The year of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee of course meant our theme was red, white and blue. The decision was taken to only use petunias in the hanging baskets for maximum impact - they looked brilliant thanks to our intrepid waterers who worked extra shifts during the particularly hot spell we had during the summer.
We also created a new large bed outside of the Library in honour of the Jubilee which was planted as a Union Jack and looked quite spectacular when in full bloom.
We also hosted a number of fundraising events including a 'Race Night' which was kindly hosted by the local village pub, The Bluebell and later in the year we hosted our first 'Ceilidh'. Most attendees had never before participated in such an event but it was a fantastic evening full of fun and laughter, whilst raising some vital funds.
As the year began in lockdown again, we decided to launch our 'Spread the Love' campaign throughout February where we asked the village to decorate their homes and front gardens in a 'love' theme to spread some lockdown cheer. We had a great response and it was very heart warming to see so many households joining in.
We took the decision not to enter any In Bloom competitions again this year but we still planted up the beds and planters around the village and all of the hanging baskets which the Desford residents kindly hung and watered.
We also managed to get some fundraising events in the diary, starting with the 'Desford Garage Sale' which we organised in July, which raised some well needed funds and was a great day for all involved. We then held our annual Wreath Workshop in late November which was thoroughly enjoyed by all attendees and really kick started the festive season.
As we all know, 2020 wasn't the year anyone wanted or expected. We had already planned to not take part in the In Bloom competition, but had planned a 'Summer Sorbet' planting scheme with lots of lovely pastel flowers. When the first lockdown happened, for the safety of all of our volunteers and villagers, all Desford in Bloom work ceased for a number of months.
We held our Committee meetings via Zoom and as restrictions began to ease a little, we did manage to get hold of a small selection of plants to plant up the hanging baskets, large planters and beds around the village. Rather than the normal watering team of volunteers, each household was asked to collect and water their baskets themselves, to aid social distancing.
A huge thanks to the small group of volunteers who continued to help with maintenance tasks whenever the guidelines allowed. Whilst a very strange year for everyone, the community spirit of Desford shone through more than ever.
Our theme for this year was ‘Past & Present’ and the colour scheme of red, orange, yellow, silver, white & black chosen to represent the village’s mining heritage. Although the very wet weather caused us some issues in the early summer months, our volunteers worked incredibly hard over a few short weeks to get everything planted up and the beds and baskets looked beautiful and very much “in bloom”. It was also the year we planted our 'Desford' topiary bed in the centre of the village - ready to welcome visitors for years to come.
This year we were also incredibly honoured not only to take part in the RHS East Midlands in Bloom competition, but to be asked to participate in RHS Britain in Bloom. Beyond our wildest expectations, we achieved a Gold Award for East Midlands in Bloom for the third year running and a Silver Gilt in the national Britain in Bloom competition.
Desford has a long and fascinating history with flying; most notably, back in the 1930s, the now large Caterpillar site on the outskirts of the village was ‘RAF Desford’ and operated throughout the Second World War. Naturally when the RAF Centenary came around in 2018, we celebrated with a red, white and blue colour scheme around the village and in partnership with Caterpillar, erected a model of the ‘Desford Trainer’ – a twin-engined plane developed by manufacturers Reid & Sigrist at the RAF Desford Airfield, but never went into mass production - which will eventually become a topiary display.
We attained a Gold Award for the second year in a row from RHS East Midlands in Bloom which was a phenomenal achievement and a credit to all of our volunteers who work so tirelessly to make our village a brighter place to live.
2017 was an incredible year for Desford in Bloom. Our theme was based around the bright and vibrant colours of exotic birds in a nod to the one of the villages most famous local attractions ‘Tropical Birdland’.
Alongside several fantastic fundraising events such as the Welly Planting Workshop, Quiz Nights and our Wreath Making Workshop, it was also the launch of Desford’s 1st Scarecrow Festival which exceeded all expectations and saw over 10,000 visitors over the August Bank Holiday weekend and raised over £10,000 for a range of charities including Desford in Bloom, Hope Against Cancer, the renovation of the Church Centre and other local community groups.
It was also our second year of entering RHS East Midlands in Bloom and we were absolutely delighted to receive a Gold Award, alongside our local Primary School, who also received a Gold Award for their tremendous efforts.
Our first year as Desford in Bloom coincided with the Queens 90th Birthday so we themed our floral displays around that with a stunning colour scheme of pink, purple and white.
We had 192 hanging baskets up around the village and put on several community events to raise awareness of Desford in Bloom and its purpose.
After many months of hard work and dedication, we were thrilled to be awarded two awards from the RHS East Midlands in Bloom competition in our first year – a Silver Gilt Award and a Judges Special Award for our ‘Intrepid Watering Team’.