Village Flower tub planters
We have 15 flower tubs along the main road of Hoylake and Meols. One or two volunteers look after an individual tub during the year, planting them twice a year with Summer and Winter planting. The local Air Cadets of 472 Hoylake Squadron come along and fill the planters reservoir with volunteers topping up as needed.
Our Friends group covers a wide range of activities which in turn calls for the same wide range of volunteering skills. We have an average of 40 volunteers we can call on with a regular team of 15 to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.
When we have a task to complete, whether it be some basic gardening maintenance, park tidies, heavy work, tea rooms, litter picking, painting, putting gazebos up or cutting a new bed, we send out an email to all volunteers on our database and those with the necessary skills and time advise if they can help. We do not expect every volunteer to come forward every time as we all have other lives to lead.
village tree base planting
Planting around the trees presents many problems, not too bad in the grass verges but trees on the pavement have very little space around their bases. It is hard to keep them watered as the trees take most of it. They are also exposed to day to day pedestrian traffic but we do our best. For planting in the verges we generally use Osteospernum and other summer bedding that is available.
These (11) brick planters, right in the centre of Hoylake were always planted up by the local Council with a few Geraniums and then left to fend for themselves, never watered, therefore they usually died in a very short time. They became locally known as the ‘coffins’ for this reason and their shape.
Generally for summer planting we use Non-stop Begonia as it gives such a wonderful colourful display and just keeps going, really living up to its name. We add yellow Bidens and white Bacopa which bring interest and that bit extra to the planters. The brick planters, like the flower tubs are all under planted with Daffodils and Tulips to provide a lovely colourful start to the year.
hoylake atc watering village tubs
One of our biggest problems we have is watering the village flower tubs, these have large reservoirs which take a substantial amount of water, far too difficult to fill with a bucket or container. We are fortunate we have the local Air Cadets Squadron (472 Hoylake), who come along once a year with great lengths of hoses to fill the 15 flower tub reservoirs. Filling these is a slow process which normally takes a full day. We are grateful to local people who live near a flower tub to allow us to use their outside water taps. During the year our volunteers keep them topped up with water several times a week.
roundabout barrier baskets
The barrier baskets are planted up with bulbs and early bedding plants for a lovely Spring display. In June we change the planting to summer bedding plants to provide a fantastic summer display.
As the barrier baskets hold a limited amount of water in their reservoirs, they do need constant watering. Fortunately through donations we have been able to purchase large water carts on wheels which saves us using hose pipes and wasting water. We are really grateful to have the support of Montrose Court (roundabout corner apartments) who allow us to use their water supply.
Melrose Verges Flower beds
These beds were previously very tatty grass beds. A few years ago we decided to do something about it. The Royal Liverpool groundsmen kindly removed the grass sods and we added a large quantity of manure. We wanted these beds to be more permanent so started planting with a great many shrubs and perennials including 30 white ground cover roses. To the rear of the bed we have planted a large amount of Amerines which were all pink and flower late in the year just before the pink Christmas lights come on.
Quadrant Flower beds
Many years ago these wide verges had beautiful flower beds cared for by Hoylake Borough Council. We thought it would be great to see them re-introduced. The Royal Liverpool Golf Club kindly agreed to cut the beds then it was down to our volunteers to plant and maintain them. The Golf Club also give that bit of extra care to the grass verges around the beds which really does make a difference.
Hoylake roundabout was completely revamped in 2006 for the Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Since then it has not been touched, Mares Tail and other invasive weeds had taken over. The roundabout has always been a no go area for volunteers as far as the council was concerned raising H & S concerns. With entering North West in Bloom we simply had to get on the roundabout and start maintaining it. H & S issues are now sorted and work began clearing the growth back to the original grasses. We have planted Ammi, Ridofolia, Verbena Bonariensis and hardy Geraniums because we wanted to create less formal planting to blend in with the grasses that were already established. The sculpture represents a flock of Knots flying over the estuary.
the row flower beds
‘The Row’ Hoylake is a group of shops set back from the road with a wide walkway with four square beds with an umbrella of trees. These have always been difficult beds with very shallow soil areas, lack of light and little rain getting through due to the large tree canopy.
Like the Flower tubs, there are one or two volunteers looking after each bed. A couple of times a year we have a full team out to give them a good makeover.
The beds have are currently planted up with hebe, Erigeron and Karvinskianus, Japanese Anemone, bedding and hardy Geraniums,.