March has been wonderful

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March has been a wonderful month and the bulbs are looking as good as I ever remember them as they’ve had no wind or snow to contend with. Maybe tomorrow’s forecast snow will put paid to that but I can’t see much coming or lasting for long if it does come at all.

Famous last words it’s now a white out and for once the BBC got it right. Ah well, the hyacinths have been glorious and now they are flat! The big benefit of the perennial planting in the Square is that we have colour all the time, more subtle colour but constant and not weather dependent.

Things are hotting up for the season now and we are well on with our litter clearances with the final one taking place on Saturday April 14 at 2pm. If you want to join this Keep Scotland Beautiful Beach Spring Clean join us at the Green Pavilion at 2pm that day and you can help to clean up your beach for the summer season.

On the schools front the P5s at Mill O Forest had the dubious pleasure of having me along to talk to them about how to make compost. They proved to be a knowledgeable group and I was very impressed by their grasp of the basics of compost making and the need for recycling as much of our waste matter as possible.

The Mackie Academy pupils of SV3 have joined us again in helping to clear the town of litter and we all enjoyed their company and hope to have them back next term to help us with some gardening jobs at the start of summer.

Over the past few weeks a wee group of our members, John, Pat, Allan and Steve, have been working on a small train, made from disused whisky barrels, which was bought for us by Scotrail and is now taking pride of place on the north platform at the station. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth taking a walk along to look as it is quite splendid in its Caledonian Railways colours, which also happens to be our Horizon blue. It is filled with flowering polyanthus and looks very cheery for anyone arriving at Stonehaven by train.

Forest View too has been having a bit of a facelift these last few weeks when we’ve been digging in the warm sunshine, what a treat, to clear the vegetable patch in time for sowing their seeds. The produce is harvested later in the summer and used to make nutritious soups and stews by the members.

We are hoping to extend the floral effects in the Market Square this summer by the addition of six new barrier baskets on the railings on the south side of the Square. This should make quite an impact and placing them there helps further our aim of having the Square as the centrepiece of the flowers in the town and an area which uplifts everyone, even if they are only parking their car.

Last week Mary Jackson, our vice convenor, and I were invited along to the AGM of the Stonehaven Business Association, held at the Royal Hotel this year. We enjoyed meeting many old friends and making a few new ones as the town has a few new and exciting shops which have opened in the last year. We are ever grateful for the generous sponsorship the local businesses give us and without this we would be unable to continue with our work. As ever all donations, large and small, are put to good use and very gratefully received. I’m sure I need not tell any of you that the cost of everything has soared this year and our supplies are no different, especially as many have to come from afar and fuel costs have made a big difference to the basic cost.

If you as an individual would like to donate to our work Connon’s in Allardyce Street are very kindly helping us again by taking in sponsorship cheques and cash and passing them on to our treasurer. It is a great help having a venue in the centre of town prepared to do this as it’s so much easier for donors than sending letters and we are very indebted to them for this help.

Our plans for the next few weeks are all set and we are gearing up for the plants which arrive at the end of May. Compost and fertiliser to be bought and baskets to be cleaned up for the season, as well as all the rest of the jobs which continue. No rest for the wicked as the saying goes!