Berry in Bloom


This summer there have been so many visitors in our village and, having spoken to a few, they have said how much they enjoy all the flowers.The hanging baskets made by Sally, Dan and Oli have been great and the new and extended watering systems have kept everything in tiptop condition.

At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the results of the competition but I am hopeful we shall be awarded GOLD again.

Our next task will be to take out all the summer bedding and get in the spring bulbs. So, the annual cycle of spring and autumn goes round again.

Jean has been very busy again this year taking cuttings and raising seed, and once again has very kindly donated half of the takings to Berry in Bloom, an amazing £1910.00. Well done,

Jean, we are so grateful.

We must not forget Gill, in the Sterridge Valley, who has also been growing plants for us.Gill grew all the plants for the tubs and planters at cost price and has also been selling cuttings and young plants at the gate for Berry in Bloom.Thank you, too, Gill for your donation of £250.00.

Once again we are extremely grateful to both of you, and to Arthur and Andy for helping their wives with their efforts.Also thank you to all the villagers for buying the plants.

We are hoping to start our own fund-raising now that most of the covid restrictions have eased, and Phil has agreed to be Quiz Master once again for a Fun Quiz and Supper on Saturday,

16th October in the Manor Hall.Tickets are on sale in the Village Shop.Supper will be good old cottage pie with a vegetarian option and a cupcake to follow. Teams of roughly up to 8.Doors open at 6.45 for a 7.15 p.m. start. Hope to see you there.



The whole Berry in Bloom team are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Alan Eales. Alan was our No.1 man to go to for help with everything we do around the village. With his smiling face and cheerful manner, he was always willing to help and could provide all manner of equipment from hedge cutter to tractor and trailer. Alan you will be sorely missed and Barbara our hearts go out to you.

Alan's death came as we were preparing for the judging on 6th July and we had to pick ourselves up and get on with the job, and I am very grateful to those in our group who stepped into the breach in so many ways.

This year, because of covid, we only had 1 judge, Tim Eley. We started in the car park and shop then visited Jean to see the wonderful job she is doing in growing plants for sale at the gate and in raising almost £2.000 for the Hospice and Berry in Bloom. Then on to see the planter and sign at the top of Barton Lane and down to the harbour and castle. This gives the judge an overview of the village. We travelled up the Sterridge Valley to visit this year's 'growers'; firstly, Gill and Andy who grew the plants for the tubs. and then Dan, Oli and Sally who grew and planted all the hanging baskets which the judge was very complimentary about.

Then back to the car park where the judging continued on foot through the centre of the village, taking in Claude's Garden and as far as the small dog walking field to see the wild flowers planted last year in lockdown. Finally, we met some of the children and teachers at the Pre-school where the Berry in Bloom team have been turning a stinging nettle infested corner into a child-friendly wildlife and growing area.

Tim then joined some of the team in the Manor Hall for refreshments and a chat.

We don't get the results until October but I am quietly confident and hope it is a GOLD for Alan's sake.



Following about six weeks of extremely dry and cold weather, sadly, the spring bedding was a bit disappointing and soon over. Also. the summer bedding being brought on by Andy and Gill in their poly tunnel, by Alan in his greenhouse, and the hanging basket plants being grown by Dan and Oli and team, have also been held back by the extremely cold nights.

No doubt the weather now warming up a bit will mean we can have our usual bright summer displays but we shall probably have to wait a week or so longer than usual for the plants to catch up. It's very exciting this year as we are having everything grown by people who live in Berrynarbor, all very local and I'm sure the judges will approve.

This year the date for judging the South/West in Bloom Competition is Tuesday 6th July. We have just two hours to show the judges the work we have been doing around the village and for them to meet the good people who have been doing it. Once again, we are going for GOLD.

You might see our team busy around the village and if you want to join us or know more about us, please contact me on 07436811657.

Angela Bartlett



'Spring has Sprung'

At the time of writing, it is the most glorious sunny spring day and there is hope on the horizon as we slowly come out of lockdown 3. Never have we needed the sight of a golden daffodil more!

We have been informed that there will be a Britain in Bloom competition this year and we have started preparing ourselves to go for GOLD once again. We think Berrynarbor is the best little village in the South West, let's hope the R.H.S. Judges do too.

For the last 10 years or so our hanging basket displays have been done by Streamways nursery in Georgeham, when they sold the nursery they still did ours privately. Their baskets have been wonderful and we are sad to lose them, but wish them a very happy retirement.

However, we are extremely lucky that Dan and Oli have moved in to the Sterridge Valley and with their family have set up a poly-tunnel and have agreed to plant up the baskets for us.

Welcome to Berrynarbor to the whole family and good luck with your new venture. We love the idea of keeping things local and all helping each other. They have informed me that they are happy to re-fill baskets for anyone else in the village.

Hopefully we shall gradually be able to get back to normal and we hope the sight of a few cheerful flowers around the village should help.




Spring came early this year and what a glorious spring and early summer it was and a great help to us all as we went into lockdown. How glad we were to be living in beautiful Berrynarbor.

In our small way Berry in Bloom tried to help by planting up the tubs and putting up the hanging baskets as usual. A splash of colour as villagers took their daily exercise. A little bit of normality.

This year we have not been able to hold our usual fund-raising summer events and we are not certain we shall be able to have our annual Quiz and Supper Night in February next year and we need

around £2,000 a year to maintain the displays. We could have been in trouble for next year BUT Jean Lashford has single handedly donated £930.00 to Berry in Bloom. This money was raised by Jean from the sale of plants at her gate halfway up Barton lane. All these plants she grew from cuttings, seeds and some plants re-cycled from the Berry in Bloom tubs. and we should like to give her a huge thank you. She also gave the same sum to the hospice, they were thrilled too . Well done Jean! I know many of us enjoyed a wander up the lane to see what goodies we could buy when we were not allowed to visit garden centres.

We are also indebted to Pat and Maureen from Fuchsia Cottage who donated £227. 00 towards the planting of the wild flowers in the dog walking field. We are pleased that after a late start the flowers are blooming nicely, the bees are buzzing and hopefully the flowers will set seed for next year. Thank you, villagers, and finally thank you to the Parish Council for their continued support. Wendy

The dog walking area:





Thank goodness for beautiful Berrynarbor we are so lucky to live in this lovely village and never more so than in these difficult times.

This year because of the corona virus, all competitions were cancelled. However, this has not stopped the group from planting up the tubs, and hanging out the hanging baskets around the village. We had already put in our orders for plants and we do it for the love of our village not just to win the competition.

We did have problems though as Grow@Jigsaw who supply our plants were unable at the last moment to fulfil our order because of social distancing - they work with many who are in the at risk group. We had to put in a last-minute order to St John's garden centre and although the plants were of a good quality, cost us more.

We managed all the planting out while socially distancing and even managed a cuppa and slice of cake 2 metres apart in the village square.

Wild flower planting in the small dog walking field has been completed. The seed and plug plants arrived in lockdown and at the beginning of 8 weeks of dry, sunny weather. The plug plants were tiny so we potted them up [300 plugs] and waited. We have only planted approximately a quarter of the small field, an area to the left and right of the lower half of the field on either side of the new path. The seed has also been sown which comprises annual and perennial wild flowers. We waited until the dry spell of weather ended or the seed would otherwise have been expensive bird food!

To fund this project we had a donation of £227.00 from a couple of generous villagers and that was matched by a grant from the North Devon District Council. We now await the results in hopeful anticipation of a glorious display of wild flowers. We do not intend to do anything in the large dog walking field as the grass there needs to be kept shorter.

Unfortunately, we are not able to hold any fund-raising events this summer but hope we will be able to nearer Christmas or in the new year when hopefully life becomes a bit more normal.



What a difference two months can bring! All the plans Berry in Bloom had made for this coming year have changed because of the corona virus and lockdown.

The main change is that all competitions this year have been cancelled. There will be no open gardens this year and therefore no summer fund raising. However, the plants for the tubs and containers around the village were ordered from Grow@Jigsaw in January and up until the beginning of May the team at Jigsaw were certain that they would be able to deliver the plants. Sadly, they then realised the delivery would be impossible because of social distancing. Berry in Bloom are sad for them as they had invested lots of money and effort and will end up seriously out of pocket. However, we have managed to get a last minute replacement order delivered from St. John's Barnstaple and have been able to empty and plant the tubs, either by single persons or in lockdown couples. The hanging basket are due for delivery at the end of May. We hope that all of you in our lovely village will feel heartened and have your spirits lifted in a small way.

Let us all hope that by the Autumn we shall be able to socialise again, something we are all sorely missing.

The planting of the wild flowers in the small dog walking field has been put on hold as when the plug plants arrived, we were in the middle of five weeks with no rain and the plugs were tiny. We have potted them up and are growing them on until they are big enough to withstand the weather. Likewise, the sowing of the seed that would have not germinated in the dry and would have become fancy birdseed. This is definitely a work in progress.



This spring the Berry in Bloom team will once again be filling the tubs around the centre of the village with summer flowering plants and putting up the hanging baskets. However, the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom judges are putting great emphasis on encouraging wild flowers and natural planting.

Last autumn we were given permission by the Parish council to plant wild flowers in the first, smaller dog walking field. Because of the terrible wet weather, a path has been laid to allow the walkers to access the larger field. We propose to plant two areas either side of the path. These areas are in the process of having the grass removed/killed to give the plug plants. perennial wild flowers such as ox-eye daisies, a better chance to get established. We are also proposing to scatter wild flower seed. It is hoped this double whammy will show quicker results. It will, however, probably take around three years to reach fruition.

The plug plants will cost £270.00 and Berry in Bloom will fund these. We have applied for a grant from Andrea Davies, our District Councillor, to buy the seeds which will also cost £270. 00. This will be our main project for 2020.

This year to raise funds we should like to have an Open Gardens afternoon. Two dates were suggested, either the 21st or 28th of June. Obviously, this all depends on the good folks of Berrynarbor allowing us to open their gardens. It was proposed to have 5 or 6 of the gardens in the centre of the village open with teas served in the manor hall. If you live fairly centrally, would you be willing to open your garden for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon? Don't worry, we're not looking for perfection! If you would, please let me know. Tel 07436811657.




January and February are not a very busy time for the bloomers to be out and about planting and weeding but it is a busy time planning for the coming year. Our plant order has been sent to Grow Jigsaw and no doubt the wonderful team there will soon be sowing and potting up in their greenhouses. We are moving forward with our plans for introducing more wild flowers to the dog walking area and litter picks will recommence in February.

Our next fund-raising event is our annual Quiz and Supper evening on February 7th with Phil as our quiz master and our famous cottage pie supper. Tickets available from the shop at £10.00. The manor hall doors open at 6.45 p.m. with the quiz starting at 7.15 p.m. and the supper about 8.00 p.m. There will be a vegetarian option. So, get your team together [up to 8] and come and join in the fun.

The AGM will be held on Wednesday, 12th February, at 7 o'clock in The Globe. Everyone in invited.

The Berry in Bloom team is friendly and always welcomes newcomers so if you fancy helping us in any way you are welcome to come and join in. Phone Wendy on 07436811657




In this year's R.H.S Britain in Bloom campaign, Berry in Bloom were awarded GOLD. As this is the highest award, we are all thrilled! What a great team the village has - many thanks to everyone involved.

The judging marks are divided between Horticulture 40%, Environment 30%, and Community 30%. This year we have been working especially on the Environment aspect. With permission from the Parish Council, we are leaving some places and a section of the dog walking field with longer grass and hopefully the wild flowers will return to these areas. We have spread some hay from a local wild flower meadow hoping that the seed will fall and generate, but we shall also be adding some wild flower plugs. This will take at least 3 years to get going so keep an eye open for our progress. If you spot a scruffy area with a blue wooden heart it will be an area we are trying to re-wild so please bear with us.

The team is standing down until the spring except for two fund- raising events. The first on 7th December in the Manor hall starting at 2.30 p.m. with the doors opening at 2.00 p.m. This will be an afternoon with a Berry in Bloom Christmas Tea accompanied by our Village Choir singing Christmas songs and a light hearted table quiz. Judie will be running a raffle towards funds for the newsletter. Do come along and support us, and on a cold afternoon enjoy a lovely tea and some singing. Tickets £5.00 available from the Shop. The second will be our annual Quiz Night with Quizmaster Phil and this will be on Friday, 7th February in the Manor Hall.

Once again, we'll be singing Christmas Carols in the square on Christmas Eve, commencing at 6.30 p.m. with Phil Bridle on the organ and the singing led by Tony Summers.

