Wednesday, 9 September 2009

My first OOTS

“What’s OOTS?” I hear you say. Nope, this isn’t a bit of broad Scots ‘tongue’ that I’ll have you guessing on. Okay, I’ll give you a clue…


Ah… perhaps that didn’t help. Too small a snapshot and perhaps not something usually associated with OOTS planting. How about this then…


Ah… it’s a long border! Well, strictly speaking yes it is. Have you guessed yet?


Gold stars all round to everyone who guessed that OOTS stands for Out on the Streets. The invitation for this quarterly posting is from VP over at Veg Plotting to share with everyone what public planting in your neighbourhood has caught your eye at the moment.

When is a wild flower meadow not a meadow… when it’s OOTS perhaps? For a while now I have wanted an excuse to include this strip of wildflower planting since I first spotted it on the way into the small village of Bridge of Earn. When VP suggested it would be great if I joined her this month with a take on wildlife I smiled. My small canon was packed away in my bag for the next time I passed.

At the end of this wild flower strip there is a small roundabout with a very tidy, colourful and imaginative display that will also attract bees, butterflies and many other insects. However, I just love to think of the insects enjoying wild flowers so much more. Wouldn’t it be great of strips like this were seen in city centres?



Okay… moving smoothly on to a city centre, with a less than smooth street, some bold street planting and another garden blogger...

Liz over at Gwirrel’s Garden has just posted photos of a visit to Edinburgh sharing her tour of the city in response to a conversation we shared via comments after my posting from the city last month which has some more OOTS.


Thanks for sharing your photos Liz! As promised (although a little late too) here is a photo of how Princes Street in Edinburgh was looking like during my recent visit. No Festival parades there this year. For those who don’t know, Edinburgh is at the moment constructing a Tram Service that will operate directly from the Airport all the way through the city centre and out to Leith Docks.

I wonder if the vibrant reds in the border planting above was considered to match the construction barriers or to perhaps give you such a colour sensation that you didn't notice the construction work behind it? A different plant use for OOTS ;-)

VP is running this episode of OOTS through the whole month of September if you want to join in with a posting yourself. She has set up Mr Linky where you can add the URL of your post and also be able to browse the other postings. I'd like to wish everyone fun OOTS :-D

All photos above were taken with a Canon PowerShot A520.

16 comments:

Stephanie said...

Hello Shirl, what a beautiful town! Love those flowering plants by the roads. I hope the town gardeners would keep this up! Enjoy your day!

Re said...

That 1st border was certainly stunning, wish there was some planting like that here. Will be looking out for OOTS from now on..

VP said...

Shirl - what a great entry for OOTS, I knew you'd find a good way of using the meme :)

If Dr Nigel Dunnett of Sheffield University had his way, there'd be a lot more wildflower meadow planting around the country. He runs a seminar in Sheffield each year to showcase what's been done in Sheffield to persuade local councils to have a go themselves. I met him at Chelsea Flower Show (he did the Future Nature garden, the one with the enormous wildlife towers) and he's told me that Telford is a particularly good place to have a look at as they've adopted this approach on a lot of their roundabouts.

I was quite shocked at how Princes Street is looking at the moment - though it's not surprising in view of the work that's going on there. Of course that bedding's the more usual municipal planting isn't it and is in keeping with the floral clock nearby, but I think you're right - in this case it's there to shock passers by so much, they don't see what's going on elsewhere!

Enjoy the rest of your week :)

shirl said...

Hi again VP, sorry I didn’t leave a comment last night when I left my link… it was way too late when I finished posting… the publish time was altered ;-)

Thanks to you, I have been able to use this planting. It’s new this year and I pass it when visiting my parents. They get a printed copy of my blog at the (roughly) the end of this month so will be thrilled to see it! Small villages like this have a community spirit and pride in their public spaces so different from what is often done in cities. Perhaps Britain in Bloom comps help too.

Now, there’s a modern public area/garden in the City of Sheffield that has caught my eye in a TV programme once. I’d love to see that.

It’s fantastic that Nig is championing the wildflower cause. He should hook up with Sarah Raven who was championing connecting her local area with wildflower strips to spread insect species around the countryside. She was approaching farmers too if I remember correctly.

Oh... I don’t remember the Chelsea towers at first thoughts but brilliant to hear that Telford is adopting this at a roundabout… fantastic! Now, I heard from Ian at the Dobbies Blog last night and he said to get back to him with ideas… maybe their stores could have small meadows outside them next year… even in containers. I’ll mail him later. He’s been on hols and says he’s going to mail the BM of stores to put up signage and more visible places for collecting plant pots :-D

Yes, Princes Street and the centre of Edinburgh is a bit of a nightmare to navigate for walking and transport. I think it will be a bonus for the city and travellers of any kind when it is completed. I’m guessing Liz will get a shock too!

