Wednesday, 4 August 2021

First Saturday volunteering

This coming Saturday 7th August is when we generally meet to work in the Rose Garden.  You can join us in volunteering at 10am when we gather to see which jobs we can concentrate on.  At this time of year, we are mainly trying to keep all those flowers coming for as long as possible.  This means deadheading, both of roses and herbaceous perennials.

If you prefer, you could go litter picking, or weeding of shrub and rose beds.  We are a very friendly group, always pleased to welcome new volunteers. if you are unsure how to deadhead roses, there are plenty of us ready to give advice. 

After such a long time isolated because of Covid and the pandemic, this is the first time we have really been able to advertise our activities.  Gardening has been proven to have both physical and mental health benefits, especially when you can work as part of a volunteer group. Do as much or as little as you feel able. Every little bit counts!

We will be serving refreshments to anybody who comes to help.  If you missed our plant sale, we still have some plants which you will have an opportunity to purchase. They are a real bargain and all proceeds go towards increasing the range of plants we grow and replacing roses.

The first Saturday in each month is our regular gathering, weather permitting.  Even if it rains, you can still meet for a hot drink and a chat.  We look forward to getting to know new volunteers from our local community.  

How to correctly deadhead a rose bush.


Tuesday, 25 May 2021

A Day in the life of the Arno

 This year, due to Covid restrictions,  we took part in the Virtual secret Gardens of Oxton event.  We created a short video showing how the Rose garden is well loved and well used within the community of the local area. Hope you enjoy watching.  

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

National Day of Reflection

 This Tuesday 23rd of March marks the anniversary of the first national lockdown.  The Royal Horticultural Society is partnering with Marie Curie to show support for this day of reflection.

We are still in a national lockdown and today marks the anniversary since the first lockdown.  It is a national day to reflect on all those who have died during the Covid 19 pandemic . As a nation, we have suffered a huge collective loss. Every death has been devastating for their relatives and friends left behind.  Many have been unable to say a proper final goodbye to their loved ones, or even to comfort each other with a hug.

Today, we are showing our support for all those bereaved during the pandemic.

The arrival of Spring always fills us with optimism for a brighter future, and no flower epitomises Spring more than the humble daffodil.  We all have room for some daffodils, even in a container or windowbox.

Take a walk down Duckpond Lane and see all the lovely daffodils planted near the trees, enjoy all the Spring flowers in the Rose Garden and stop for a sit on a bench.  Spare a moment or two to reflect on the last year and all those who have lost their lives during the pandemic.  Soon lockdown rules will end, and we will be able to meet our friends and families and look forward to making plans for the future, which can only be brighter.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Concerning news 2021


It has recently come to light that Wirral Borough Council is proposing to cease any maintenance of the Oxton Fields as part of its measures to reduce costs.  The Oxton Fields is only one of forty five suggested sites across the borough.

Suggestions for the fields have included re-wilding and further tree planting, as well as allotments.  This green space is crucial for both the physical and mental wellbeing of our local residents in Oxton and Prenton. This has been clearly evident during the Covid pandemic, as it is used daily by all age groups for their exercise during lockdowns.

As Friends of the Arno and Oxton Fields, we already have lines of communication with the Council department for parks and gardens.  We realise that some chages may be needed but assure you that we are here to protect our green space and will work towards a plan which will safeguard this area for our recreational use.

Councillors Stuart Kelly and Alan Brame are also ardent supporters and will be campaiging on our behalf within the Council.

You can support us by becoming a member and also volunteering with activities we organise. Becoming a paid member costs as little as 10p per week! £5 per year for a single member of £7.50 for a household per year.  Your membership fees and donations have already helped to fund so many projects. To join up, click on the tab for joining and follow the instructions.


Wednesday, 25 November 2020

RHS Northwest in Bloom 2020

Our 2020 certificates.        


Due to the Covid Pandemic, our usual entry into the Northwest in Bloom scheme which is run by the Royal Horticultural Society, has been impossible.  However, many of our volunteers have continued to work in the Rose Garden, keeping it a beautiful sanctuary, where many people have gone to exercise and escape during this difficult time.

Our volunteers have planted 700 bulbs at the top of the garden , leading into the Quarry. The Friends group has received generous donations from visitors, one of which funded all those bulbs, which should be a wonderful sight next Spring to lift our spirits. 

In light of the currant situation, and in recognition of the contribution our Friends have made to the community, we have been awarded three certificates from the RHS Britain in Bloom.

The three certificates are as follows:-

For inspiring others

For recognition 

For sharing your kow how

With new hope in sight as new vaccines are close to being  brought out, we all look forward to being able to return to normality in 2021. 


Sunday, 6 September 2020

Plaque in Memory of Bill Blackledge MBE

The Oxton Society has won many gold awards from North West in Bloom since they have been  decorating the village with beautiful hanging baskets.

Award winning hanging baskets in Oxton village.

Over the last two years we have entered the Arno quarry and Rose Garden into the North West in Bloom scheme. In our first year we reached a level 4 which meant we were a thriving community working to provide a beautiful green space for everyone to enjoy. Last year 2019, our second year of entering the competition, we worked even harder and achieved a level 5 of outstanding, the highest level for our category.  I posted about it on this blog and showed the certificate we were awarded.

Earlier this year, Bill Blackledge MBE, chairman of the RHS North West in Bloom, sadly passed away.  John Booth, our committee member who built the bee hotels, together with so many other projects, decided that we should put up a plaque in memory of Bill somewhere in the Rose Garden.  Due to Covid-19 and lockdown we were restricted in what we could do.  However, last Saturday 5th September 2020 we gathered, not too closely of course, to unveil the plaque beneath one of our bee hotels.  

Members of the Oxton Society joined us for this ceremony, as he was also well known through the Oxton village North West in Bloom achievements. If you click on the link below, you can learn more about this remarkable man.

Gathering for the unveiling.

John Booth gives his short speech about Bill.

The plaque in Bill's memory.

About Bill Blackledge MBE