Make sure you come promptly as a little bird has told me the singing will commence with a solo from a visiting opera singer! Mulled wine and mince pies will be served, and Colin and myself, at Bessemer Thatch, will be gratefully accepting bottles of red wine towards the refreshments. In case of a downpour, we'll move to The Globe.

I am addicted to marzipan so when I saw this Christmas recipe I thought I'd give it a try.



It's September and the bedding in the tubs and the hanging baskets is looking very tired as the weather has been either baking hot or wet and chilly. It will soon be time to replace everything with spring bulbs and bedding. However, everything looked wonderful when the South West in Bloom judges came on 22nd July 22. The whole team had worked so hard and I am sure that the judges were impressed, especially with the wonderful community spirit in the village. However, we are still waiting for the results that will be announced at the presentation in Newquay on 11th October. Many thanks to everyone who supported us.

The community spirit was certainly on display when we held our fund raising Tea on the Lawn afternoon on Sunday 11th August.Claire and Jamie Singer had kindly offered to hold it at the Old Rectory but the run up to the 11th was wet and stormy and at the last moment we had to switch venues to the Manor Hall. We were all disappointed not to be at the Old Rectory but we still had a wonderful afternoon. The village choir sang beautifully, well done and our thanks to Graham, Stuart and all the choir members. Also, thanks to all the bakers who donated cakes and those who helped in whatever way and a special mention for Saleh who made a great waiter. We made almost £600.00. Wow!

As the afternoon was such a success and feedback from villagers was positive, we are going to have a Berry in Bloom Christmas Tea with the Choir singing Christmas themed songs on Saturday 7th December in the Manor Hall from 2.00 p.m. onwards. I do hope you will come and support us.



June and July have been the busiest months of the year for the Bloom team as this year's judging date was 22nd July. We have worked hard in the car park area, pulling out overgrown shrubs, cutting back and tackling the worst of the weeds. Alan Eales has made some new tubs, some of which contain herbs that shop users are free to pick.

We have not yet cut back the hedge at the Manor Hall as we are awaiting the end of July when the bird nesting season ends. However, we have been in the pub garden - not boozing, I promise - helping to tidy up and plant.

Because of the lovely weather, watering has been a mammoth task all around the village and I should like to thank the dedicated team who have undertaken this task.

Berry in Bloom is participating in the Blue Heart Campaign. This is the idea put forward by the R.H.S. that some areas of grass should be left un-mown to allow wildflowers and insects to thrive. So, if an area is looking a bit scruffy but has a blue heart on it, you will know the reason why.

The community spirit is brilliant and if we don't get a Gold I'll have to eat a hat-shaped cake all by myself! We don't get the results until early October.

Talking of cake, please come and support our fund-raising afternoon at the Old Rectory Berrynarbor on Sunday, 11th August, for Tea on the Lawn, 2.00 to 4.30 p.m. And let's hope the sun keeps shining!



As we move from spring into early summer, the Berry in Bloom team shift up a gear. The spring bulbs and bedding have been removed ready for planting out the summer flowers. We have been given the 22nd July for the Britain in Bloom judging and there is lots to do but luckily we have a good team of helpers.

The area where the septic tank is next to the shop in the car park had become very overgrown and weedy but it's amazing what a man and a tractor can do! We have cleared it and will replant the area. Likewise, we are planning to remove a dead tree at the Manor Hall car parking area and cut back and tidy the hedge when the bird nesting season is over at the end of July.

The litter picks have continued and new 'pickers' are always welcome.

This summer, on the 11th August, we hope to have a fund-raising Tea on the Lawn afternoon at the Old Rectory, kindly hosted by Claire and Jamey Singer and family. Please look out for our posters in July.

Once again, we thank everyone who supports us.



Spring has sprung in Berrynarbor. The tubs have been 'bloomin' lovely before and since the wonderful spell of weather we had in February and so the Berry in Bloom year begins.

In early March three of the Bloom team attended a seminar in Chippenham run by the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom organisation. There has been a slight change in emphasis in judging. It is moving more towards care of the environment and community spirit, of which we in Berrynarbor have an abundance. Flowers are still important but will not get such a high proportion of the marks as they have in the past.

This coming year we will continue to run regular litter picks and look after the flowers, but if you see a blue heart on a stick above a slightly scruffy area, that will denote it has been left for the wild life and that area will only be mown or cut once a year.

Although we were not out and about much in January, we did hold our annual fund-raising quiz and supper evening and managed to raise over £500.00 towards the purchase of flowers, compost etc. hank you to everyone who came along to support us.



GOLD for Berry in Bloom

Wednesday 11th July was judging day for Berrynarbor in Bloom and we got the results on October 4th at the presentation in Yeovil. We were thrilled to get a GOLD once again.

The judges arrived in lovely weather and we had just two hours to show them our beautiful village. We started in the car park and met the volunteers in the shop and talked about the 10th Anniversary of our Community Shop. They liked the transformation of the old red telephone box in to an information centre. From there we travelled by car up Barton lane stopping to admire and talk about the new village signs and the lovely wall that Chris has made that the In Bloom team have planted. Then down to the Sawmills to see their lovely flower display and on to Storm in a Teacup boat café and our pretty harbour. No time for a cup of tea sadly but they did say what a magnificent addition it is for locals and holiday makers alike. Then a quick trip up the Sterridge Valley and back to the car park where they continued the visit on foot around the middle of the village with a visit to the Pre-school where the children were very keen to tell them about their garden, They finished their tour at The Globe where Ann and her team from Jigsaw had helped to tidy and plant up the garden, a big job on a very hot day. Finally, they stopped for a cuppa and slice of lemon drizzle and a chat with some of the Berry in Bloom team and some of the clients from Jigsaw. All in all, they were pleased enough to give us the highest award, a GOLD! Thank you everyone.

On Friday 2nd November, in conjunction with Beaford Arts, we held a light-hearted talk and supper evening.  Mic Riggulsford talked about the Charter of the Forest [ancient laws and commoner rights] this proved to be a bit wacky, very informative and good fun. A jacket potato and pudding supper followed and we raised £430.00.  Thanks to Beaford Arts and all the cooks in the kitchen. 

A date for your diaries - Saturday, 26th January

This will be the annual Berry in Bloom Quiz with cottage pie supper and Phil as Quiz Master again. Hope to see you all there.



Summer has come to an end, and what a remarkable summer it has been. The wonderful hot weather meant that providing we kept everything well-watered [no easy task!], the plants loved it and I think the village had one of the best displays of flowers I have seen.

At the time of writing we have still not had the results of the competition but Ann Harris and I will receive them when we go to Yeovil for this year's presentation on October the 4th.

While we wait we shall still be busy as by the end of September we'll be planting up the bulbs for the spring displays and shall, of course, be continuing the litter picks.

Our fund-raising event in July, Tea on the Lawn, held at Middle Lee was a great success and with thanks to all those who helped with that event, and with a kind donation from the Parish Council, our funds are fairly healthy.

Our next fund-raising evening is at the Manor Hall on Friday, 2nd November, in conjunction with Beaford Arts. This will be an evening with a lighthearted and fun talk about Devon's past with Myc Riggulsford followed by a jacket potato and pud supper. Please come along and support us.



Berrynarbor hosted the Judges for the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom on 11th July.

The village was looking lovely and I am sure that they were impressed with all our efforts. The judging was over a two-hour period and we tried to show them as much of Berrynarbor as we could. Alan and I met them in the car park and talked to them about trying to make the car park and Shop a welcoming area. They met some of the volunteers in the Shop and liked the new herb tubs and the seating area with the telephone box information centre. We then travelled by car up Barton Lane to view the new village signs and the planting in the new stone bed. Then down past the bright and beautiful flower display outside the Sawmills Inn to our lovely Watermouth Harbour and the new Storm in a Teacup Cafe, also bedecked with flowers. We then travelled up the Sterridge Valley so that they could take in the greater part of the village and then back past the School to the car park when they walked around the centre of the village with Ann and Barbara, taking in the War Memorial, the Manor Hall and the Pre-school, where they met some of the children who eagerly showed them what they had been growing in the garden that we helped to renovate last year. Finally, they visited the pub garden to meet with some of Ann's Grow@Jigsaw team who had worked so hard there. Completing their visit, they met some of the Berry in Bloom team over a coffee.

Well done Bloomers and all of you in the village who have helped in whatever way, fingers crossed we'll get GOLD again!

Sunday 22nd July saw Berry in Bloom holding Tea on the Lawn at Middle Lee Farm.  The weather was glorious and the venue lovely for everyone to have a scrummy tea with sandwiches, clotted cream scones and a great selection of homemade cakes, and all for a fiver! A goodly sum of £428.00 was made, some of which will, no doubt, be spent this autumn on bulbs for our spring displays. The raffle raised £140 for the Newsletter. Many thanks to everyone who helped. 



June is the busiest time of the year for the Berry in Bloom team. The lovely display of spring bedding of tulips, daffodils and polyanthus is over and the tubs are emptied, the compost refreshed and the summer bedding planted. Watering will start again in earnest.

Almost all of the plants we use are grown by Grow@Jigsaw, our local social enterprise and we have always been very pleased with their quality and price.

This year Grow@Jigsaw and the new Landlord of The Globe have undertaken to give the pub garden a tidy up and revamp. The work will be done in exchange for the Jigsaw Christmas lunch - what a good idea, everyone wins! Hopefully we will be able to take the R.H.S judges there for tea after our Judging on 11th July. The judges look at the village as a whole and every area is important.

Last year we had a fun and successful Tea on the Lawn fund raising afternoon in Phil and Lynn's lovely garden at the Lodge. This year Phil and Chris Brown have offered to have it at Middle Lee Farm. The date for this event is Sunday 22nd July from 2.00 p.m. onwards. Weather permitting, phone 07436811657 if in doubt.

Every year we rely on the support of the village and we are grateful to everyone who helps in whatever way.



After all the bad weather finally 'Spring has Sprung' with cheery daffodils and primroses around the village and this means the Berry in Bloom year has begun.

We had our annual meeting at the beginning of March and talked about our plans for the coming year, set some dates for litter picks, debated whether to run the open gardens again this year - to be decided in May.

The bedding plants are ordered from Jigsaw. Our finances are healthy, thanks to the generous support for our fund-raising events, and although we are always looking for new volunteers, hopefully we shall be able to get GOLD again for Berrynarbor.

The Berry in Bloom team love the village, and if you do too and would be interested in joining our friendly band of helpers for a little planting, weeding and tea drinking etc., please contact Wendy Applegate on 07436811657



Berry in Bloom & Best Kept Village

There is not much going on gardening wise at this time of the year but it is good to look back on the previous year and our success in the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom competition when we achieved gold.Our thoughts are on how we might emulate our good work this coming year.

Therefore, we shall be having our annual meeting on Wednesday, 7th March to discuss our plans and finances for the forthcoming year.We shall be meeting in The Globe at 7.00 p.m. and if you are interested in helping with litter picks and planting around the village, you are very welcome to join us.If you are new to the village, it is a nice way to make friends.

Also, on Friday, 9th February, we are having a fund raising Fun Quiz and Supper evening in the Manor Hall with Phil as quiz master and our yummy supper. We hope you will be able to support us.



Berrynarbor has won GOLD [the highest award] in the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom Competition 2017.The village was also awarded joint top place for the size of our village in the South West. Obviously, the Berry in Bloom team is thrilled to bits!

The judges came on the 5th July and spent 2 hours driving and walking around the village, from Watermouth Harbour to the Sterridge Valley, but concentrated mostly around the centre of the village.They chatted to several of the team over a cup of tea in the Lodge garden.

Areas they commented on of special achievement are:

The village Website and Newsletter.

The village Shop with the new red telephone box Information Centre.

The renovation of the garden at the Pre-school undertaken by the team and the encouragement to the children to pick up litter in the playground by giving gloves and litter pickers for them to use.

The thriving village activities, from the Church Choir and Bell Ringers, the village Pub Skittle Teams and Quiz Nights and the numerous activities undertaken in the Manor Hall.

The Berry in Bloom team is commended for their fund-raising activities and their partnership with Jigsaw who supply the village with almost all the plants used.

Areas the judges felt could be improved are:

Claude's Garden where there could be some flower borders.

The shrubbery in the car park could be renovated.

We shall be entering the competition next year and striving for gold again. Meanwhile, the bulbs for the new year are planted and we look forward to spring again.

