Todmorden In Bloom: We have some big ideas for our small spaces

Ingenious thinking...seeking out planting spots in Todmorden
Ingenious thinking...seeking out planting spots in Todmorden

It’s possible to create an attractive feature in the tiniest of plots by choosing the right plants and by making the most of every available surface, whether you’ve got a back yard, a balcony or your growing area merely consists of a window ledge.

Do you have a sunny window ledge that could accommodate a window box?

These trough-shaped containers suit a wide variety of compact plants. You could change the display every few months, but try using at least one permanent focal evergreen plant.

You could try mixing together a variegated leaved ivy with pansies through the winter months, with bulbs emerging in spring and bedding plants in summer. Alternatively, you could use the window box to raise herbs such as chives, rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, or oregano.

Window boxes come in many sizes, so measure up your ledge carefully and try to fix wall brackets or make sure it is held securely somehow to prevent toppling off in stormy conditions.

Balconies can be inhospitable for growing plants if facing north. You should try for low-growing plants in pots that can be easily protected from strong winds such as herbs or alpines. The more shelter you can provide on the balcony, the wider selection of plants you can grow. Hardy perennials, bulbs, and grasses can all be raised.

If your balcony is enclosed by metal railing you may be able to organize extra shelter. Here in Todmorden the Roomfield flats which face Central Methodists have some beautiful floral displays.

In yards plants, shrubs and even small trees can be successfully grown in large pots. Take advantage of your vertical space and make the most of every available centimetre by, for instance, growing trailing plants like nasturtiums.

Right now some of Todmorden in Bloom’s favourite August and September perennial flowering plants include Heleniums, Asters, Crocosmia, Rudbeckia, and Kniphofia.

The judging for the Todmorden in Bloom annual gardens competition is now complete, and we are preparing for the presentation evening which will take place early in October. The judges were treated to a feast of garden delights, with high standards in all categories.

It was good to see that many of the entrants have also taken on the challenge of growing their own vegetables. Of particular note were entrants who were making effective use of small spaces (as the above suggestions!) and unusual containers such as shopping bags!

We were also impressed by the range of vegetables; we admired beautiful bulbs of fennel and crisp heads of celery. There were also many lovely flower beds and attractively designed containers to enjoy.

Todmorden in Bloom is lucky to have so many talented residents creating vibrant and often unusual gardens; we would like to thank them for taking the trouble to enter the competition and enriching our town.

We look forward to seeing the winners in October.

Todmorden in Bloom will always welcome more helpers.

For more information please phone Norman on 01706 812205 or Jean on 01706 817492 or see our website at