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Bromley Bloomers launch ‘The Friendship Garden

On Saturday 17th June, as part of Big Green Week, the Bromley Bloomers ran a ‘Big Planting Day’ from 11am-3pm at the community garden on Hillary Avenue, Bromley Farm.

More than 50 people joined the effort to fill new planters and beds in the garden and to help clear the area of rocks and litter. The Congleton Plant Swap team came along to join the event and swap plants with local gardeners, as well as donate some for the garden.

The space was given to the Bromley Bloomers by Plus Dane Housing, as a resource to develop into a community garden, with local people planting and benefitting from what grows there.

The garden was opened by Town Mayor Cllr Robert Moreton, who said “This is a wonderful project for the community of Bromley Farm. It is especially pleasing to see so many children here. They are the future, and developing an interest in gardening and a love of nature at their age is a gift. Congratulations to the Bromley Bloomers and all the team.”

On the day the main items planted were herbs, flowers and small vegetables, which had been donated by local residents, Congleton Town Council and the Plant Swap. In future the team plans to add vegetables, wild flowers, hedging and fruit trees, working with the communitythroughout.

Councillor Susan Mead, leader of the Bromley Bloomers, has drawn up a plan for the area with advice from local expert Mary Moxon. Cllr Mead said:

“It was fabulous to see so many people of all ages coming to plant up our new garden. Lots of people have grown seedlings at home for weeks ready to plant at this event. We had a great day and the planters look smashing. We prepared some of the ground-level beds and will be doing more work on them throughout the year, especially the big planting season in Autumn.Special thanks to all the groups, businesses and organisations who have helped us with this project so far. It really has been a team effort.”

The Bloomers group has had help and support from Plus Dane, Bell Group, Congleton Partnership, Congleton Town Council, Glebe Farm, Trees for Congleton and the Rotary in making and executing the plans. Funding for ground works, tools and plants has been kindly provided by Plus Dane, Bell Group, Kanga Health and the Partnership (via a community support fund).

As well as planting it, residents were given the opportunity to name the new garden. In a close contest the name ‘The Friendship Garden’ was eventually chosen.

Adele Stretch of the Bell Group said:

“We were delighted to help with this garden by providing the planters and painting them in cheerful rainbow colours for Pride month. We also helped promote the project to local residents and came along on the day to help with the planting. It was really good to see the level of support from local people. Many thanks to Susan and all the team.”

Cllr Kay Wesley, Chair of the Community Committee of Congleton Town Council, has helped set up the Bromley Farm Hub Group and Bromley Bloomers. She said:

“Congratulations to Susan and all the people and groups who have helped bring this gardentogether. We have a project here that can promote wellbeing and community spirit whilst driving biodiversity and, at the same time, grow free food for people in the local area.

“This is just one of the projects of the recently-formed Bromley Farm Hub group which is working to enhance the local area and support all the residents of Bromley Farm. Led by local residents, in addition to the Bloomers the Hub offers a Residents’ Forum, a Stay-and-Play Group, a Friendship Group to challenge isolation, and a Peer Support Group. Plus Dane is working closely with the Hub group to support these activities and improve the exterior environment of Bromley Farm. This garden is a key part of that.”

Usman Ashiq, strategic partnerships manager at Plus Dane, said: “This is a great project that is something really positive for the community, and we are pleased to be working with so many of our partners and customers to help make it happen.”

For more information on the Bromley Bloomers or other Hub activities, residents can contact or call 07873 653408

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