We held a very successful 'soup and pud' fund raising evening on Friday 10th November.  After expenses £820.00 was raised.  Many thanks to everyone involved and for the donations of homemade soup and yummy puddings.



It's been fairly quiet for the group in the village through the summer holidays with just watering and dead heading being the main jobs.

Autumn though is the start of a big burst of activity as the summer bedding and hanging baskets are removed and the spring bulbs and bedding are planted ready for a welcome display in the early months of spring.

We get the results of the Britain in Bloom competition on the

5th October at the Presentation, held this year in Torquay.

We hope you can join us for a fun get together on 10th November when we are having a fund-raising Soup and Pud Evening in the Manor Hall. Tickets will be available from the Shop and The Globe in October.We hope you will be there.



June and July have been very busy months for the Berry in Bloom team getting ready for the R.H.S. judges who came on 5th July to judge the village for the Britain in Bloom competition. They spent two hours driving and walking around the village, then met some of the volunteers working in the shop and made a visit to the Pre-school to see the work on the garden that the team had undertaken and meet some of the children and teachers. Finally, they had a lovely Berrynarbor tea on the lawn at the Lodge and met some of our helpers. We shall not know the results until the end of September, but I am very hopeful we'll get GOLD again!

We have also been busy fund raising and held a Tea on the Lawn and Mini Fete on Sunday 25th June. We were lucky with the weather as it was raining in the morning but it cleared up for the afternoon and the event was very successful. Thank you to everyone who helped and especially Phil and Lynn for hosting the afternoon in their lovely garden.

As we are in the main holiday months now, the team will go a bit quiet with litter picking and watering being our only tasks, However, we are already planning for the autumn planting and our next fund raising event which will be a Soup and Pud Evening in the Manor Hall on Friday 10th November. I do hope you will be able to support this fund-raising event.



Hooray, summer seems to be here at last, after lots of dry, sunny weather, but definitely with a chilly wind. The tubs looked lovely in the spring although nobody could see them for the six weeks of the road works that coincided with the flowering, but that's all done now and the village is looking great.

During this period, the group has been hard at work helping the Pre-school refurbish their small garden.This needed some work from six of our beefy men and they have done a great job.Thank you to Alan, Andy, Greg, Tony, Barry and Geoff. The children are keen to grow some of their own fruit and vegetables and we are glad to help them.We also supplied them with gardening gloves and litter pickers and they have undertaken the task of keeping the play park area litter free. Well done children!

In the car park, the group has cut down a huge winter flowering clematis that had outgrown the trellis on which it was growing and opened up the area where the benches and tables are.

Down at the flower bed opposite the Sawmills, we have removed two huge phormiums that had also outgrown their space and had a good tidy up.

As we are not having Open Gardens this year, we have decided to have a mini fete and tea party at the Lodge.Phil and Lynn have a beautiful garden and a £5.00 entrance fee will get you a yummy Berrynarbor cream tea with masses of cakes and scones and hopefully a sunny afternoon socializing on the lawns.We do hope you will support us and come along and enjoy yourselves on Sunday June the 25th from 2.00 p.m. onwards.

Judging for Berry in Bloom [Britain in Bloom] is on 5th July.Wish us luck!



At the moment, we seem to be having a bit of a cold, blustery start to spring, but the daffodils are blooming and the birds are singing to their mates, and hopefully it won't be long before the sun is shining.

At the annual meeting on 21st February it was decided that we should have a rest from holding the two Open Garden events this year. This is not to say that we shall not open again in the future, but after disastrous weather on the day of the Sterridge Valley day and not very many turning up for the Village Open Gardens, maybe a rest will enthuse everybody in another year. I should like to thank everyone who has participated in the last few years and don't give up on the weeding because I am sure we shall open again!

We are entering the Britain in Bloom competition and judging is at the beginning of July but we haven't been given a definite date yet.

The Quiz and Supper Evening on the 3rd March was a great fundraising success, bringing in just over £1000. I should like to thank all of you who supported us in any way. With this event in mind we have decided to hold a Soup and Pud Evening on the 10th November, so please put this date in your diary.

The first litter pick/work party of the year has already taken place. If you are interested in helping in any way, please do contact me on [01271] 883170 or 07436811657.



Because of the mild weather in December and over the New Year, the spring bulbs and bedding are quite forward and the nights are drawing out so we are looking forward to getting back out and enjoying a beautiful Devon spring.

Our thanks to Graham Sanders for donating the Christmas tree in the village square and Ben and Phil Bowden for putting it up, and not to forget Dave and Eve Walker for the electricity. What a team! Also, it was lovely to read all the Christmas thoughts and wishes that the children from the school had written on their paper Christmas baubles. Thank you, kids. The evening of carol singing in the square on the 18th December [luckily without rain this year] led, once again, by Phil and Tony, with mince pies donated by Karen and family from The Globe, went really well and thanks bottles given by all the good folks of Berrynarbor, the mulled wine was certainly plentiful! A collection raised £210.00 which has been shared shared between the Devon Air Ambulance and Freewheelers, a charity that delivers organs for transplant by motorbike.

We shall be holding our annual meeting at The Globe on Tuesday, 21st February at 7.00 p.m. If you are interested in our group do please do come along.

Don't forget the Berry in Bloom Fun Quiz and Supper on Friday, 3rd March in the Manor Hall. Bring your teams of up to 8 or join in with others for a fiendish [only joking] brain teaser and a yummy cottage pie supper. This event is one of our main fundraisers so do come and join in.

To contact me phone [01271] 883170 or 07436811657.



The autumn weather has been lovely and certainly drier than usual, but now winter is upon us. The Berry in Bloom group has almost finished all the tasks for this time of the year, just the hanging baskets to take down from the shop and centre of the village. However, at the time of writing they were still going strong as the weather has been so good.

The GOOD news is that the village has won Gold again in the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom competition. We have also been awarded a Highly-Commended Certificate from the C.P.R.E. Well done, and thank you to everyone involved.

The Coffee Morning hosted by Pat and Maureen at Fuchsia Cottage raised £220.00 shared between Berry in Bloom and the Newsletter. Again, thanks to all involved.

Throughout the year we rely on the support of the village and our next fund raising event is our Annual Fun Quiz and Supper Evening to be held in the Manor Hall on Friday, 3rd March, with Phil as our Quiz Master.

Carol Singing in the Square with mulled wine and mince pies will be on Sunday, 18th December. Normally we ask for donations of wine, but this year there has been a kind donation of wine left over from the Military Wives evening in the church - thank you Judith and Stuart and all involved in that splendid event. Hope to see you at the Quiz.



The judging for both competitions has taken place and we await the news of how we have done. I think the village has looked lovely this summer and hopefully the judges have agreed. I know that the team couldn't have worked harder. We get the results at the beginning of October.

We shall be taking out the tired summer bedding and planting the spring bulbs in late September and early October.

The village Open Gardens afternoon in August was successful and we made over £300 to go towards spring bulbs etc. but as the weather was lovely that afternoon we had hoped for a few more people. Maybe the holiday makers were all headed for the beach on that day. Many thanks to everybody who supported us in whatever way, especially all those who worked so hard to open their gardens, and Phil and Lynn for hosting the teas in their lovely garden at the Lodge.

If anyone is interested in helping our team we should welcome you with open arms, just contact me on 01271 883170.

With the money donated at her funeral, in remembrance of Edna Barber we have now purchased a ceramic planter. It is placed near the remembrance cross in the churchyard, planted with a rosemary surrounded by violas and under planted with bulbs to flower in the spring.



The Berry in Bloom group were extremely busy throughout May, June and early July getting the village planted and tidied up ready for the judges who came on 6th July. We were lucky that this year it didn't rain on the afternoon of the judging, as it did the previous year.

Points are given for:

Plant impact and design - the choice of plants etc. 20

Horticultural practice - the cultivation and maintenance and quality of plants20

Community involvement - involving the public in community gardening 20

Development and continuity - evidence of on-going projects 10

- making the community aware 10

- showing initiatives to secure funding 10

Local environmental quality - the care of signage, the absence of litter,dog fouling, graffiti etc. 10

Last year we were awarded a GOLD, the highest award.Fingers crossed for this year.We get the results in early October.

The judging of the Our Outdoors [terrible name, I think, for the new competition that was previously called Best Kept Village] is ongoing throughout August when the judges will pay the village an incognito visit.So all you wonderful people, please keep up the good work.



The Best Kept Village award was run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE.Berrynarbor has entered this competition for several years and won on several occasions. However, CPRE has not run the competition for the last two years and has now announced that they are launching a NEW competition called Our Outdoors and it is our intention to enter this new competition.

From what I can ascertain the competition runs on roughly the same lines as the Best kept Village competition so hopefully we'll stand a good chance of winning.

I hope you all enjoyed the spring flowers in the tubs and planters around the village.The show began with hyacinths in March, then daffodils and finally a great show of tulips still flowering in May.These will be followed by the summer bedding that should flower right through till October and be ready for the Britain in Bloom judging which will be on Wednesday, 6th July, at 2.00 p.m.

We have held three litter picks so far this year.It is amazing how much is thrown from cars and just generally discarded without thought and the first litter pick gathered up about thirty bags of rubbish.The worst area is on the main road between Diggers Cross and the top of the Sterridge Valley and took four people almost two hours to cover.Getting rid of all this litter could be difficult so we have been very grateful to Martin our 'road sweep' who collects the bags and takes them to the tip for us. He retired at the end of May and we thank him for all his help and wish him a happy retirement.We welcome his replacement Mark and look forward to working with him.

Our next two fund raisers are:

The Sterridge Valley Open Gardens is on 26th June

We hope you will all come and enjoy the gardens and the lovely tea served in the Manor Hall.

The Village Open Gardens on 14th August



Spring is sprung and the tubs and planters around the village have been bright with hyacinths and daffodils with tulips to come. These will be followed by the summer bedding. All of this is quite an expensive job. Last year we spent £537.00 on the summer bedding, £376.50 on the hanging baskets and £195.00 on bulbs and spring flowers. Another £141.50 went on compost and stone chippings, £127.48 replacing broken planters and insurance for the open gardens cost £162.00.


It is vital therefore that we raise money to pay for this and this year already we have had a successful quiz and supper evening and a jumble sale in conjunction with Jigsaw. We shall be running a cake stall on 2nd April at the Horticultural & Craft Show Coffee morning.

Our other two main fund raising events are:

The Sterridge Valley Open Gardens on the 26th June

The Village Open Gardens on the 14th August


If you are able and willing to open your garden, please contact me. Don't worry that yours may not be up to Chelsea standard, people just love to wander around our pretty village and all the gardens are lovely and interesting in their own way. To keep everything shipshape, our first litter pick of the year has taken place and litter picks will be held regularly - keep an eye on the blackboard in the bus shelter for dates.


Thank you to every one for your support, we shall be going for GOLD again this year.



What very strange weather we have had for the last three months. The constant rain has been a bit depressing and the group certainly has not been doing any gardening. However, Berry in Bloom has been involved in the village over the Christmas period.

Have you ever wondered where the Christmas tree in the centre of the village comes from? In the past John and Fenella Boxall have supplied the tree but for the last two years our thanks must go to Graham Sanders who with the help of Chris Townsend has provided us with the Christmas tree. Our thanks also to Roger, Ray and Phil for putting it up and removing it, to Dave and Eve at Muffet's for letting us use their electricity and it was Berry in Bloom who supplied the Christmas lights. We hope you all enjoyed the display.

Please note we are also having our annual meeting in The Globe on Wednesday 24th February at 7.30 p.m. If you are interested in helping keep the village clean, flowery and tidy we should love to see you.

We rely on support from the village and one of our main fund raising events is our annual quiz. This year the date is Friday 4th March with Phil as our Quiz Master and as usual we shall be serving delicious cottage pie. We do hope you will come to this fun event.

We shall also be holding a joint Jumble Sale with Jigsaw to raise funds on Saturday, 19th March from 1.00 to 3.00 p.m. Items may be taken to the Hall from 11.00 a.m.




We were very happy to be awarded a Gold in the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom Competition. These are some of the comments made by the judge:

Berrynarbor is a pretty village of around 800 residents. The entry includes the village centre and extends out to the Watermouth Cove in one direction and the Sterridge Valley in the other. Berrynarbor has been famous for some years for its superb floral displays.

The village is a beacon to many others with its strong community spirit and excellent floral displays with plants provided by the Jigsaw community project.

Funding is achieved via a subsidy from the Parish Council, coffee mornings, quizzes and open garden days.

There was a useful visit to the village school where great work was being started to restore the school garden and use the plot as an educational resource.

