This may look as if someone has just wedged a rake into this tree and gone off for their cup of tea…..
The truth is a little stranger. This rake was undoubtedly propped here many years ago by a member of staff but for whatever reason it was never retrieved. It is in a not often visited area of the Cemetery and over many seasons the tree grew, absorbing the rake within its growth! The wooden stale has long ago rotted away. Recently Birmingham Trees for Life published a similar item but instead of a rake it was……a bike. Check it out on their site.
The photographs below, taken today, show how welcoming flowers can be to an area. The first shows the entrance to the now unused Lodge on the main drive. The second is a small area of the Civilian Garden of Remembrance.
We need to get in and do a bit of weeding….but generally it looks lovely and we must thank the BCC grounds maintenance team for the excellent job they have done in reducing the hedge height and keeping it in check for us.
Despite being cut back hard a few months ago, the hedge surrounding the small Commonwealth War Grave area had developed a some what wild look.
We have given it a very quick top cut to make it look tidy in readiness for our Heritage Open Event next Saturday the 8th, but it will have to wait till much later in the year for another good cut back . Its great to see this young hedge thriving!
Today I popped into the cemetery as ‘Idverde’, the contractors that mow , kindly agreed to take some ‘width’ off our Civilian Garden hedges. Nesting now over, so hard cut back undertaken with heavy duty equipment. The hedge was thriving so well and putting on so much growth that it was beginning to impede the grass cutting to the rear of the adjacent graves. All good now. Thank you to the Idverde staff.
The new round feature beds are now well established and it is such a peaceful place to pass a few minutes. Today was busy in Brandwood End as there was a funeral and a large number of cars.
Those of you that follow the activities of FBEC will know that a few years ago we enlisted the help of local pupils to create yet another hedged area to surround a small section of War Graves that we felt needed to be defined. The majority of our 300+ War Graves are scattered throughout the cemetery.
The original project took place in early 2014 so barely 3 years later and the hedge is now well established.
Whilst we were in the cemetery with our shears we also removed stragglers from this hedge.
Both these hedges were planted in define areas but also to increase habitat for birds, insects and especially Hedgehogs within Brandwood End.
Three years on…… a well established hedge.
Despite agreeing that no serious hedge cutting would take place to our hedge surrounding the Civilian Garden of Remembrance (for ecological reasons), we had to give in- and do a slight top trim today as some of the uppermost shoots were stretching nearly a meter above the hedge itself!!
Before, with the stragglers standing proud!
Back under control below. We have made sure that the main body of the hedge remained undisturbed.
Julia, assisted by our youngest gardener…and an after view, looking much tidier.
Can we also report that our redesigned and replanted beds are now coming into their own and reflect a riot of colour and texture, whilst needing minimal attention. Mission accomplished !
Hedge uncut in this one ….. Beautiful texture filled beds
Some time ago we had a number of postcard views provided to us by Mary Harding. Can we highlight them again via this link.
It is interesting to see the magnificent flower beds along the main drive in the photograph, but it should be noted that there were 30+ gardeners at the time!
Just a reminder that our next family Hedgehog event will be happening in the cemetery next Tuesday 25th October 2-4pm. Meet by the Lodge. URGENT NOTE
Can we also make an appeal for donations of unopened cans of cat and dog food for the local Hedgehog Rescue Centre as they are running short of food!! Please bring them to the event.
Those of you that follow our blog will know that back in June the Friends engaged ‘Darren Rudge Landscape Designs’ and some of his students to refresh and partly redesign the Civilian Garden of Remembrance flower beds. The beds had become overgrown and following a donation we were in a position to carry out work to reduce future day to day maintenance by our small team of volunteer gardeners. You will see from the photographs below that the results are magnificent, but we would like to invite you to join us at an official unveiling on Saturday September 24th at 10am, followed by tea and cake.
When we all got up to heavy rain this morning we wondered if the visit of the RHS Heart of England in Bloom judges to Brandwood End might be a wash out, but by lunch time the sun was shining and Brandwood End was looking at its best.
Volunteers work within Brandwood End all year round doing all sorts of activities. Their work ranges from litter picks, gardening, historical research, environmental projects, to carrying out surveys, attending meetings and making grant applications. You probably don’t see us, but we hope you see the effect we have in the cemetery.
The Friends of Brandwood End work with Bereavement Services staff and horticultural contractors to try and improve the ‘visitor’ experience in the cemetery. You may be visiting the grave of a loved one, or walking through as a short cut, carrying out grave research or just enjoying the peace and quiet. Whatever your reason, we hope it creates a pleasant interlude in your day.
Today we found a local family enjoying their snacks in the Civilian Garden of Remembrance. We are so glad to see people relaxing in this beautiful, peaceful area.