Blooming beautiful – Didsbury in Bloom 2017

Didsbury village always puts on a fine display for Didsbury in Bloom judging day. We have a small army of volunteers who plant up tubs and flowerbeds throughout the village all over the year, but as judging day for Didsbury in Bloom 2017 approached, more volunteers and residents rolled up their sleeves to make sure Didsbury showed off how blooming beautiful she is.

Blooming beautiful - Didsbury in Bloom 2017

On 4th July this year the judges arrived to inspect the village for Didsbury in Bloom 2017. I live on one of the roads which is judged so we’d spent some time making sure our front garden looked the best it could. Over the weekend everyone down our lane pulled out their green bins and set to work making sure everything was tidy, swept and neatly trimmed. It looked a treat.

This year Didsbury in Bloom celebrated our connection to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The RSPB was founded by Emily Williamson in her home in Didsbury in 1889. Today you can visit where the first meetings were held at what is now the Alpine Tea Room in Fletcher Moss Gardens.

Blooming beautiful - Didsbury in Bloom 2017

On Ford Lane the volunteers had spent a lot of time building and making a Bug Hotel. The Bug Hotel is a fine addition to the green on Ford Lane, creating a little wildlife haven for birds and bugs was a great idea. Some of the local children lent a hand to help build it and we hope it will become a permanent fixture on the lane.

Blooming beautiful - Didsbury in Bloom 2017

Ford Lane is fringed on one side by a strip of woodland and has tidy grass verges with planters which are planted with bulbs and bedding plants. In spring the lane comes alive with blousy blossom. It’s a real wildlife corridor and we have all kinds of birds visiting our gardens throughout the year. We also have a family of foxes, plus owls, bats and we’ve seen more butterflies about this year than I can remember.

Blooming beautiful - Didsbury in Bloom 2017

I really love this hanging ball of pine cones, made with two hanging baskets joined together. It’s huge but it looks great hanging from one of the ancient trees which are on the lane. Clever isn’t it?

After the judges had moved on to other parts of the village, some of the volunteers and helpers gathered for a much needed cup of tea and homemade cake. It was a good opportunity for neighbours to mingle and chat for a while. Even the cat found time in her busy schedule to join us.

Blooming beautiful - Didsbury in Bloom 2017

Didsbury in Bloom is a lovely community thing to be part of. We are very lucky to live somewhere where many of the residents have such pride in their area. We can’t always help out as much as we’d like, but we try to keep our front garden looking neat and tidy, and we help out on community days when the green bins, hedge trimmers and sweeping brushes come out.

The Didsbury in Bloom 2017 team won’t know the results of the judging for a little while yet, but we have high hopes of repeating the success of previous years.

Read more about Didsbury – Five fabulous things about Didsbury Village.

Big thanks to Ted’s Garden Shed who worked really hard to clear the scruffy wilderness of our front garden and create something rather lovely in its place.

Blogging bugbears: Would it kill you to be nice?

Three years ago I sat down with some vague ideas and set up a blog. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t innovative, but it was functional and it did the job. I had my own tiny corner of the Internet. About six months later, with more of a clue about what I was doing, I bought my own domain and went self hosted. My little corner of the world wide web suddenly felt a bit more permanent and felt a bit more like it was mine.

Like my house, I can do what I want with it, paint it purple, get orange scatter cushions, I can have breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast. My house, my rules. My blog, my rules.

There are some things I will do and some things I won’t do. Other bloggers I know would make the same choices as me, some would be altogether different. That’s fine. Their blog, their rules.

There are nearly 10k parent bloggers in the UK. The opportunities for these bloggers are finite and competition can be fierce. It’s not in my nature to be competitive, and sometimes friendly competition can turn a bit nasty. I feel like I’m seeing more and more snarky tweets and bitchy Facebook posts about “other bloggers” and the way they manage their own blog. This creates an atmosphere I feel really uncomfortable with. People going out of their way to be mean because maybe they feel bigger and cleverer for putting another individual, or a group of “lesser” individuals down. If this was in school there’s a name for people who do that.

I have a very simplistic world view. I tend to look at the world and wonder why we can’t all just get on. At our very heart we are all human beings with other human beings to love and care for. A mother is a mother in Southampton or Syria, Ipswich or Iraq, Amersham or America. I told you it was almost naively simplistic.

Why can’t we all just get on? Why do some people look at another blogger and go out of their way to do them down? They are just another individual trying to scratch out a living by blogging. By doing someone down you’re not slagging off a massive multinational business, but a mum or dad struggling to juggle kids, a home, maybe a job and blogging. And we all know that blogging can be full time and full on.

It’s not up to me or you to say that one way is the right way and everything else is wrong, wrong, wrong. I bought and paid for my little corner of the internet, it’s mine and if I want to paint my walls purple then I will. If I want to run giveaways, do reviews, sponsored posts, endless blog posts about my bad back, silly things my son said to me, or if I want to use my own personal blog to just be a nice person then I will. No one is forcing anyone to read, follow or interact with me or any other blogger. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Simple.

Vive la difference!

blogging bugbears