Community involvement is very well illustrated by the procurement and operation of the community run village shop and the work being undertaken to seek a lottery grant to refurbish the Manor Community Hall.

It was an enjoyable tour (despite the inclement weather) which covered all aspects of the marking criteria.

What more can be said Bloomers? Except many thanks to all of you who participate in any way in helping us win this prestigious award. I hope you will join us next year.



Autumn is here and for Berry in Bloom that means all change to

the tubs and planters. So it is out with the summer planting that is looking very tired and in with the tulip, hyacinth and dwarf daffodil bulbs to give us all a good show of colour in the spring.

This last summer hasn't been very good but the joy of gardening is that you always have next year to which you can look forward.

September was the Sterridge Valley open garden trail. After all the bad weather through August, on the day it was the PERFECT autumn day and the gardens were looking beautiful. A yummy cream tea was served at the Manor Hall by Judie and helpers and we managed to make just under £300.00, so a big thank you to all involved. We do rely on these fund raising events to pay for the bulbs, flowers and hanging baskets so we are grateful for the support from the village and holiday makers.

We await the results of the Britain in Bloom competition on 24th September at the presentation in Dartmouth.



Summer is in full swing and the Berry Bloomers have been in full swing too. Firstly the Open Garden Trail in June was a great success - the weather was excellent, the gardens lovely and as usual the teas scrumptious. This event is such good value for locals and holiday makers alike. where else can you see nine or ten lovely gardens and have a cream tea as well and all for £5.50? Let's hope that the Sterridge Valley Garden Trail on Sunday 6th of September is also blessed with fine weather and lots of visitors. We made almost £450.00 and thanks goes to all those involved in any way.

Well. all the £450.00 has been spent and more on the hanging baskets and plants for the tubs around the village and we hope that you are all loving the displays. It was the Britain in Bloom judging on July 14th and we hope the judges were impressed with the flowers as well, but it isn't just flowers that they are judging us on, as community involvement and tidiness are just as important. We await the results but I am very hopeful that we get gold.



This year we found out that the C.P.R.E. [Campaign for the Protection of Rural England] Best Kept Village Competition is not being held, as they are bringing out a new competition next year in a new format. A year off you may think, but no, the team are still dedicated to keeping the village looking tidy. We have regular litter picks and the amount of rubbish collected is amazing.

Out of date posters! A reminder to those displaying posters advertising events being run in the village, please don't forget to go round after the event and remove them.

Sadly we are still finding that lots of people are not picking up after their dogs and it can't all be from holiday makers, I guess you know who you are as not many dogs are seen out loose. Please think of others and help to keep our village beautiful.

A big thank you to the Parish Council for their financial support and appreciation, which mean a lot to all Berry Bloomers!

This is the time of the year when we are busy emptying tubs and planters and planting the summer flowers and it won't be long before the hanging baskets arrive. We have ordered our plants from Jigsaw who are a social enterprise project for people not profit. Their ethos is to help people from all walks of life. Aiming to give them a purpose in life, helping them gain qualifications, to assist in the job market, helping to reduce social isolation, they produce organic vegetables and of course top quality plants and flowers. We are pleased to use their plants.

The first Open Garden Afternoon is on Sunday 14th June with tickets available from the Shop and the Globe in advance and The Lodge on the day. You can enjoy a lovely stroll around the village and a scrumptious cream tea to follow at The Lodge, What could be nicer? Hope to see lots of you there.



Spring has sprung with March winds and April showers and the Berry in Bloom gang have leapt into action to bring forth May flowers. We started the year with a well-attended meeting in The Globe when we decided to enter both the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom and the Best Kept Village competitions for 2015. The dates were set for the garden open events; Sunday 14th June for the Village and Sunday 6th September for the Sterridge Valley.

On Friday 6th March we held a Fun Quiz at the Manor Hall and raised just over £600 to help fund the purchase of flowers, hanging baskets, compost etc.

On Sunday 8th March we had our first litter pick of the year and as usual the first is the worst and we collected 22 bags of rubbish, mainly from the main roads - some of the items picked up were unmentionable! But weather wise it was a lovely afternoon and the tea and cakes went down a treat afterwards.

We shall be holding a Coffee Morning and Seed & Plant Swap on Saturday, 18th April, from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon in the Manor Hall, and look forward to seeing you all there.

We are always looking for villagers to join our group so for the dates of the next litter picks and work parties please ring me on 01271 883170 or keep an eye on the blackboard in the bus shelter in the centre of the village.



Well Christmas has come and gone and I hope you all had a lovely one. This year for the first time we had to abandon carol singing in the square because of the rain but we all squeezed in to the back room of the Globe and very jolly it was too. The collection raised £145.00 which was split between Devon Air Ambulance and Motor Neurone Research. Thank you all carollers and a big thank you to Phil and Tony for leading us in the music.

Thank you also to Graham Sanders for donating the lovely Christmas tree in the square and to Dave and Eve from Muffet's for their electricity and again to Phil for putting it up and decorating it.

Not much happening on the gardening front in January and February, other than willing the daffodils to start cheering us up, but plans are being made for 2015. Our order for bedding plants has gone in to Ann at Jigsaw as the quality of plants they grew for us last year was excellent. Now we have to raise the money to pay for them. To that end we are planning our annual Fun Quiz and Supper in the Manor Hall on Friday 6th March. We do hope that you will come and enjoy yourselves and support us.

We shall start the litter picks in February or March depending on the weather - look out for our posters and on the blackboard.

If you are interested in our group and in keeping the village tidy and in flower, please join us at our annual meeting on Monday 2nd March at the Globe at 7.00 p.m. We are always looking for new members and new ideas.

Lastly, every year we take the empty hanging baskets to Streamways for re-filling. Their prices are very reasonable and they deliver them back to us 'ready to go'. If you would like to have your baskets re-filled, please drop them off to me at Bessemer Thatch before April.




What a lovely September we have just had and October was mainly fine and certainly warmer than usual. This meant that we had to remove the summer bedding when it was still going strong but we had to make way for the planting of the bulbs for spring. This has now been completed and a big thanks to everyone who helped. Ken has turned off the watering systems for the winter and the hanging baskets are about to come down. This is a sad time for gardeners but we can all look forward to 2015 and hopefully a fine spring.

Next year we hope that you will be able to join us to help keep the village clean, tidy and full of flowers. Thank you to everyone who helped in 2014.



On the whole we have had a lovely summer and the first few weeks of September have been warm too. However, the hanging baskets and tubs are beginning to go over and it will not be long before we'lll be getting ready for winter and spring by planting bulbs and winter flowering bedding. We have had lots of visitors and villagers alike commenting favourably on the displays and one plant in particular, the small violet/purple trailing scaveola, in the baskets at the shop has been much admired.

On the first weekend of September we had the gardens in the village open and as the weather was so lovely many garden lovers made the hike up Barton Lane to view Longacre and then up Castle Hill to visit Sloley Farm, stopping on the way at Maurice Draper's show stopper of a garden - a new garden to us - and to take in the views from Gilly's garden. Back down to the centre of the village to see all the work that has been done at Geoff and Judith's, Flowerdew, then Lee Cottage and Langleigh House , where plants were for sale in aid of Berry in Bloom. Finally a yummy cream tea at the Lodge with Phil and Lynne and a walk round their lovely established garden. Thanks to everyone who opened their gardens, helped with printing tickets, baking cakes, serving at table, doing the raffle and transporting chairs and anything else. We made about £360.00 including the plant sales.

Late News: Not having entered for the last three years, we were thrilled to learn that we had been awarded Gold in the RHS Britain in Bloom Competition this year - well done to all the 'Bloomers'!


This is a good time of the year to think about Christmas! This year Colin and I shall be making lovely fruit liqueurs to give as presents. They are SO easy to make but start now as they need time to mature. Best fruits are sloes, damsons, blackberries and raspberries but other fruits such as lemons and apples are good too.

This year is brilliant for blackberries and Colin has picked masses so we shall make blackberry and apple gin - bramble apple gin sounds so nice! If you don't like gin, vodka or brandy is fine. We look in supermarkets for their cheap offers.



How lovely the village looks this summer. The warm weather has really brought all the flowers to a peak, both the wild flowers in the hedgerows and gardens and also the hanging baskets and tubs.

The Bloomers have been very busy cutting back, weeding and tidying up in readiness for the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom judging on the 9th July. This year is the 50th anniversary of this competition, so keep your fingers crossed that we will get gold.

The Sterridge Valley Open Gardens in June were very successful. The Valley was looking lovely and the gardens that opened were too. Many thanks to all the garden owners for their hard work and many thanks to Judie and her helpers for serving up such a lovely tea. Don't forget the Village Gardens are open on the 7th September from 2.00 to 5.00 with teas at The Lodge. Let's hope the weather is fine and we hope you will come along and support us. If you would like to open your garden in September, please give me a call on [01271] 883170.



For gardeners this is the busiest time of the year but I like to take time to stop and admire Mother Nature as she does her bloomin' thing. How lucky are we to live in such a lovely place.

We have been busy planting up the tubs and containers with summer bedding, hanging up the hanging baskets and generally weeding and tidying up around the village. The plants we bought from Jigsaw have been very healthy and as always Streamways Nurseries delivers beautiful baskets ready for hanging up.

Best kept village judging takes place anonymously and at any time between May and August. The judging for the new R.H.S. Pennant competition takes place in July, so we will all have to be on our toes!

We ran a successful cake stall at Easter and had a very kind donation of almost £200.00 from a kind villager, so the coffers have been replenished. But as any of you who buy plants know, the cost goes up year by year.

This year the Sterridge Valley Open Gardens will be on 8th June between 2.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. with Teas in the Manor Hall from 3.00 p.m. The Village Gardens will be on September 7th, again between 2.00 p.m. and 5.00 p. m. Please come to either of the Open Gardens (or both) and support us, whatever the weather you are certain of a great tea. None of this could take place without the support and generosity of our helpers, so thank you all very much.



Hooray Spring has sprung! This last winter has been so long and wet but at last there is some sunshine.

We had our A.G.M. on 25th February and it was decided to enter the Best Kept Village competition again this year. So from May onwards we hope that the whole village will be aware that the judges will be walking around and maybe chatting with villagers. They are looking for absence of litter, well-kept public areas, tidy gardens and general house maintenance. But more than that, they are looking for that something extra. We think that Berrynarbor has that something extra so let's prove it to the judges!

This year we are planning to have the gardens open again and the dates decided are Sunday 8th June for the Sterridge Valley gardens and Sunday 7th September for the village gardens. We hope that many of the gardens that have opened before will join in again but it would be nice to have some new ones too, so please let me know if you can participate.

There is still time to bring your hanging baskets to be re-filled by Streamways Nursery. They do a wonderful job and the charge is very reasonable. Bring your empty and labelled baskets to Bessemer Thatch and we will take them over all together. They will be delivered back to the village during the 3rd week of May. Please telephone me if you want to join the hanging basket scheme or if you can open your garden on the above dates Tel 01271 883170.

The first litter pick of 2014 saw a really good group of volunteers turn out for the dirty job of picking up other people's litter! Spurred on by the promise of a hot cup of tea and a slice of lemon drizzle cake, almost the whole of the village and outlying roads were covered. Some of the items collected were quite interesting - a bed frame, a rucksack, a green rugby top, a number plate and a patio umbrella pole, being among them. Sadly though the vast majority of items were obviously thrown from cars with McDonald's containers, drink cans and crisp packets being the most numerous. Also there was quite a lot of plastic wrapping caught in the hedges and the dreaded poo bags festooned on the bushes beside the path. Why do people do that? Many thanks go to all the good folk who turned out on a Sunday afternoon for the love of their village.

P.S. Berry in Bloom has been persuaded to enter a new competition run by the RHS called the Pennant Award. The judging for this will be in July and encourages group involvement in looking after villages. So, wish us luck and do join in.



This winter is proving to be very stormy and wet although the temperatures have so far not been too cold and the pansies and cyclamen have been flowering well in the planters around the village. Shortly the daffodils will be cheering us all up and the days lengthening. Spring is just around the corner and we will be holding our first meeting of the year on February 25th at 7.30 in the Globe. Please try to come along and support us as we are always looking out for help and new ideas. We will again be taking the hanging baskets over to Georgeham to be filled and you are welcome to join this scheme, just let me know Tel. Wendy on 883170. This coming year we hope to have Berrynarbor open gardens again.





