Summer 2021

The second summer under covid has been interesting. We have had more time to plan and more time to find safe ways of working together while maintaining the various planters and beds around town.

Our most regular area of work continues to be the barrier planters, firstly our thanks must go to Otley Bid who have paid for much of the watering on these planters this year, to Leeds House which picked up watering the two large planters in the Market Square, the Milk Bar Cafe and Deli who look after the pyramid planter in Manor Square and Nam Jam Thai who fill the planter next to their restaurant with herbs and of course all the other shops who pick up their local planter too many to name.

Sustaining the barrier planters is a new project for us since Leeds council gave up this work, we have moved the planting to be more drought toleratant and to be perennial, using our allotment to overseason plants before we can bring the same plant back for a second or more years.

In terms of the large Weston Lane bed we have tried to keep that tidy but the plantings are so successful and the space so full of bees that it is hard to know exactly what to cut back and what to leave growing during our various visits. What start as flowers in the summer become seed pods to feed birds in the late autumn. A real joy of a bed. Though this Broom is having a trim back in the autumn.

The Nectar Beds in WharfeMeadows are much the same and seem to need a lot of work but the buzz of health pervades the area from March into November so it is going well.

The Bremnar Street garden is very healthy and now seems to need three cut backs a year, one before bird nesting season, an early August trim and then a final September cut back. It would be great if Otley Council could get the badly placed sign post moved so that wheelchaired pedestrians had easier passage on the pavement.

The recycling centre Ellar Ghyll bed is pretty much self sufficient with only a certain amount of weeding and litter needing clearing on a regular basis. The rose hips and the connection up to the Ghyll beck make a nice extention to the nature path here. However, some of the small trees planted here are getting a bit big.

The various other “gates” to Otley continue to be planted up with a seasonal sequence of flowers.

Nectar Bed plants for pollinators

Since we planted the Nectar Bed in Wharfemeadows Park, we have lost some of the plants and added new ones. It will continue to change and evolve as we see what does well and what doesn’t, so it’s impossible to give a list of what’s there right now. But if you want to know which garden plants are perfect for pollinators, attractive to bees, butterflies and hoverflies, see the RHS’s list.

Otley in Bloom wins Gold again

Otley in Bloom are delighted to announce that we got a Gold Award for the second year running in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition 2015. 

David Bellerby receiving the Gold and Category Winnner Award for Otley in Bloom

It has been a real team effort.  The judges said they were really impressed by how many individuals and businesses were taking part, and even taking ownership of small pockets of space.  Apparently this is unusual in a town the size of Otley, as normally the bigger the town the more people expect it to be “someone else’s job”.  Thank you to everyone who helped us achieve this, and particular thanks to Neil Wilson and his Parks Team.

We were also the winner this year of the town category being awarded gold. Judges said: “Otley looked fabulous a testament to all your hard work, well done everyone.”  Colourful hanging baskets around the Maypole, the “well cared” for White Bridge allotments, Otley in Bloom’s nectar bed and Wharfemeadows Park, were all singled out for praise, as were the many Otley businesses who put out hanging baskets and pots to brighten up shop fronts.