Arlington Bluebell Walk 2022
It has been marvellous to again run a ‘normal’ Bluebell Walk and welcome so many regular visitors back, to enjoy the hospitality offered by the 22 local charities and the chance to again walk along the Farm Trails, kindly offered by our farming neighbour the Appleton Family.
I am so grateful to those individuals who helped me in both the preparation and the running, practically and behind the scenes, to ensure our precious Bluebell Walk is fully back after two years. This year, the insulation of the Bluebell Barn and new layout was appreciated by many visitors and all the charities. The new idea of displaying the winners of the Photographic Competition outside gave much interest, so as I understand it the entries for this year have substantially increased, thus the judges will have to give up more of their time! These images were taken by Pete Goldsmith one evening shortly before the end of the Bluebell Walk season, so carefully catching the sunset as is the skill of a professional photographer.
The weather this year was kind, in that we had no rain until the last week, so no mud to contend with in either the Car Park Field or along the various walks, so the load of gravel especially brought in was not used. It can wait until next year! The bluebells looked spectacular as they were not being beaten down by heavy rain and wind. Also the white wood anemones just lasted and lasted.
I was disappointed that our visitor numbers were significantly down on previous years, which was highlighted by the fact that our mobility scooters were requested only 300+ times compared to 2019 when they helped over 500 visitors to enjoy Beatons Wood. I think this confirms that vulnerable persons feel they should still isolate, as Covid is out there lurking. Fortunately for me I was only affected during the preparations prior to opening, so being fully vaccinated I needed to only takes three days off.
Looking back to 1972, little did Carolyn and I foresee that by inviting the public to view the bluebells in Beatons Wood one weekend, we would see this develop into what is now known as the Arlington Bluebell Walk, raising such a large amount of money for local charities, whilst giving great pleasure to our many visitors. To also now see Bates Green Garden, a tranquil area created by Carolyn, being enjoyed by both plantspeople and others, brings me great joy. We are now taking a step forward with the Garden by contacting those charities who expressed an interest in being involved in some way. We are offering them one or two of the open Wednesdays between now and the end of October when, in addition to receiving a payment to supply refreshments to garden visitors, they can make use of the Bluebell Barn to do their own fund raising. We want to call it ‘Arlington Bluebell Barn Charity Days’, so they may decide to hold say a coffee morning or similar event for their supporters and raise their profile.
If you know of a charity who might like to benefit from this, please do pass this newsletter to them and ask them to get in touch so that we can supply further details.
The Bluebell Walk may be over this year, but there are still remaining items on my priority ‘To Do List’! A major task is to search and remove Galium aparine with its variety of common names such as cleavers, catchweed, goosegrass, sticky willy and others. It is an annual plant appearing in the Millennium Avenue and parts of Beatons Wood, so it is an urgent job before their seeds are dispersed, so lessening the work next year!
Next year marks a significant anniversary, being 50 years that the Arlington Bluebell Walk has been open, so preparations on how to mark this occasion are being discussed. Two major investments envisaged are to enlarge the kitchen area, which will give the charity volunteers more room in which to work, and modernize the tills, making them quicker and easier to use.
Bates Green Garden
|The gardeners are busy planting out all the half hardy annuals that will provide colour throughout the summer months. We are also replanting the containers; it is always great fun experimenting with new colour schemes and plants.|
|Plants to admire this month include the wonderfully fragrant sweet peas, these are grown on our home-grown azel supports. Pictured is the cultivar ‘Painted Lady’ which is the very first variety named in 1752.|
One of the joys of gardening is the planning ahead in anticipation for the next season. We will continually pick and display our sweet peas but, once they have finished flowering the supports will be used again for the next display of the tender climber Ipomoea lobata, the Spanish Flag. As you can see, they are tiny now, but they grow swiftly at this time of the year.
Something gardeners rarely do is sit and admire their work. Here at Bates Green Garden we have strategically placed seats ideal for relaxing and we like nothing more than to see visitors enjoying and appreciating this tranquil place.
photo by John Glover
Emma Reece - Head Gardener
You can book a visit to Bates Green Garden at www.batesgreengarden.co.uk
Bluebell Walk website -
Bates Green Garden website -
This message was added on Monday 6th June 2022
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