We have had a busy autumn removing the summer bedding and re-planting with bulbs and winter flowering pansies and cyclamen. We also managed to re-use some small shrubs saved from the previous winter displays. We had some help planting the bulbs at the Manor Hall when the playgroup children joined in! They were doing a project about autumn so we hope they enjoy watching the tulips and crocuses grow.

Sorry to say that although we tried our best this year to win the Best Kept Village award we only managed runner up. Never mind, next year we will have another chance and hope that more villagers will join us. We held the last litter pick of the year in early November and look out for our poster in the New Year with the date of our first meeting for 2014.

On 19th September we held a musical evening in conjunction with the Horticultural & Craft group. It was a lovely evening and we are grateful to Ian Hudson for organising the singers and players. We raised £155.00.

Another fun event was the Pumpkin Fair held on 19th October with the children dressed in their fancy dress costumes. Not much of a fundraiser but the kids and adults had a great time!




What a lovely summer we've had and we've been busy with the watering, but at least the flowers have had plenty of sun to bloom.

Although we did well, sadly we were not winners in the Best Kept Village competition but came within the top few with a creditable 91%.

The autumn will see us re-planting the tubs with bulbs for the spring and trying to save some of our larger plants for next year. We had a litter pick at the end of August and the amount of litter was proof that the summer was busy with lots of holidaymakers. Thank you to all the regular 'pickers' for your sterling work over the past year. There will be at least one more before the winter, so if you want to join us look out for the blackboard in the bus shelter.



At last the sun has come out and the village is looking lovely, we hope that the judges for the Best Kept Village competition think so too! You may wonder what the judges are looking for.

General tidiness

An absence of litter, dog fouling, overflowing litterbins, overgrowth of verges and hedges although areas managed for wildlife are fine.

Private buildings

The general condition and care of houses and gardens in the village.

Public buildings

The condition and cleanliness of public toilets and public telephone kiosk, well maintained public buildings with clear signage and well maintained notice boards.

Public open spaces

The maintenance of village greens, playing fields, schoolyards, public seats and car parks.

The village environment

The state of footpaths, stiles, field gates, signposting and ponds and streams. The condition of churchyards, cemeteries and war memorials.

Commercial and business premises

General tidiness, cleanliness and evidence of involvement with the community.

Evidence of Initiatives in the care and enhancement of village amenities

Such as evidence of public flower planters, maintained public gardens and children's play areas.

Evidence of community spirit

Such as the community shop, village newsletter, clubs and volunteering projects.

The final judging is in July and August so keep up the good work Berrynarbor and we could win again.



You may have seen us beginning to tidy up the flower beds and tubs around the village. We should soon be starting to plant out for summer but as the weather has been so cold we may have to wait before the tender bedding goes in. We have been given a grant of £250.00 and plan to use it around the Manor Hall where work has already started to repair the small wall around the flowerbed.

We had a fun fundraising car treasure hunt in April and raised just over £100.00. Some of the clues were quite fiendish but team G.B. (Colin, Jan, Gilly and Fenella) were the winners with Charlotte, Mickey, Morgan and Roker the winners of the family treasure hunt. Tea, cakes and something a little stronger were on offer at the Globe for both winners and runners up and a special prize went to Alan and Rosemary for completing the route on a motorbike.

By the time you are reading this, we should have held our next litter pick on Sunday, 12th May. Don't forget, we are entering the Best Kept Village competition and the judging is on-going through May, June, July and August, so we appreciate any help we can get.




We have decided to enter the Best Kept Village in Devon competition again in 2013. Although we tried to keep the village tidy last year we did not actually enter the competition.

Sunday, 24th February saw our first litter pick of the year and we had a really good turn-out of Berrynarbor villagers and managed to collect about 20 bags of rubbish!

We try to cover as much of the village as we can from Diggers Cross to Watermouth Harbour, the Old Coast Road, Sterridge Valley, Goosewell and Slew Lane - not much escapes us, BUT would you believe it, the next day you can always see fresh litter that has been thrown from cars.

One of the most annoying problems is with dog owners who neatly pick up and bag the poo only to decoratively hang it from bushes or trees. Can we please plead with dog owners to take their dog waste home with them for disposal OR if caught without a bag it is better to flick with a stick into the hedge where eventually it will naturally degrade?

Don't forget - if you put up posters for an event, to take them down again afterwards!

In February we ran a very successful Fun Quiz and Supper Evening in the Manor Hall, raising over £500.00. Thanks to Phil the Quizmaster and his lovely assistant 'scores on the doors' Tracey and Gilly who organised a great raffle and, of course, the ladies who cooked the tasty food.

We are planning a car treasure hunt in April so keep an eye out for our blooming posters.

Also a last reminder that we shall have taken most of the hanging baskets over to Streamways for re-fill by April but it is not too late if you want to join the scheme, just let me know on 07436811657 or 01271 883170.




Goodbye to the wettest year on record and welcome to 2013. We sincerely hope it will be a bit dryer!

Our treasurer and all round hard worker, Jenny Downer, has moved to Wiltshire and we wish her and Robin all the best and happy gardening in the future. We shall miss her and all her gardening knowledge but we are pleased to welcome Len to the blooming team who has kindly agreed to take over Jenny's role of treasurer.

Thanks also to The Globe for the donation to our funds with money raised from the Sunday night quizzes. Talking of quizzes we are holding another Fun Quiz and Supper Night at the Manor Hall on Friday

22nd February, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m. Bring your own drinks and glasses and a team of up to 8 people. Phil Bridle will be the Quiz Master and tickets, at £7.50 each will be available from the Shop from the 1st February. Make a note of the date, get your tickets and see you there!

We'll be taking the hanging baskets to Streamways in March and if you are interested in the re-fill scheme where we deliver the empty baskets, Streamways do the wonderful re-fill and then deliver them back to the village in May, please contact me on 01271 883170 or

mobile 07436811657 Please note my change of home number.



This year it feels as though we have had no summer and the autumn seems to have slithered straight in to winter. We are very relieved that we did not enter any competitions and although we planted up the tubs and hung up the hanging baskets we were more relaxed about how they looked after all the hard work and stress of representing the south west in the national competition last year. However, every rain cloud has a silver lining and one of these was that we did not have to worry about the watering quite so much, in fact I think some of the plants must have grown flippers and water wings it was so wet.

We have tidied up and planted the tubs with bulbs and bedding plants and pray and hope that next year the weather will be kinder to all of us.

Thank you to the entire Berry in Bloom team for litter picking, opening their gardens, baking, weeding and planting, and all the villagers who support us in whatever way. Don't forget we are always looking for more good folks to join us!

This year I am determined to cut down the costs of Christmas and one really nice way is to give home baked Christmas gifts. I have made these cookies for fetes and coffee mornings and when presented in a clear cellophane bag tied with a Christmas ribbon I think they will look and taste very seasonal. [I buy the cellophane bags from Lakeland, Catalogue reference 12007, 50 bags for £2.99].




It looks like we are coming to the end of one of the wettest summers on record, but just as the day of the village Jubilee celebrations turned out to be one of the only fine days in June, we were lucky with the weather on the 9th September for the Village Open Gardens. The sun brought out at least 50 villagers and holidaymakers. The gardens, surprisingly considering the wet summer, were looking lovely and the teas were as usual yummy. Many thanks to everyone who opened their gardens and to Phil and Lynn and all the 'girls' involved with the teas.

We shall be removing the summer bedding and hanging baskets and planting some spring bulbs and hope to have another litter pick in October. Please look out for our 'blooming' posters.


One of the cakes I made for the last litter pick proved to be very popular and as it was so simple to make here is the recipe. This cake does not contain any flour and takes long slow cooking.



Well, thank goodness we were not entered in any competitions this year because the weather has not been good for gardening and we should have struggled. However, all the village planters and hanging baskets looked great for the Village Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and we were so lucky that the weather on the Monday stayed fine - it was a great couple of days and the whole village was at its very best.

We have had another litter pick afternoon and are planning the next one for the 19th August and we do hope that you can come and join us. Look out for our posters.

The next Open Garden afternoon will be on the 9th September with teas at The Lodge, courtesy of Phil and Lynn when we hope to see you all there.




This is the time of year when we are at our busiest with planting, trimming, weeding and generally trying to keep on top of all the gardening jobs. The hanging baskets arrive in late May in time for the Jubilee celebrations, but this year with the watering system in place some of the work has been cut down.

We have had our first litter pick of the year and very successful it was too, with twenty eight good souls turning out on a lovely sunny day armed with bin bags and the promise of a lovely cup of tea and slice of cake afterwards. Thanks to all the new and regular 'pickers' and a special mention to Martin our 'road sweeper' for taking all the bags of litter away for us. Please keep an eye out for our 'blooming' posters with the date of the next litter pick.

Our fund raising this year is going quite well with the coffee morning organised by Pat and Maureen at Fuchsia cottage followed by the cake stall at the Easter Fayre organised by the Horticultural and Craft Show committee. The Quiz and Supper Evening in the Manor Hall was a great success and hopefully enjoyed by all who scratched their heads over Phil Bridle's fiendish horticultural questions. Many thanks to everyone who helped run these events and, of course, thank you to the good Berrynarbor folk for supporting us.

This year the first of the two Open Gardens afternoons was on 20th May for the Sterridge Valley. We were very lucky that the weather was kind to us and the afternoon sunny and warm. The Valley gardens were in all their natural spring loveliness and as always Judie and Ken organised a delicious cream tea. We made about £250.00 so many thanks to everyone who weeded, baked, or visited the gardens. The next Open Gardens afternoon will be on the 9th September for the Village.



This is a very busy time of the year for the blooming team, but with the lovely sunshine we have been having lately we are ready to start the years gardening and litter picking. Our first litter pick will be Sunday,

1st April, meeting at 2.00 p.m. at Bessemer Thatch. Everyone is welcome to join us and well follow the litter pick with tea and cake.This is weather dependent, so if in doubt please check with me on [01271] 882296 or 07810038659.

At the Berry in Bloom and Best Kept Village meeting held on 7th March, it was agreed to change the dates of the Gardens Open to May 20th for the Sterridge Valley and September 9th for the Village gardens. This is because of the very busy June, July and August this year with the Queens Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and all the usual village fetes. As always we are keen for any new gardens to open - they dont need to be perfect but if you have a lovely view, interesting water feature or whatever, please get in touch with me.

Well be running a Fun Quiz Night at the Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m. on Friday 20th April with Phil Bridle as Quiz Master, and with supper included for just £6.00. We shall also be manning the cake stall at the Horticultural & Craft Show Coffee Morning on Saturday 7th April, so we look forward to seeing you all there.

We hope that you will support these events as well not be getting any funding this year and must be self-supporting.




What a difference a year makes! Last year we were all frozen and the gardens were hibernating. This year in the first week of January in my garden I have in flower, snowdrops, hellebores, primroses, camellias and some daffodils are almost open. Not that unusual, but there are also roses, fuchsias, geraniums and many other flowers that have not stopped flowering since summer.

This year we shall be continuing to plant the tubs and supply the hanging baskets but we are having a year off from actually entering the competitions. We hope that you will continue to support us and join us for the litter picks and the garden open events. If you would like to take advantage of the hanging basket re-fill scheme please let me know on 882296. We'll be collecting empty hanging baskets to be re-filled by Streamways nursery from March onwards.

The first fund raising event for us this year will be a Fun Quiz and Supper Night in the Manor Hall on 2nd March in conjunction with the Horticultural Show Committee. We'll also be holding an open meeting in The Globe on Wednesday 7th March at 7.30 p.m., please come along if you have any ideas or want to join us.



The bloomers are coming to the end of a very busy gardening year. As most of you will have heard, we won a GOLD in the National R.H.S. Britain in Bloom Competition and were thrilled to be awarded this as we represented the whole of the South West in the village category. We were, however, pipped to the post by Luddenden in Yorkshire who were the overall winners.

This is the second time that Berrynarbor has won a Gold in the national competition so we really have done our best.

We have had a bit of a tidy up and taken down the hanging baskets, planted a few bulbs for the spring and some little conifers and cyclamen at the war memorial.

Entering the national competitions is a lot of hard work especially administratively and we plan to have at least a year off from entering the Best Kept Village and Britain in Bloom competitions. However, if anyone feels they might like to take on this responsibility, please do make yourself known!

In the meantime we'll be doing the digging, planting, litter picking, etc. and keeping the village blooming beautiful.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped us in any way in the last year and we hope to see you again next year - don't forget the tea and cakes!

As usual we'll be getting together in the new year, probably in February, to make plans for the special Diamond Jubilee year - I hope to see you there.



