaced ready for replanting.

Thursday, 22 May 2008


In our meeting today we decided what to do with our barrier troughs for the summer, which desperately need replanting. 14 will have bedding plants and 7 will be planted with drought-tolerant permanent plants. We will buy the plants next week.

We did have 22 barrier troughs, however, one has gone missing; we assume it has been stolen.

We have had to change our plans to run a competition for children because the miniature garden competition would not be practical. Instead we will run an art competition; we will decide a theme and other details at the next meeting and then publicise it in the local paper and with posters up in the library, etc.

Monday, 19 May 2008


Had a walk round Pudsey today and a good look at all the perennials we planted earlier in the year and they are doing marvellously! They have all grown a lot and some have started to flower already. The geums in front of the leisure centre have bright orange flowers and look absolutely gorgeous with the purple heucheras.

The beds on Lowtown are doing the best, even though they are the last ones we planted. Everything is looking healthy and the knautia 'Melton Pastels' are flowering already; some are burgundy and some are pink. The flowers are popular with butterflies so hopefully lots of wildlife will be attracted to the area.

All the bedding planted by the council is totally past it and looks terrible now so planting perennials instead was definitely a good decision and something we should do more of in the future.

The spring bedding will be removed in the next few days. The barrier troughs will have some summer bedding planted in them; we will decide what we are planting at our meeting on Thursday.

A few perennials have been stolen so these will need to be replaced too. There are 2 libertias are missing; they are slightly unusual and quite expensive plants so I suspect they were stolen by someone who fancied them for their own garden rather than just vandalised. But we have only had these 2 plants stolen out of all the beds we planted so it isn't too bad really.

We'll also weed the beds to keep them looking their best. I'll add some more photos soon now the plants are flowering.

There's an article on the Pudsey Times website today about the judges' spring visit:

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Pudsey Carnival

It was Pudsey Carnival today and we had a plant sale and put up a display of photographs and press clippings. Despite the usual terrible carnival weather, members of the group manned the stall all day and we raised over £30.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


We have received the notes from the Spring judging (see post below) so we have been thinking of ways to improve for Summer.

We also discussed ideas for our stall at Pudsey Carnival on the 17th May, organising a miniature garden competition for children and paying £1,000 for some extra hanging baskets on the Town Hall this year.

The group are split on how to best spend our money. Some want to do as much as possible with the money to improve the town for the whole community and also get as many marks as we can when the judges next visit. Ideas suggested include more permanent planting, wildlife areas, projects with children and tackling the negative points the judges mentioned in their feedback.

The other part of the group want to spend the money the easiest way possible by paying the council to put up temporary hanging baskets and water them for us until they are taken down in autumn.

We are also trying to decide how to plant up our barrier troughs for summer still.

Option one is to plant them with annuals and pay £40 per container to have them watered for the year.

Option 2 is to plant them with various drought tolerant plants that will require no watering. The money saved (£880) could be spent on permanent planting such as more colourful perennials and wildlife areas and projects in schools.

Option 3 is a bit of both!

We have also received a grant of £3,000 from West Leeds Area management so hopefully we will be able to do some exciting projects in the future.

Judges comments


The entry is managed by a relatively new group of people who are picking up from work carried out by previous groups. With time and co-operation/liaison with the business sector and local authority, the project will develop to further enhance Pudsey.


Judges were particularly impressed by:
1. Pudsey Park with its Tropical House and Showhouse.
2. The spring barrier baskets supplied by the Local Authority.
3. The gardens at Robin Chase.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Development of small pocket parks, shrub planting etc. by the group.
4. Further involvement from youth organisations
4. Organisation of competitions, etc.


Judges were particularly impressed by:
1. School gardening club with the quad area and reception garden.
3. The planting and maintenance of the gardens on Robin Chase.
4. The excellent allotment site at Crimbles Place.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Quite a number of old ‘tired’ shrub beds could possibly be replanted.
3. Ensure general grass cutting is carried out prior to judging.
4. Possible development of future wild flower area.


Judges were particularly impressed by:
1. The recycling of old greenhouses on the allotment site.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Possible development of pond area at Spinners Chase.
2. Mulching of shrub bed.


Judges were particularly impressed by:
1. The cleanliness and lack of litter in and around Pudsey Park.

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Possible development of community litter picks etc.


1. The posters displayed by houses on Robin/Spinners Chase

Areas suggested for future development:
1. Further Press releases regarding the groups work.
2. Future commercial sponsorship of areas etc.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008


Today the Yorkshire In Bloom judges came to see Pudsey. We think it went okay; all the areas we showed them were looking good, there were Pudsey In Bloom posters up everywhere and it was even a nice sunny day.

