Why Join Us?

1.  Glance through 'What we do - Our Yearly Story’ ( below ).

2.  Get a measure of our activities in and for Redbourn.

3.  Join to show your support for what we do.

4.  Learn from our Newsletter and this website what’s happening next.

5. Turn up to help with planting, weeding or setting up an Event and chat to a Committee member.

6.  Offer to help on a sub-committee of your choice.

7.  Decide to put in some major effort.

8.  Offer to join the main committee - we can tell you more !

9.  Do things to enhance Redbourn and introduce new ideas.

10. Enjoy it !

Our ‘Membership Subscription’ is £5 p.a. per household and we can list two names per card. 


Good to Know

We are always delighted to have real evidence when we get it right !

Recent written quotes :-

Resident.

“The Village looks superb – thanks for all your efforts – it is appreciated.”

November 2016

Councillor.

“To show support for the wonderful job you do putting public flowers in the village.”

July 2016.

Business - Sponsors.

“You are such an important part of village life. We are amazed by the amount of work and dedication by everyone who is part of R i B who make this such a beautiful village to live in. A massive ‘thank you’ for all that you do. The village would not be the same without you.”

Redbourn Auto Solutions     January 2016

"I am extremely grateful for all the work the R i B volunteers do. Thank you - your efforts contribute to making our village a superb place to live, work, run, play and bring up children."

Carla Ryan Nails   March 2018 


WHAT WE DO  -  OUR YEARLY STORY.

SOCIAL

We have a QUIZ NIGHT in aid of R i B at The Cricketers on Sunday 25th November at 7 pm and a Stall at the Christmas Market  on Sunday 2nd December- details on the HOME PAGE of this website. 


Local Trips, Visits and Talks

Kate Harwood gave us an excellent and well attended talk entitled 'Saving the Serpent' about The Jellicoe Water Gardens of Hemel Hempstead on 13 March 2018 at St Mary's Transept and we had a productive R i B Stall at the Redbourn Easter Fair.

Last year we held an Evening Talk at and about Herts.Garden Centre and visited the beautiful Coton Manor in Northamptonshire.

Other visits are planned for later this year.    


2018 Annual Coach Tour


At the beginning of May a large group set off on a tour of Shropshire and the surrounding areas.  Setting off on the Monday, on route to our hotel near Kidderminster we stopped off in Warwick to visit Hill Close Gardens.  This 4 acre, volunteer managed, site contains several plots, originally created in the 19th century for sale or rent to local tradesmen who lived ‘above the shop’, so that they could ‘work’ and enjoy some private outdoor space.  

On Tuesday we set off for Attingham Park, a National Trust estate just outside Shrewsbury where we wandered round the colourful walled garden and beautiful, landscaped grounds and took in a very informative tour of the 18th century mansion.

Wednesday and off to Ironbridge Gorge to visit Blists Hill Victorian Town.Here we wandered around the cobbled streets and shopped in some of the reconstructed shops as well as seeing, amongst others, the ironmonger and the candle maker at work.We ended the day at the Ironbridge itself. Abraham Darby 111’s masterpiece is shrouded in scaffolding but we were able to view the painstaking renovation work that is being carried out in order to preserve it for many more generations.

Thursday we visited Witley Court where we viewed the ruins of what was once a magnificent country mansion surrounded by beautifully restored and maintained gardens, parkland, and a spectacular Perseus and Andromeda stone fountain. Thursday afternoon was “free” time with the option to visit Shrewsbury and wander round this ancient market town and visit the beautiful Dingle gardens which were created by the famous gardener, Percy Thrower, who was Shrewsbury’s Park Superintendent for many years.

Returning home on Friday we visited Hampton Court Castle.This estate has existed for over 600 years and we learnt about the varied history of the Castle and viewed the walled gardens and beautiful herbaceous boarders as well as venturing into the maze which contains a sunken garden and tower, from the top of which can be viewed a panorama of canals, pavilions and pleached trees!

And the weather was kind to us, too!

Sue & Mike






PLANTERS  and  PLANTINGS

Over the years we have created or purchased some 33 planters of widely varying sizes and materials for various locations around the village. The total planter top surface area is about 123 sq m. Most are for annual flower displays in the High Street and, in tubs, elsewhere but four are mainly for daffodils and wildflowers (the Drum) or shrubs and perennials (the Puddingstone, Nicholls Close and the long bed opposite the Fire Station).

Each May and October the existing annuals are seasonally changed and the planters replanted to schemes devised by Barbara Corbett and Mike Thain. Those volunteers working on taking out the end-of-season plants are welcome to keep the plants that will re-bloom the following year and we also distribute or sell the bulbs. In the two sessions of Spring and Autumn we normally plant, including the 14 hanging baskets, some 1,500 bulbs and 3,000 plants.

SPONSORS

Despite a strong membership subscription and creating very helpful surpluses on some of our major Events, we would not be able to function as we do without  generous  sponsorship help.  We are very grateful to Redbourn Parish Council for their flower support of around 35% of the cost and we balance the annual books with much appreciated sponsorship donations from Weymans, Redbourn Auto Solutions, The Hub & The Bike Loft, Redbourn Business Community, Changing ViewsRedbourn MOT Centre and Carla Ryan Nails.

GRAND  AUTUMN  SHOW  2018 on 15th September in the Village Hall

An Annual Horticultural Show has existed in Redbourn for a great many years and, after Redbourn in Bloom was formed in the year 1,999, we took over its running.