The Judges for the National Britain in Bloom competition arrived via the Sterridge valley on the 1st August and had a whirlwind tour of the village as they were only allowed one and a half hours in which to make their appraisal. We felt that the judging went well and despite the rain the village was looking great. We know they were impressed with the School Garden; the Community Shop and car park and the carnival float because they told us so, but we will not have the results of the competition until the 25th September when Wendy Jenner and Ann Harris and their spouses travel to Scotland to the presentations. We can, however, announce that in the Regional Britain in Bloom, we have again taken a Gold Award.

Meanwhile we have had the results for the Best kept Village competition and having won last year I am sorry to say that we have not done so this year, but it is nice that another village has a chance. We did, however, receive 90+ points out of 100 and had glowing comments. The judges remarked on the sensitivity of the care of the village, pointing out the wild flowers in the hedgerows and the churchyard and how nice the hanging baskets looked outside the bus shelter. The swallows' nest in the porch at the Manor Hall, the community spirit and the clean ladies toilet were all favourably commented on. There were, however, suggestions that there should be doggie bins on the footpaths. All in all we are very pleased and a copy of the full report can be seen in the shop.

Many people in the village have worked very hard this year and we should like to thank them all.

Unfortunately we have had to take down the planter at the bottom of Pitt Hill leading to Lee lane because although it has been there for at least ten or more years the Parish Council, after a complaint, deemed it to be a visual hazard.



I hope you all agree that, as we approach judging time, the village is looking lovely. We have pushed out the boat a bit this year and spent the money we have raised on beautiful flower displays as we are representing the South West in the National R.H.S. Britain in Bloom competition. We are lucky that so many villagers are dedicated to help with litter picks, gardening and other tasks in trying to achieve the goal of champions.

We have applied for a grant from Anglian Windows who are sponsoring this year's competition and have been given £250. Our intention is to buy a new bench and table to go in the gravelled area next to the Shop/Post Office so people can bide a while and maybe enjoy an ice cream. The shop helpers must be very pleased that a watering system has been installed to save them the difficult and soggy job of watering the hanging baskets - thank you, Ken.

Ken has also installed a watering system in the centre of the village and again this is an absolute boon to the hard-pressed wielders of the longest hosepipe in the west.

Our plans to renovate the area to the right of the bus shelter at the bottom of Pitt hill will hopefully come to fruition but not before the judging. It will have to be a work in progress. We have been very fortunate to be given a donation by the firm of one of our villagers to complete this work and our thanks go to Geoff and Judith.

The two Open Garden dates have come and gone; the first a complete washout as we had persistent heavy rain with strong winds and only sold six tickets! However, the Sterridge Valley afternoon was lovely and was well attended, with Judie's team providing the visitors with wonderful teas as usual. Many thanks to all who helped and Phil and Lynn for hosting the B.B.Q. for Berry in Bloomers in the evening.

We have done our best and now await the judge's results!




What a dry and warm spring we have had! This has meant that the colourful displays of daffodils, tulips and pansies have been over in a flash and the dreaded watering had to start early. We shall be planting out the summer bedding and taking delivery of the hanging baskets by the end of May, all in preparation for our goal as Best Kept Village and Britain in Bloom National entrants.

We have continued having litter picks and work parties at roughly five week intervals and this has worked well. Thank you to all those who sometimes take their lives in their hands on the roads and thank you to Martin who collects the bags of rubbish for us.

Following on from the Quiz Night fundraiser in February, we have had a very successful Coffee Morning in conjunction with the Horticultural & Craft Show Committee. Fund raising is in full swing and we are very grateful to the Amos-Yeo and Hart families for their generous donations.

Our next two main fundraising events are the Open Gardens afternoons on 12th June for the Village gardens and 3rd July for the Sterridge Valley. It is not too late to offer to open your garden and we are particularly looking for new gardens [new to us that is, as an old established garden cannot be beaten], so be bold, gardens do not have to be immaculate just well loved, and if you don't want to open your garden come along and have a nose at other people's and have a scrummy home baked tea at a bargain price.



We have got off to a really good start this year, with a very successful fund raising quiz night at the Manor Hall in February, followed by a well attended and helpful meeting in The Globe and at the first litter pick of the year we had so many good folk attend that we almost ran out of roads to send them on! It is great to know that the village is pulling together to try and equal our win in the Best Kept Village competition last year, and help us in our efforts to get Gold in the National R.H.S. Britain in Bloom competition 2011, where we'll be representing the South West. Two Bloomers went all the way to Liverpool for a seminar and two to Weston- Super-Mare for the launch of the South West competition. Our next event, in conjunction with the Horticultural & Craft Show group, will be a Coffee Morning on Saturday, 16th April.

We have decided to use Streamways Nurseries again for the hanging baskets and if you want to join in this scheme we'll be collecting and taking the baskets over to Georgeham in the next week or so. Please ring Wendy on [01271] 882296 if you would like to participate.

We've also set the dates for the two Gardens Open events this year. 12th June for the Village gardens and 3rd July for the Sterridge Valley. Once again Phil and Lyn at the Lodge and Ken and Judie at Chicane have kindly agreed to put on the scrummy cream teas, so please make a note in your diaries of the dates and as we are always looking for fresh 'mud', if you would like to open your garden please let me know.



This year, Berrynarbor has been asked to represent the South West in the National Britain in Bloom Competition, and we have again entered the Best Kept Village in Devon competition. It is quite flattering to be asked to represent the South West in the Britain in Bloom competition, but nerve racking as well. So we ask all of Berrynarbor to support us in this quest in whatever way you can, either by helping with planting, watering or litter picking, or by opening your garden for the Open Gardens afternoons or by visiting the gardens that are open.

Firstly though we are having a fund raising evening in the Manor Hall on Friday, 25th February at 7.30 p.m. This will be a Fun Quiz and Supper Evening which we are running in conjunction with the Horticultural Show Committee to raise funds for both groups. Phil Bridle will be our Quizmaster and the tickets at £6.00 a head, available from the Shop, will include a cottage pie supper with vegetarians being catered for. Please come along and bring your family and friends and make up teams of up to 6 people. Look out for the posters and we hope to see you there.

This will be followed by a meeting in The Globe at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday 1st March to discuss the coming year and everyone is welcome to come along and join in.


Forget the February cold weather and the chilly economic climate and try this winter warming pudding. Look out for supermarket Stollen going cheap at this time of the year or one that you have not used since Christmas.



We had a wonderful afternoon on the 9th October when we had the presentation at the Manor Hall for the Best Kept Village. One of the judges, Diana Tremlett, and the County Organiser, Elizabeth Cummings, presented the village with a voucher for £100.00 to be spent at Mole Valley Farmers [the sponsors] and our Best Kept Village 2010 plaque. The bell ringers greeted them with peals of bells and the village choir sang for them. Many villagers joined us to enjoy a delicious tea with a wonderful selection of cakes, all provided by ladies of the village. Many thanks to all who helped.

However, we must not rest on our laurels, we are already planning for next year. As the winners for the southwest this year, we have been asked by South West in Bloom to represent the southwest in the national competition run by the R.H.S. in 2011. We are aware that this is quite a feather in our cap but also a bit scary and we'll need all the help we can get from the whole village. We are hoping to recruit a few more helpers - could you take over the watering of an area for example? Also, we shall be having a few more fund raising events, so we hope we can count on your support. Look out for our blooming posters in the New Year and if you can help us in any way, please contact me on [01271] 882296.



Winners of the Best Kept Village in Devon 2010

[Past Winners' Group]

Britain in Bloom Gold Medallists and Winners of the Mary Mortimer Cup 2010 [Best in the South West]

We were thrilled to hear that the village had won the Best Kept Village this year. The score was 99 out of 100 and the report was glowing. It appears that the judges came twice, once in May and again in July when the village was looking its best, and we were lucky that the weather was good at that time of the year. So well done to the whole village! This competition is run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Mole Valley Farmers and a Presentation and Tea, to which the whole village is invited, will be held on Saturday, 9th October at the Manor Hall, 2.30 p.m.

We were also thrilled to win two gold medals and the Mary Mortimer Cup [Best in the South West for our category - large village] for Britain in Bloom. This competition is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, and as with the Chelsea Flower Show, a gold is as good as it gets! Our cup [or hanging basket] overflows!

Meanwhile, and back to earth, we'll be commencing the autumn jobs of clearing the summer bedding, putting away the hanging baskets and planting up the bulbs for spring. We'll also be having a litter pick before the Presentation [must keep our efforts up!] so look out for the blooming posters for more information.

Congratulations Berrynarbor!

Copies of the two 'glowing' Reports will be available for reading at the Presentation Afternoon, but are also on display at the Shop.




The excessively dry weather has kept the 'blooming' team very busy, especially with watering! All the tubs and planters have been planted up, some for the second time this year because of a few disasters! We have been busy weeding, cutting back and litter picking, yet there still seems a lot to do. We are waiting for the judging of Britain in Bloom on the 13th July. Our fate with the Best Kept Village judging has probably already been decided as the judging for this competition is on going. We hope that the village does well and that all the villagers and visitors enjoy our efforts,

The two Open Garden events have now taken place. June the 20th was the turn of the Sterridge Valley and luckily the weather was glorious, the teas truly scrumptious and the gardens were looking lovely. Then on the 18th July, 12 of the village gardens were open and despite rather poor weather, the event was well attended and the delicious teas, rather like the hokey cokey, were served in and out and shaken all about! Fortunately, the weather cleared in the evening for all garden owners and helpers to enjoy a BBQ at The Lodge and the annual game of giant Jenga!

Thanks to everyone involved in the two events which raised a sum of over £700.

On a lovely day, the Britain in Bloom judges appeared to be impressed with the village, which looked lovely. We now await the result and their comments.


Berry in Bloom and Best Kept Village

Spring has been such a long time coming but at last the sun is shining and although cold, the spring bulbs are just about showing their faces. In the autumn we planted about a thousand crocus bulbs in Claude's Garden and they are in bloom along with several clumps of snowdrops that were already there - they look lovely. This autumn we could plant another thousand and it would not be too many!

I expect many of you who use the shop and the car park will notice that the hedge at the back and side of the public toilets has been cut back and a membrane laid with gravel over it. This has tidied up the area and completes the work that was done in conjunction with the shop last year. This work was funded by Berry in Bloom and so we are very grateful for the very generous donations from the Hart and from Amos-Yeo families.

We are planning to have a litter pick on either of the two last Sundays of March [dependent on the weather] prior to the Easter holiday. The litter over the winter has definitely accumulated in certain areas, although I know that some good souls pick litter all year round.

We are also collecting up and delivering the hanging baskets to Streamways Nurseries, Georgeham, for filling. If you would like to join in with this scheme, please let me know.


Berry in Bloom and Best kept Village

Obviously with all the Arctic weather we've been having there has not been a lot going on with the Berry in Bloom group. We shall be having our first meeting of the year in March, so look out for the posters and please come and join us.

We should like to thank John and Fenella for the Christmas trees in the village, and Tom and Inge for allowing us to plug in to their electricity. This all added to the atmosphere at the Carol Singing in the square, as usual led by Phil and Tony, and of course this being Berrynarbor there had to be mince pies donated by the Globe and a good helping of mulled wine, which helped us to raise £84.00 for the Devon Air Ambulance.



We were very pleased to be awarded a Silver Gilt in the Britain in Bloom competition. We should like to thank Paul and Theresa for showing the judges around Berrynarbor Park and talking to them about conservation and compost! They commented favourably on our displays and made a few suggestions for further projects. Well done to us, but next year we will be aiming for Gold!

Over the last few weeks we have planted around 1000 crocuses in Claude's garden. The children from the playschool group were going to help but the weather was against us and we were afraid they would blow away! We had our last litter pick at the end of half term and all the tubs have been planted with bulbs. We look forward to Christmas and then another lovely Berrynarbor spring.



We have had a quiet couple of months with not much happening apart from watering and dead-heading, but we had a litter pick and work party mid-September to start clearing up after the main holiday season. The weather has not been very kind to the summer bedding plants even though early September was lovely, so we have started clearing them ready for the spring bulbs. We plan to plant crocus bulbs in Claude's garden with the help of the school children and tulips and daffodils in the tubs around the village.

