Blooming Milford

Set up in 2008, Blooming Milford is a volunteer group of residents who strive to make Milford a better place through gardening related activities.  Many of the flower displays that you see as you travel through the village were created and are maintained by them and they co-ordinate their efforts closely with Belper Town and Amber Valley Borough councils. Their funds are mainly obtained from plant sales from plants from their own gardens.

The first major project of the group, in 2009, was to plant 3500 daffodil bulbs  in the verge by the Strutt Arms on the A6, which now give a spectacular annual display as in the photo above. The group has since then planted daffodils, crocuses and anemones in the verges by the Strutt Arms bus stop, on Vicarage Road and on Wood Lane, daffodils and snowdrops in the Children’s Play Area on the A6, and daffodils, wild daffodils, snowdrops, and bluebells near the riverside path in Hopping Mill Meadow.

The next major project, and the largest to date, was renovation of The Triangle, the garden area owned by Belper Town Council on the junction of the A6 and Chevin Road, opposite The Strutt Arms. The front strip by the A6 continues to be planted up with colourful bedding by Belper Town Council, but Blooming Milford have taken over maintenance of the back portion. In 2013 it was completely cleared and rotavated, then replanted with perennial plants, shrubs, fruit trees & herbs. Since then many daffodils have been planted and in 2019 the area pruned and the planting refreshed.

Blooming Milford has been keen to provide the community with herbs and fruit that are free for them to take and use. In 2010 & 2011 herb planters were set up on The Triangle and at the south end of the Hopping Mill Meadow riverside path and these are completely refreshed with new plants annually. There are also larger herb plants in the ground in The Triangle. Herbs include parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint and fennel. There is also rhubarb available on The Triangle. In 2013 pear, eating and cooking apple trees were planted on The Triangle, and now produce masses of fruit and in 2020 a plum tree was planted in The Spring Garden (see below.) At the end of 2020 and in early 2021 Blooming Milford, with the help of Belper Town Council (BTC), expanded community fruit tree numbers in Milford considerably further. 6 cordon plum, pear and apple trees were bought with a grant from BTC for the Green Space for Milford above Holy Trinity Church on the A6, and planted by the primary school children in December 2020 (see here for a detailed article) and Blooming Milford received a grant for 30 fruit trees for Hopping Mill Meadow from BTC which were planted by volunteers in April 2021 (detailed article here.) These include apples, pears, plums, damsons, quince and mulberries. There are now 41 community fruit trees around the village thanks to Blooming Milford.

Replenished herb planters on The Triangle July 2020

In 2018 the next large project undertaken by Blooming Milford was installation of the four benches situated along the riverside path in Hopping Mill Meadow. Following the success of these, a further two were installed in February 2022. The wildflowers in the meadow every summer are the result of a multi-year planting programme by Blooming Milford.

2020’s large project was the setting up of the Spring Garden at the south end of Hopping Mill Meadow (see here for article). In March, just before lockdown, a large area was planted up with shrubs, trees, plants and bulbs to produce a garden which will look its best February – April. More bulbs were added in autumn 2020 and January – February 2021. In 2020 perennial planters were set up by the Strutt Arms bus stop and at the bottom of Little Fallows and in 2021 a planter full of shade loving perennials set up by the Children’s Play Area pelican crossing on the A6.

Magnolia and cherry blossom in flower in Spring Garden March 2020

Following the success of the Spring Garden in 2020, Blooming Milford created an Autumn Garden in 2022, their main project this year (see here for article in detail). The aim is to create a bed of perennial flowers, shrubs and bulbs that look their best September – November. The bed is close to the weir on the riverside in Hopping Mill Meadow.

Mulch in place – Autumn Garden complete.

Blooming Milford has entered Milford into the East Midlands in Bloom (EMIB) best kept village competition in 2011, 2013, 2021 and 2022. In 2011 the village won a silver award, in 2013 and 2022 a silver gilt award, and in 2021 the highest award given by the EMiB judges, gold. See here for an article on all the efforts made to tidy up the village ready for the 2021 judging. Blooming Milford entered The Triangle into the EMIB “It’s your neighbourhood” competition in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and in 2019 it gained the highest award category, “Outstanding”.

To read a Derbyshire Life article on East Midlands in Bloom 2011 – with a focus on Milford’s Silver medal, click here

If you are interested in helping out in Blooming Milford’s activities, please contact the chair of the group, David Moreton

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