Garnett Wharfe daffodil planting

Back in the spring some Otley residents brought an idea to OiB to plant bulbs on the south side of the Wharfe. Hence our little advert was born to bring us all together around this simple plan in recognition of the past 18 months:

“As a memorial to those who died, suffered and still suffer from Covid, Otley in Bloom will be coordinating a “cloud-planting” of 2,000 daffodils this autumn. It will be on the river bank beneath the trees, between Buon Apps and Tittybottle Park. For many people this was a place of regular exercise and contact (if only briefly or with a smile) during the pandemic. We have selected a mix of varieties to provide an extended flowering season and we hope that over the years the cloud will naturalise and grow thicker.”

The journey to complete this project had a series of steps throughout the summer. We started off by asking David Wilson’s management if we could carry out a planting under the trees and explained why. We are very grateful that they agreed.

We sized the long narrow plot to estimate how many bulbs we would need. 2,000 was the answer so we ordered 2,000 mixed daffodil bulbs. In the late summer we announced our plans in the local papers and on Facebook.

We consulted with the residents’ committee of Garnett Wharfe and they supported the idea. Finally the bulbs turned up. Do you know how a big a pile 2,000 bulbs make? The ground next to the river under the trees was rock hard but getting softer as the autumn rains began. The group decided to break the planting into three sessions with one on a Sunday to allow weekday workers to take part.

On the whole the weather stayed nice. The ground was especially full of builder’s rubble and, in places, solid concrete, but over three digs spanning two weeks we got it done. Hopefully the spring will show how well it worked without the bulbs getting in the way of the paddleboarders, the picnickers and everyone else.

And finally a few months later the cloud planting.

The judges are coming!

On Tuesday 9th July in the afternoon, the Yorkshire in Bloom judges will be touring Otley to see how well we’re doing.  We usually do really well in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition, let’s hope Otley can make a good impression this year too. 

We will be having a Big Clean-Up on Sunday 7th July at 10am at the Buttercross.  This is a fun process and equipment will be provided but you might want to bring your own gloves and clothes that don’t mind a bit of dirt.  Please come along if you can spare the time and help out.

On Monday 8th July at 7pm we will have a final clear-up just to tidy up things missed or any new litter.

Please come along if you can spare the time and help out.

If you have a house or a business in the centre of Otley you can help us by making sure your patch is litter-free, and any floral displays you have are looking their best, and that any dead plants are removed – also it makes the town nicer for all of us!  

The weather has been making a real effort to help us and a lot of houses and businesses are looking pretty wonderful.  Thank you all for the work done so far.

There are some wonderful sights in Otley at the moment, just choosing two at random:

and:

Timayane Day at Prince Henry’s

Once again pupils and teachers from Prince Henry’s Grammar school have been working with us today on 3 projects : planting a wildflower bed in Courthouse St car park, renovating a sensory flowerbed at Union Court and adding climbers to their new trellising, and replanting a flowerbed in Charles St car park which we haven’t quite finished yet. Thank you again folks, you were fabulous.

You can read about last year’s Timayane Day here. And in 2017 pupils planted up up the lamppost planters, which will be displayed around Otley:

They braved some wet and windy weather to plant up the big new three-tiered planter which replaces the tubs on Kirkgate.

They planted up the square wooden planters in Orchardgate:

And they weeded and tidied up at Gasworks Corner, the Community Garden in Cambridge Street:

Many thanks for all your help, all of you, and hope you enjoyed your day.

Fire station recycled

To celebrate the latest Tour de Yorkshire we thought we should replace the willow bikes, that had survived for 5 years, with some re-cycled ones. Six of us tidied up …

we tried the three bikes in different positions …

the fire station gave us a cuppa …

we planted up the bike baskets …

and we managed to do all this and keep dry.