We did much better this year in the Best Kept Village competition, although we were not first or second, but came equal third with a few other villages. It seems we shall have to work even harder next year! The funny thing is that last year they marked us really low because Claude's Garden was unfinished, but this year in their summary they did not even mention it. We thank all of you who have helped to keep the village tidy, but we really could do with a few more litter pickers, so don't feel shy, come and join us and enjoy tea and cakes after. The next litter pick is planned for the end of the autumn half term school holiday and will be the last litter pick for this year. Look out for the posters with the date and time. Hope to see you there.

As we go to press we have not yet had the results for the Britain in Bloom competition, but we are hopeful.



We have had some lovely weather over the last two months with extremely hot and humid days. The hanging baskets and tubs have loved it and the village is looking at its best. Claude's Garden is now tidy with its new railings and gate, just like a village green, although not all village greens have such a lovely view! The planting to the side of the shop is also complete and should fill out by next year. We have planted mainly scented climbers on the fence and trellis with lavender and roses. The idea is to mask any nasty whiffs from the septic tank and the public toilets!

The first Open Gardens afternoon on 7th June was the best we have ever held. The weather was lovely, the gardens were lovely and the cream teas at The Lodge, in their beautiful garden, were absolutely yummy. The second Open Gardens afternoon could not have been more different. Sadly the heavens opened at 1.00 o'clock and there was torrential rain with thunder and lightning that lasted for virtually the whole afternoon. Despite this, a few hardy and loyal [dare I say foolish?] villagers with a smattering of [desperate?] visitors turned up to make it unbelievably a fairly successful afternoon. The teas went down a real treat, with tables in the garage and indoors at Chicane and, of course, the men's final at Wimbledon was something to watch on the television out of the rain. Between the lovely afternoon in June and the wettest afternoon in July, we managed to raise over £600 for Berry in Bloom. Many thanks go to Phil and Lyn at The Lodge, Judie and Ken at Chicane, all the gardeners in the village and Sterridge Valley and not forgetting the willing cake bakers and helpers. This money will be spent on floral displays in the village next year.

The 16th July is the date for the judging of Britain in Bloom, which will have taken place by the time you read this, and we hope we do as well as last year when we won a GOLD. The judging for the Best Kept Village is on-going until the end of August, so please keep up all your good work.

We must thank the art group who were in Claude's Garden and made a donation of £20.00 to Berry in Bloom because the views down the village were so pretty. Nice to know we are appreciated.



Over the last two months the weather has been fairly dry and bright. However, we managed to pick an afternoon for our last litter pick when the heavens opened and we all got soaked! Never mind, a hot cup of tea and a large wedge of cake revived us, and we did have a sense of satisfaction that a job had been well done. We have now removed the spring bedding from the tubs and planters around the village and started to replace it with summer flowers. The small sitting area outside the shop has been planted with lavender, climbing roses, honeysuckle and clematis, the idea being to screen the area from the toilets with scented plants. This has been a joint project with the Shop Management. We hope to do some more planting to the left of the shop and keep the car park area tidy. At the bottom of Mill Lane, by the bus shelter, we have cut the small hedge and weeded and cleared the planted area.

In the last few days a fence has started to be erected around Claude's Garden. Maybe work can start here now. Watch this space.

The village Open Gardens with Cream teas are our main fund raising events of the year, so please come along and see our wonderful village from the perspective of other people's gardens. Have a stroll and then enjoy a cup of tea and delicious homemade cakes - hope to see you there.

7th June, 1.30 to 5.30 p.m. Village Gardens with tea at The Lodge
5th July, 1.30 to 5.30 p.m. Sterridge Valley Gardens with tea at Chicane

Tickets will be available in advance from the Shop, The Globe, or at one of the Gardens on the day.

Please keep up the good work of litter picking: the judging for The Best Kept Village is on-going throughout the year. If you are advertising an event, don't forget to remove the posters afterwards, out-of-date notices leave a black mark on the judging sheet! Our floral displays for Britain in Bloom will be judged in July.

If you are in to gardens and would like to look further afield, Kentisbury will be holding their Open Gardens and Cream Teas in aid of their village hall on Saturday, 20th June, at Beach Borough. Entrance is £1 and teas £3.50 and you can visit from 2.00 p.m. onwards. There will be a WI Cake Stall and for more information speak to Viviane on [01271] 882487.

If you are having a summer B.B.Q. or party you might like to try this easy dessert recipe that needs hardly any cooking. It does however contain uncooked eggs so is not suitable for pregnant women or the very elderly.


Berry in Bloom & Best Kept Village

Another year another litter pick. We have had our first litter pick of the year with quite a good turn out and loads of litter picked up, at least 12 large bags, which we took to the tip. The centre of the village was, as usual, pretty tidy thanks to the regular walkers who do their best to keep it so. Unfortunately the main roads were very bad as is normal for the first pick of the year. Regular picks will be made throughout the coming year.

At the first meeting of the year it was agreed that we should continue to enter the Britain in Bloom and Best Kept Village competitions, even though last year we had a spectacular fall from favour in the Best Kept village competition. Claude's garden is the 'bugbear' and this is really not up to us but the Parish Council. We shall send a covering letter to the judges to explain this and keep our fingers crossed that they understand.

We also decided that the Open Gardens dates would be Sunday, 7th June for the Village, and Sunday, 5th July for the Sterridge Valley. We are looking for gardens to open, so if you are interested please ring me on 01271 882296. They do not need to be perfect!

For the last few years we have had our hanging baskets planted by Streamways Nurseries at Georgeham - they do a wonderful job! If you would like to have top quality planting in your own baskets we can take them over for you. Streamways deliver them back here in the last week of May. The guide price is: 12" basket £14.50, 14" basket £16.25, 16" basket £17.25. Again, if you are interested please 'phone me on the above number.

Our first fund raising event of the year was a Coffee Morning at Fuchsia Cottage, A big thank you to Pat and Maureen and the ladies who supplied the lovely cakes. £200.00 was raised with half going to Berry in Bloom and the other half to the shop.

Meanwhile, despite the coldest winter for 20 odd years, our spring planting is springing in to flower. Tempting the first bumblebees of the year are the mini daffodils and chunky hyacinths, we hope you enjoy them.


Berry in Bloom & Best Kept Village

This is proving to be a cold winter, good and bad news for gardeners. Good because the cold will kill quite a few of the creepy crawlies that plague us and I am thinking particularly of the 'foreigners' that have thrived in the run of really mild winters we have had in the last few years. However, the cold is bad news for all of us trying to nurse tender plants through the winter. This is a quiet time for the Berry in Bloomers but we dream of the spring and our plans for 2009!

We shall be having a meeting at the Globe on Wednesday, 11th February at 8.00pm. If you would like to join us, we hope to see you there.


Berry in Bloom & Best Kept Village

We are thrilled that we managed to get a Gold for Berry in Bloom. The judges were most impressed with the community effort shown in the opening of the new shop - our small part was to supply the tubs and hanging baskets and try to keep the car park area weed-free and tidy. They visited the gardening club at the school in a downpour when they were met by the children and their helpers and were impressed by their enthusiasm and effort. We were able to explain that Claude's Garden was a 'work in progress' and a trip around the village couldn't fail to impress. Finally, refreshments at the Lodge and the sight of Phil's well tended and lovely garden did the trick! Thank you to all involved, both for the physical efforts and for the financial support - there are too many to mention but you all know who you are.

We have had our last litter pick of this year and completed our autumn clear up. 'Get a Stick and Flick it!' - this is the policy of Exmoor National Park, Devon Countryside Access Forum and the Kennel Club, as seen on the notices on the walks to Heddons Mouth, regarding the disposal of dog poo. How sensible! This is a far pleasanter and environmentally friendly way of keeping our 'walkways' free, and so much better than poo left in bags beside the road or beside paths. On a recent 'litter pick' walk up the Valley, no less than 4 poo bags were found surreptitiously hidden in the undergrowth on the side of the road - it can't rot in plastic bags but the rain and weather will break it down if it is 'flicked' into the hedgerow.

You may have noticed that the shrubs at the bottom of Pitt Hill have had a severe haircut, but they were very overgrown and will soon grow again in the spring. The planters and tubs have been planted with bulbs and polyanthus and we hope you enjoy them in the spring.

We shall meet early next year to discuss our plans, so look out for our posters and we hope you will join us.





Disaster has struck! From winning the Best Kept Village award for several years and coming runner up twice, we have plummeted to third from bottom out of twenty-seven entries!

The reason? Not because the village was untidy, not because of litter or dog fouling, not because the flowers looked messy, not because of the lack effort from the 'Bloomers' and villagers themselves, but because of Claude's Garden! We feel this to be very unfair. We are waiting for the Parish Council to build steps and paths, tenders have gone out, but obviously work has not begun. The problem is that the judges come unannounced, we do not meet them and therefore we cannot explain that the garden is a 'work in hand'. The project will not be resolved until work has been completed on the Garden and we do not know when that will be. Our apologies to all who have tried so hard to make the village look 'best kept'.

No result yet of the Britain in Bloom competition, let's hope we do better. The flowers have been a bit of a sorry sight this year because of the atrocious summer weather, but the whole country has suffered the same and we can't change that. Late News: WE MADE GOLD!!

This autumn we will be putting in bulbs and spring bedding plants. Let's hope again that next year will be better.


Advance Notice ... Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May 2009



Since the new Shop opened in the spring, Berry in Bloomers have concentrated on the car park area, with a work party weeding and tidying. It has been decided to cover the area behind the Shop with weed suppressing membrane and to plant shrubs and flowering plants through this.

Thank you to Tony Summers for his magnificent job of repairing the very tatty finger post at the bottom of Barton Lane/Castle Hill.

We have continued with the litter picks and planting of tubs around the village. This includes planting up and looking after the tubs in the centre of the village outside empty houses, either up for sale or holiday homes. This adds to the commitment of watering, so many thanks to those that do this very necessary task.

Late May saw the arrival of the hanging baskets. The van arrived in the village centre to unload and the heavens opened! But once again they look lovely and defy the elements.

The first of the Open Garden events was the Sterridge Valley in June. The afternoon was well supported, especially by locals, and why not, as the gardens and weather were lovely and a scrumptious cream tea was on offer all for only £4.00?

The second event in July followed horrendous weather that week and could easily have been a washout. However, we must have done something right as although cold, windy and threatening, the rain held off until 5 o'clock. There were many holidaymakers at this event and again the gardens were lovely, with Longacre and Sloley Farm new gardens for this year. Thank you to all the good folk involved with both these events.

Friday, 11th July and the Britain in Bloom judges came to inspect the village. They learned of all our plans, saw our handiwork and visited the gardening club at the School in the middle of a very heavy shower. Their visit took in a trip around the village and finished with morning coffee at The Lodge. They appeared to love everything, but we'll not have the result for a few weeks yet.

Thank you to everyone in the village who supports us, especially Mike Hart and family for their very generous donation.

P.S. Look out for our posters as to when the next litter pick takes place.


Berry In Bloom & Best Kept Village

On the whole it has been a cold spring, the advantage being that the daffodils and primulas lasted longer in the planters, whereas last year in the warm spring they were over in a flash.

This year we have added to the containers of plants around the village with new wooden planters outside our lovely new shop and post office. I hope you agree that the little yellow violas and cheery red daisies (bachelor's buttons) have added to the welcome. These will be supplemented with bedding plants for the summer. Thank you Jackie, Anita and the army of volunteers for keeping them watered.

The hanging baskets are due to arrive at the end of May and then the real work of keeping them watered starts. We shall also be changing the spring bedding to the summer display.

At the moment we are waiting for tenders to go out for work to begin on Claude's garden.

We had a donation of £100 from the barn dance in May and have donated this to the school, as we like to support and encourage the children in the gardening club. Last year the Britain in Bloom judge voiced a request to meet the children, so we are hoping that this year we can arrange it.

Our main fund raising event as usual will be the Open Gardens.

This year they will be:

Sterridge Valley, Sunday 8th June

teas at Chicane thanks to Ken and Judie

The Village, Sunday 6th July

with teas at The Lodge thanks to Phil and Lynne

We have one or two new gardens opening this year so let's hope for good weather and please come along and support us.

Just a reminder that judging for the Best Kept Village award has already started. The judges come unannounced from early May onwards and we rely on everyone to keep their area tidy. One of the things they look for, and for which they deduct points, are out-of-date posters and notices. If you display such items around the village, please make sure you take them down again once they are no longer applicable - put them in the litter bins or despatch them to Room 101!

We have already had a couple of litter picking afternoons followed by tea and cake (just a little bit of bribery!) and are always grateful to those who help in any way and always welcome new helpers. Just look out for our 'blooming' posters.



