Butterfly in the Luddenden Valley

Home : Luddenden in Bloom

June 2006
Silver Medal - Britain in Bloom 2005

With summer finally hitting the Calder Valley and the temperature rising, our gardens should fast be approaching their best after all the hard work done throughout the previous months. There is only a few weeks left till the village is judged on the 20th July so later in this issue, and in view of all the publicity in the media about conserving water, we will be give you a few tips on how to beat the drought.

What's been happening around the village
First of all we have to report that someone has been stealing plants from around the village. This time it was the car park which was attacked but prior to that several plants went missing from the turning circle in the centre of the village. We can only say to those responsible that they are not just stealing from the in bloom team but the whole of the village whose support has help fund all the planting in the village. To everyone else please be extra vigilant and if you see anything suspicious report it to the police or our local community bobby give them a call on 0845 6060606.

The bus shelter has again been the subjected to a repaint by local graffiti artists. Thankfully again Calderdale have been contacted and their graffiti squad is now on the case. So for those people who do like to paint would they kindly use paper or they could find themselves doing community service as a result of being arrested. Of course that could entail painting the bus shelter again!

Twice a year for the judges a portfolio is produced on the history of the village and all the work that has been undertaken. For this summer's document village children have been asked to design the cover for the portfolio. Many thanks to them for doing this and in view of the dog poo posters made earlier in the year we can expect a brilliant design. These portfolios will be available to see in The Lord Nelson and St Mary's from the start of August along with a display in St Mary's.

The display has been funded by a grant from Calderdale Community Services Department, who have also agreed to support an information board illustrating wildlife types and habitats, this grant totalled 560. A rural development grant for 745 has also been awarded to help with newsletters, wildflower planting and website development. All these projects will commence shortly.

The local girl guides with help from the in bloom team have planted wild flowers around the churchyard and the bridal path. Many thanks for their help and continued involvement.

Dates for the diary
1st July from 2pm - BBQ at the Nellie. Some tickets are still available at 5 a head. Don't forget Matt and Deb are launching the new beer garden on the day.

20th July - Summer Judging Day for the village.

Start of August - The Ada Brookes Trophy for the best house frontage will be judged. We'll publish the date in the next newsletter.

Jobs to do this month
Now is the time to cut down the leaves of tulips, daffodils and spring flowering bulbs. Deadhead your camellias and rhododendrons and prune early summer flowering shrubs. Give any straggly alpines a haircut and continue to tie up and support your tall herbaceous plants. Once flag irises have flowered they can be dug up and divided.

If you are still looking for plants that attract bees and butterflies try out rudeckia, dahlias, lavender and lupin. Help stop the decline in the sparrow population by avoiding insecticides as last year chicks starved to death due to lack of food. Let nature's pest controls do their work. In the green house hang up some yellow sticky traps to control white fly.

Water grow bags every day and feed them once a week. Increase shading when conditions start to become very hot. Finally planting out squashes, marrows and other crops raised under glass in the vegetable plot.

Tips to save water and still have a beautiful garden
Use 'grey' water. This is all the water you use at the kitchen sink or in the bath. First of all make sure you use environmentally friendly products that are biodegradable. Kitchen water should be strained through something like a piece of old cotton sheeting first to remove any food debris. Once all the grey water is cold use it around the plants not over them and give them a good soaking. Avoid using this water on vegetable and fruit.

Collect rainwater. Install a water butt, but if that isn't possible put out old buckets and bowls when it rains to collect what ever you can.

Mulch. Place as much of your own well-rotted compost around your plants to prevent evaporation. Add water-retaining crystals to all of your tubs, pots and planter.

Car Washing. Use a bucket and sponge or go to a garage, which is known to recycle its car wash water.

Pest Control
At ground level garden centipedes, which are usually yellow or brown and have one pair of legs per body segment as opposed to two that millipedes have, are the gardener's natural pest controller. Centipedes hunt slugs, snails and other pests. Operating mainly at night they love to forage amongst moist leaf debris, stones and log piles where their prey is usually found.

Dark glossy coated ground beetles with long protruding antennae also feed on similar prey. Both of these creatures can be encouraged to live in your garden by providing them with hiding places such as upturned pots, log stacks and old tiles placed in quiet areas of the garden.

Over the last few months we have identified the creatures that are beneficial in the battle against plant eating pests. With a few small adjustments in your gardening style you can encourage them into your garden and sleep easy in the knowledge that your plot is being patrolled by an army of vigorous helpers.

Finally, remember the 20th July, Judging Day a little will go a long way, thank you for all your efforts, enjoy them.