More plants stolen from Temple Cloud's Village in Bloom display

By Chew Valley Gazette in Crime

Temple Cloud has suffered from another spate of thefts from its RHS ‘in Bloom’ displays, just days before judging.

Last month the Chew Valley & Wrington Vale Gazette reported how community-funded and volunteer created displays had been ruined after expensive plants were stolen. Not deterred volunteers rallied, residents donated plants, and members of the Temple Cloud in Bloom (TCIB) group replanted in a bid to win the RHS South West in Bloom competition. But then in July just before judging took place more plants were stolen.

Spokeswoman from the group, Jenny Cleeve, said: “The article in the Chew Valley Gazette highlighted the theft of various plants from the Long Barn, but sadly since then we have lost more plants.”

Mrs Cleeve said thieves took another Gaura plant which had been replaced after the original theft and then some filler type plants as well as new additions of Heuchera and Nemesia.

“It is really annoying. Because the plants are more settled it looks more obvious this time, and who ever is taking them is very tidy, no spilt earth,” said Mrs Cleeve. “We have reported them to the police, and have now put up signs to say they are provided by Temple Cloud in Bloom, with some also saying ’Smile you are on camera.’”

Despite this second wave of thefts the TCIB volunteers remained defiant and once again set about replanting their displays aiming to do their very best in ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ category of the RHS in Bloom competition. ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ is a unique scheme for volunteer-led community gardening projects who are focused on improving their local environment through community gardening.

The Temple Cloud group had chosen a theme of ‘Health and Wellbeing’ and had planted medicinal plants rosemary, thyme and lavender amongst roses and fuchsias.

“We had a very generous donation of plants from Hilary Sewell (a Temple Cloud resident), a mixture of fuchsias, geraniums and some bedding plants,” said Mrs Cleeve. “We have planted some to add some extra colour to the village green, and others are included in the new planting at Paulmont Rise.

Mrs Cleeve added: “We have made good progress with the Paulmont Rise project at our latest Community Gardening event with help from Ken Thomason, who marked out the border, dug the turf out the day before and then on Saturday more digging and finally the watering. We also had help from Pete, laying the slabs, installing the seat and transporting bags of top soil. We are very grateful to both.”

Last week the RHS in Bloom judges descended on the village to view the fruits of the team’s labours, which thankfully made it in tact without any further thefts to judging day.

RHS in Bloom judge, Denise James, was shown round the village and showed great interest in the displays as members of TCIB guided her around. She asked lots of questions as she admired the flower beds, planters, hanging baskets and other planted areas including those by the school, the village hall, the village green, Paulmont Rise, Long Barn and also along the A37.

She said she was very impressed with what they had done and also the fact it was a community effort.

Members now wait for the results of the competition to be announced by the RHS later this year.

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