Having been away for most of the winter, it was lovely coming back to the village and seeing the snowdrops and primroses. There is nowhere in the world lovelier than a Devon village, and ours in particular.

We held our first meeting at The Globe on 5th March and it was well attended. It was agreed to help our new Shop by supplying some new tubs and to ask the School to help by planting them up.

We shall be entering the Best Kept Village and Britain in Bloom competitions again this year.

Our main fund-raising events will be the Open Garden events which are set for:

Sterridge Valley on the 8th June

and the Main Village on the 6th July

[a change from the 29th June - our first choice - as the

Combe Martin Gardens are open on the 28th and 29th June].

Unfortunately, the first Litter Pick on the 16th March was cancelled due to the pouring rain. As soon as the decision was made to cancel it, out came the sun! However, most areas were covered the following day and some of the tubs in the village were supplemented with spring flowers to make a cheerful display for Easter.

Please look out for our 'Blooming' Posters for further Litter Pick Dates.

Years ago I was lent an old American Cake Book dating back to the 40's and 50's. Some of the cakes had weird ingredients, such as mayonnaise and beetroot, but one really caught my eye! I tried the recipe out and tested it on friends and family [poor souls]. To our amazement the cake was moist, sweet and slightly spicy - yum, yum, but you have to admit you would never guess the main ingredient 'Tomato Soup'!! So, for April Fools Day I give you Tomato Soup Cake. Do try it out and get your family to guess what's in it, they will be amazed!



On the whole we have had a lovely autumn - just what we all needed after the miserable summer, but now winter is upon us. The group have had a year of litter picking, planting and tidying up the village and can now rest until the spring. We hope you've enjoyed the floral displays around the village and may be you will consider joining us next year.

This year we again won a Silver Gilt Award from the Britain in Bloom competition. We were very pleased, as the difficult weather conditions in the summer meant we, ourselves, were a little disappointed with our show of flowers. Of course the competition is not just about flowers but about community involvement, care of the environment, etc. That is something that abounds in this village and of which I am sure we can all be proud.

We hope to see you next year, our first meeting will be some time in February, so look out for 'blooming' posters!



At last we have had a bit of sunshine again and amazingly there is still a good show from the hanging baskets in the centre of the village, but on the whole it has been a slightly disappointing year for us. The results of the Best Kept Village competition saw us slipping from second last year with 97/100 points to a nowhere with 93 points this year. I think this mainly came from our bad luck at having an early judging when the weather was so bad and we had not got round to planting out the containers or 'spring cleaning' the village. Never mind, we are not deterred and are determined to do better next year. The results of the Britain in Bloom competition have yet to be announced.

Hundreds of polyanthus plugs have arrived and been potted up by Phil ready for the winter bedding displays, and that will be the next ask to be completed. But in the meantime, we continue to do the litter picks [on the last one some holiday makers joined in!] and have work parties to tidy up. Do not forget - all are welcome to join and enjoy the tea break afterwards.



Well, what can we say! Having had the sunniest and driest spring, summer is turning out to be a total washout. This has made it very hard for all the gardeners and no doubt the farmers too. The planting in the tubs has refused to flower and the hanging baskets are being blown to pieces! However, with the litter picks and a lot of hard work from the trusty band of 'bloomers', when the Britain in Bloom judge came in the first week in July, he seemed very pleased, but we don't get the results until September.

The judging for the Best Kept Village is on-going with judges doing spot checks, so please keep up the good work. Again, we will know the results in September.

The two Open Gardens events were also affected by the weather. The first in the Sterridge Valley was reasonably fine in the afternoon for the garden visitors, but it poured with rain during the BBQ held afterwards at Ken and Judie's. Well done to them both for their hard work and for Phil, aided and abetted by Ken, for cooking in the rain. Did we enjoy it though? Yes, we did!

The day of the Village Open Gardens dawned to pouring rain and we considered cancelling it, but it cleared up later and we went ahead. The numbers were definitely down but the hardy viewers were treated to wonderful displays of flowers and a lovely tea, thanks to Lynne, Phil and helpers at The Lodge. Needless to say, this time we cancelled the BBQ to follow. The two events raised just over £400.

Many thanks to all those who opened their gardens, those who provided food for the yummy teas, transported chairs, etc., and made the events successful despite the weather.



The wonderful weather that we had in late March and April means that the spring bulbs, primroses and cowslips were over in a flash. We do not start watering the tubs and plants until the summer bedding is in, so the poor old tulips, daffodils and primulas suffered quite a bit. Who would think that we could complain about it being too dry in April!

This year we have been asked by the Parish Council to help with the rejuvenation of Claude's Garden. Over the years this has become overgrown and in need of a make-over. The idea is to open it up and make it more accessible. To enable the whole village to have their say as to how they would like to see the garden progress, a meeting was held on the 22nd May to discuss the options. The Parish Council is applying for grants to help the funding of this, but it is hoped that the whole village will join in and be involved.

The litter picks continue and the hanging baskets are due to be delivered on the 25th May. The dates for the Open Gardens are:


The Sterridge Valley
to 5.30 p.m.
Teas from 3.00 p.m. at Chicane


The Village
to 5.30 p.m.
Teas from 3.00 p.m. at The Lodge

If you would like to have your garden open on one of these dates, please 'phone Wendy on [01271]882296. It's a lovely way to meet people and your garden doesn't have to be perfect. If you are in the process of rejuvenating an old garden or creating a new one, we should love to see 'work in progress'.

Please make a note of the dates and come along and support us.

Judging for the Best Kept Village is on-going, so keep up the good work.



It has been decided that the village will enter the Britain in Bloom and Best Kept Village competitions again this year. The emphasis is on natural sustainable beauty and care for the environment. As usual we know we can count on everyone to pick up any litter, scoop the poop [please don't throw the bags in the hedge], and go mad with flowers. The first meeting of the year in The Globe was well attended and the first litter pick gathered the usual motley assortment of 'goodies' including a badger's skull!

We have asked Streamways Nurseries at Georgeham for their help again with the hanging baskets. Anyone who wants to join in the scheme [we take the empty baskets to them and they deliver them back beautifully filled for a reasonable price], please contact Wendy on 882296.

Our main fund raising events are the Open Gardens. The two dates this year are: Sterridge Valley Gardens on Sunday, 17th June, with teas at Chicane, thanks to Ken and Judie, and the Village Gardens on Sunday, 15th July with teas at The Lodge thanks to Phil and Lynne. We are always looking for new gardens, so if you think your garden is up to friendly scrutiny, please do let us know.

Thanks to Pat and Maureen for the donation from the coffee morning held on 9th March at Fuchsia Cottage, and to Rainer and Jill for the donation from the Flowerpot Men books.

We are on the lookout for small, plastic flowerpots to pot on the small plug plants we have ordered. If you can spare any, please drop them off to Jenny at Middle Lee Farm.

Happy gardening to you all.



Not much has been happening but we hope you enjoyed the Christmas tree in the centre of the village - the lights provided by Berry in Bloom, the tree a kind donation from John and Fenella and the electricity by courtesy of Dave and Eve at Miss Muffets.

We should like to thank Derek Phillips for the donation of £200 for the help given by members of our team at the Classic Moto-Cross des Nations meet on the 2nd and 3rd September. It has been agreed with Derek that £100 should go to the School to help with their gardening club.

We shall be having our first meeting in February and the date will be announced on one of our 'blooming' posters! Hope you can join us in 2007.



We have had a lovely autumn and cannot complain about the well needed rain. We recently had a work party to clear the summer bedding and plant spring bulbs and primulas in the tubs. The hanging baskets are down and in storage until next year.

The presentation of a plaque was made to Sue Sussex, on behalf of the group, for our position as Best Kept Village Runner Up. This took place at the Globe [due to the fire in the Manor Hall] at the beginning of the November Parish Council Meeting.

We should like to thank the Parish Council for their support over the past year and look forward to their continued support next year.

As a group, we start again in the spring and hope to welcome any new faces.

Happy Christmas, Wendy



September is proving to be another glorious month weather-wise. This last spring and summer has been difficult for all gardeners and no less so for Berry in Bloomers. Despite this we managed to win Silver Gilt for the Berry in Bloom award and came second in the Best kept Village competition. Britain in Bloom is not a competition as such, but awards are made on the merit of planting, quality of flowers, involvement of the village etc. As in the Chelsea flower show, Gold is the top award. then Silver Gilt, Silver and Bronze. In the Best kept Village we only lost by one point. No shame in that when the judges admitted the village was near perfect. But the whole point of our involvement in these competitions is not just to win but also to keep our village a clean and attractive place for us all to live in. Therefore, once again we must thank all the good folks who help in whatever way.

Later this month we shall be emptying the summer bedding and planting up the containers with bulbs and spring bedding. We are also helping the school by providing money and plants for their gardening club. Litter picks followed by tea and cakes are, of course, ongoing. The next one will be on Sunday, 15th October, 2.30 p.m. at Middle Lee Farm. Any help would be welcome. For future 'Picks' look out for our blooming posters! And once again well done Berrynarbor!




The sun is shining, the birds singing and I hope you all agree that the village is looking lovely. The Best Kept Village judging is on-going and we do not know when the judges make their visits. So obviously we have to be on our toes all the time.

The judging for Britain in Bloom took place on 12th July. The judge is not allowed to give a hint as to what he thinks, but he seemed to like what he saw. Certainly he enjoyed the cream tea kindly provided by Phil and Lynne at The Lodge. We could not have a band of more willing helpers and thanks to all who help in whatever way.

The first of the Open Gardens, the Village, took place on 18th June. The weather was fine but cloudy and there were plenty of visitors. The second, the Valley, took place on the 23rd July. It was a very hot and sunny day and again there were a lot of visitors, many of whom were anxious to look at the garden at Harpers Mill. Many thanks to Phil and Lynne and Ken and Judie and their bands of waiters and cake makers for once again providing teas at The Lodge and Chicane, where on both days, evening BBQ's followed for everyone involved. The two days together raised nearly £700 - a great effort by everyone involved.

Please keep an eye open for our 'blooming' posters as we are planning a car boot sale in the late summer.



Spring is a very busy time for all gardeners but despite the cold weather, the Berry in Bloom helpers have been out trying to keep the village tidy and shipshape. So far we have had a couple of litter picks and planted out the tubs with summer bedding plants. This year we have invested in some new tubs and plan to add more. All the spring bulbs that were removed have been planted at the car park, so look out for some colour there next year. Sadly, the very first night that the planting was done, we had vandalism when one of the standard fuchsias at the bottom of the church steps was snapped off and thrown on the doorstep nearby! The police are very keen that any vandalism in the village is reported, so please either 'phone them or let me know about it.

The hanging baskets arrived on the 21st May in time for the Spring Bank Holiday [Whitsun]. Unfortunately, this was a cold, windy and rain-swept day but we hope they will thrive and be enjoyed by the village and holidaymakers and, of course, help us to win again!

We have removed dead conifer and tree stumps from outside the Manor Hall and plan to plant a tree and some perennial planting there. Although we may have to wait until we get the bindweed under control! The next urgent project will be to replant the large bed by the bus stop opposite the Sawmill Inn.


Sterridge Valley with teas at Chicane

Times: 1.00 to 5.30 p.m. Tickets available from the

Shop and at the Gardens on the Day

Adults: £3.50 Under 8's: £2.50

Proceeds to Berry in Bloom and other Local Charities

Please come along and support us and have a good time

For any other dates, please look our for our 'Blooming' posters. Thank you to the Combe Martin Carnival Committee for their kind donation, and also the folks at the Village Barn Dance, for their donation.




By the time you read this the judging will have taken place [13th July]. The village looks LOVELY and wo have high hopes that we earn a cup this year. Thank you so much to everyone whose garden and baskets are 'in bloom', but especial thanks to the following team of flower planters, tub makers, bench and litter bin painters, slug killers, etc: Josef & Heddy Belka, John & Jackie Weaver, Roy & June Perry, Les & Heather Levey, Carol Redwood and Noel, Edna Barber, Sally Barten, and Arthur.

Best Kept Village: Did you realise that what we call ' home' is a kind of paradise for the holidaymaker? At least this is what many visitors say about Berrynarbor. We are lucky to live in such beautiful village BUT the credit for such a paradise belongs to all of us who really CARE about where we live. We assume that the first round of judging is complete and we shall just have to wait and see how we fare this year. [No news at time of going to print]. Thank you to everyone who picks up litter, sweeps and just plain keeps their patch 'best kept'. Well done, Youth Club, for the litter walk.

Joy Morrow