Monday, 7 April 2008


Today and over the weekend we did some weeding and litter picking. We hadn't finished weeding the beds on Lowtown when we planted them so we did that today; there were only a few bits of grass so it did not take long.

Thursday, 3 April 2008


Members of the group delivered the posters made by the Lowtown Primary School pupils to shops and houses around Pudsey today. They are now up absolutely everywhere: Pudsey centre, all down Lowtown, Robin Chase, Spinners Chase and all the sites we will be showing the judges.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


We finished planting the seating area on Lowtown today; it is now full of perennials in shades or pink, purple, orange and yellow.

We planted rudbeckia 'Goldsturm', geum 'Lady Stratheden', penstemon 'Rondo', penstemon 'Husker Red', achillea 'Cerise Queen', knautia 'Melton Pastels', potentilla 'Miss Willmott' and kniphofia hybrids. These, along with the grasses and heucheras we planted earlier, should be colourful, low maintainance and attractive to both people and wildlife. We just have to wait for them to flower now.

There are already some daffodils, which are in full bloom at the moment. The bed on the left (below) has them all in a big clump so when they have finished flowering we will lift and separate these. We are also planning to add more bulbs in autumn.
Again lots of people stopped to talk to us. We gave all our plant pots and trays away to a local gardener too.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Today we bought the rest of the plants for the seating area on Lowtown so we should be able to plant them tomorrow. We bought 101 perennials to add to the grassses and heucheras.

Sunday, 30 March 2008


We planted loads more plants today! First the hemerocallis in the beds in front of the leisure centre.
We planted several different orange and yellow varieties such as 'Corky', 'Mauna Loa', 'Bitsy', 'Eenie Meenie' and 'Bonanza'
They are small at the moment but should get lots of flowers in summer. Both beds look great already even though it is still March.

Next we planted the beds around the car park. Previously they'd had more weedy wallflowers, although this one had had some primulas added too so at least there were some flowers.

We left in some of the bedding in the gaps until the plants grow. We planted a stipa gigantea, a libertia peregrinans, 3 libertia ixioides 'Gold Finger', some eryngium agavifolium and some pink hemerocallis.

This was the other bed before. More wallflowers but a giant phormium too.

In this one we planted 2 libertia peregrinans 'Gold Leaf' 3 eryngium agavifolium and 2 hemerocallis 'Corky'

All the new plants have interesting flowers or foliage and we have gone for strong colour combinations so these beds should look really striking. We have picked plants suited to the conditions so they should all grow well.

Friday, 28 March 2008


We started the seating area on Lowtown today. We don't have all the plants yet but we planted the grasses and heucheras. We used 6 stipa gigantea, 6 ampelodesmos mauritanica, 7 stipa arundinacea, 6 heuchera 'Green Spice' and 4 heuchera 'Frosted Violet'. Just 100 flowering perennials left to do now!

Next we started planting the beds in front of the leisure centre. Previously they had puny little wallflowers and weeds in them.

We have replaced them with shade-loving perennials and ferns that will be much happier here. They look better already!

This was the bed at the other side; it was possibly even worse!

We got nearly all the plants in today. We planted polystichum munitum, polypodium vulgare, geum 'Cooky', dianella 'Tas Red', heuchera 'Melting Fire' and heuchera 'Frosted Violet'.

Lots of people stopped to talk to us while we were planting and we got lots of positive comments. The heucheras were much admired and several people mentioned that they were glad to see perennials being used instead of the same old annuals everywhere.

The beds look pretty good already but we still have some hemerocallis to add.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

planting containers

Today we finished planting the containers in Pudsey centre. 2 plants had been stolen from a container by the park so we removed a prostrate rosemary from the container by the market (which had 3) to replace them. We had asked the council to remove the old shrubs from the planter by the bank but they had also removed the mahonia from the one by the market so we replaced that with an upright rosemary.

After rearranging all the plants the containers looked great again, especially now the daffodils are starting to flower.

This was the container by the bank before; the shrubs were very leggy -

We have replaced them with shade loving plants because the container is under a tree. We used a polystichum munitum, 2 polypodium vulgare, a carex 'Evergold' and a ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens.

We also started taking photographs of the town for the portfolio, however, we didn't get many because it started raining!
We have also found out our judging date, the 8th of April.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


Today we decided to do beds in front of leisure centre as well as the area on Lowtown. They currently have puny little wallflowers in so they desperately need replanting. We'll use perennials and ferns.

We have started to received money from businesses for summer hanging baskets.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Walk around Pudsey

Some members of the group met today to walk around Pudsey to see what is looking good and what needs improving.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


We have decided to buy 10 new barrier troughs and discussed what to plant them with and how to reduce watering. The children from Lowtown Primary School have done some posters to be put up in local businesses and these look very impressive. We have also received a donation from Pudsey Flower Club.