In preparation for the Saturday Show, all entries must be 'in' by 10.00 pm on the previous Wednesday and full details of all the various categories and entry details are to be found in the free Schedules, available from early July from Herts. Garden Centre and various Village Shops.

We encourage entries from far and wide, not just from Redbourn residents, and look forward to a bumper entry in flowers, floral art, vegetables, fruit, household cookery and craft classes, plus children’s classes.

Independent judges assess the exhibits and presentation of the trophies takes place from 4.30 pm on the Show day.

Richard is the Committee Member who has primary responsibility for organising  the show and Lindy from The Hub kindly presented the trophies this year. 

CRAFT FAIR

Barbara Corbett runs our late October Craft Fair.  She holds qualifications in Art & Design and Textiles and she also has exhibits in Museums. Her aim is always for displays of high quality merchandise at our Fair.  The Redbourn Village Hall is in the middle of the High Street, just the right size and has on-site parking for deliveries and collections. The Craft Fair is an important date in the R i B calendar. We organise the event, set up the display tables with chairs and supply teas, coffees and refreshments. This year the dates are Sat. 27th and Sun. 28th October and we are now taking compatible stall bookings.

ANGLIA IN BLOOM

Each year, Redbourn enters the regional campaign run by Anglia in Bloom, which covers Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Beds. and Herts. Last year we won Gold in the Small Town Category for the second successive year emulating the same success we had in 2012 and 2013.  A i B also named Redbourn as the Winner of their Biodiversity Award for the management of The Common signaled by a good quality inscribed wood 'Plaque'    

Two Anglia in Bloom judges will visit Redbourn in mid July.  We get a 2.5 hour time allowance to show them the ‘best bits’ of the village and members of the Redbourn in Bloom Committee take them on the tour. Last year we started and finished at the Leisure Centre and included St. Luke’s School, the Infant & Nursery School,  Woollams, St. Mary’s Church, the Museum, Greyhound Meadow, the Parish Centre planting, the War Memorial, New Forge Place and, of course, all our planters and hanging baskets in the High Street. The Parish Council arrange for the Common to look its best and, on the way round the village, we will meet representatives of groups who have also made special efforts with planting and environmental projects and some of our valiant volunteers. Our grateful thanks go to everyone who participates. 

OPEN GARDENS

Every two years we hold an Open Gardens Event and on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th June 2018 twenty six private gardens in Redbourn were open to visitors on either one or both of two days in company with three public gardens – St Mary’s Churchyard, the Museum and Cumberland Garden. 

Redbourn in Bloom is much indebted to Janet lang for her organisation and encouragement of all 'openers' for this event which, this year, attracted some 500 visitors whose interest and admiration was reward for all the hard work all ‘openers’ put in.  

As Monty Don says "There is no better way to be inspired about gardening than to visit other people's gardens" and there is a tremendous range of styles and sizes in Redbourn from one superb and many delightfully varied cottage gardens to larger ones with all season planting and substantial herbaceous borders. Many served refreshments and raised significant funds for individually chosen charirties.

Programmes  (with map, brief descriptions and post codes) at £5 per adult - accompanied children enter free- gave access to all the gardens and the embroidered banner and balloons helped visitors to find each entrance.   

Programmes were sold in advance from early May from many local High Street shops, the Library, and Herts.Garden Centre and, on both open days, from Weymans Nisa Post Office (High St), the Enchanted Garden Tea Room and the Museum.  

All proceeds from the programme sales go towards the annual cost of all the wonderful public displays in planters and hanging baskets you see throughout the village, which make Redbourn such a lovely place to visit.

This year there was the added attraction of an affordable Art Fair in the grounds of the Museum which also raised funds for its Portico Restoration Project.       


LOCAL  AWARDS COMPETITIONS

Each year in May / June R i B Committee members look at all front gardens and window boxes in the village, the shop fronts, other work place frontages and pubs front flower decoration, our Schools’ horticultural efforts, our allotments, our sheltered accommodation gardens and our public gardens.  We pick out a short list in each category by size - small, medium and large, including those designed as 'drought' gardens. That short list is inspected by external judges in June / early July and we held our Presentation Evening on Tuesday 24th July 2018 in the Centenary Suite at the Village Hall.  

This is all organised by Pauline Williamson whose efforts are very greatly appreciated.

This year saw the first presentation of the Vic Henry Cup for Horticultural, Gardening or Environmental Achievement to Maxine Kerry for her negotiation and then creation of the new shrub bed in Lynsey Close.

VOLUNTEERING

Mike Thain is our Volunteers Organiser and Co-ordinator. The calls go out from Diane, our Hon. Secretary, to all members on email, giving the date, time and place to meet.  This work can range from preparing the venue for an Event – usually food, tables and chair layouts and, when appropriate, positioning banners – to weeding, normally on the first Saturday of the month for about an hour and a half, to our twice yearly taking out, composting, digging over and then re-planting in May and October and, occasionally, to heavier work like building or repairing the planters themselves.

When we 'take out', the 'old' perennial plants are always available to be taken home for re-use by the volunteer and, naturally, the more people who help, the quicker the job is completed. For any non-member who notices what is going on and decides to give a hand or a member trying it for the first time, it is also a great initial way to meet like-minded people in a common cause.

Volunteering can also take the form of helping at Events such as making up a table at our Quiz Night (November 25th) or assisting at our Stall at the Christmas Market (December 2nd) - see the Home Page of this website for more details.