Thanks, wishing you a good week too. Off out to a major Swedish furniture store now as Uni daughter moves into flat soon. Will leave a comment on your posting later :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Stephanie & Re :-)

Stephanie – It is pretty what small villages do isn’t it. Perhaps I’ll return and take photos of their other plantings. I agree it would be fantastic if towns picked this up. Thank-you, wishing you a great day too :-D

Re – It is, isn’t it… it makes me smile every time I drive by it. Brilliant, VP would also be thrilled if you posted and left your link too. This is a fun challenge and she does spot some amazing schemes in her travels. I wonder what you see ;-)

Quicksilvercountry said...

Hi Shirl, as someone who comes from the North East of England, town planting and bedding by local councils was an artform and highly competative, and now recently rejuvinated. I'd not heard of OOTS though until today.

Driving through Salisbury recently they have hanging baskets every 2 meters or so all along the A36 crash barriers, all the same colours, lavenders/blues and white, brightening up what is a very dull road.

Good posting and your photo of Edinburgh, looked exactly the same as one I took, in the rain on August 26th.... looking forward to seeing the trams run mind you !

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I will have to look around for a proper display to photograph. I love this wildflower planting. It draws you down the street. That bright red/orange planting is a wow too.

Liz said...

I'm really loving the wildflowers on the side Shirl, I think it's a great plan and more councils need to embrace it...

Some areas around Sheffield are doing the same, now we just need it in the city centre too! I intended on doing an OOT post for the past couple of weeks too, but never seem to go around the city centre to do so... Plus I find the planting uninspriring, with busy lizzies and such around - urgh, so I take little notice of the centre.

Oh, yes actually, the Peace Gardens are nice, espeically in spring with Magnolia, Alliums and then to Salvias... hmmm Perhaps there is more than initially thought.

Oooh I just read what VP said... Perhaps Dr Dunnett is the reason why we have a few areas in Sheffield with wildflower planting? It sounds like I'm missing out on some wonderful sights!

ShySongbird said...

Well my first thought was 'has she left the C off the front of the word' quickly followed by (no, Shirl is far too clever and inventive for that!) Anyway, that border took my breath away Shirl, it is beautiful and such a wonderful idea. I really think an email to our local authority may be in order, I would love to see this idea adopted here. I was thrilled when the council started planting Daffodil bulbs on verges etc some years ago but this is something I'm sure hasn't been done here at all.

Brilliant! Thank you for showing this to us :)

PS. Hmm I feel another idea coming on! In front of our front garden wall there is a short border which used to be turfed but since the footpath was resurfaced, which interfered with the turf, it has grown very weedy. Maybe a packet of wildflower seeds....now that's a thought! ;)

HappyMouffetard said...

What a beautiful display of wild flowers - a real lift.

shirl said...

Hi again Andrew, Ah yes… I’ve seen many a Northern Council Displays at garden shows and can see how much pride there is in them :-D

I have Perth in Bloom up here and it gets pretty competitive there with less money around for the villages often. The one in this posting raises money and supplies plants independently I believe. I like that :-D

Yes, I’ve seen the kind of arrangements you mention on crash barriers and they definitely brighten up these areas however, once again, it is the lupins and wildflowers that seed around roadside verges that make me smile :-D

Ah… you were in Edin just after me as that photo was taken on the 15th. You have me wondering where else you wandered and if you went North of of Edin at all. Yes, I’m thinking the tram will eventually be a very good move especially for tourism :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Lisa, ah… I would be very interested in seeing displays in your area. Ah yes, I agree with you completely about this planting and yes that re/orange planting did have a wow factor ;-)

shirl said...

Hi again Liz , It was great wasn’t it although in this case I don’t think the council had anything to do with this. I believe this village does its own thing. However, it would be fantastic if councils embraced something like this.

Ah… often the way, it’s not until you start listing places that they add up. Ah… didn’t know the name of the garden… does the Peace one have a large greenhouse area with seating?

Yep, bedding isn’t really my thing either. Sounds like you have an interesting city there. OOI, what did you think of the Princes Street pic?

shirl said...

Hi again Jan , LOL… now I never thought of that!

Delighted you enjoyed this border as much as I have done. I agree I thought it was a fantastic idea when I saw it the first time. It would be interesting to hear what your local council would say to this.

Ah… there are areas South of Edinburgh that I’ve seen roadside planting strips of daffs and I think that is fantastic too!

Love your idea for the front garden, sounds a great plan! Now, I have a confession to make… I’d love to stop my car on a roadside verge and scatter some wildflower seeds along it and watch in anticipation of them growing then seeding around :-D

shirl said...

Hi there Happy, I agree with you completely. That’s exactly what it does when you drive past it :-D

Susanne49 said...

Very nice post!! :)

Susanne
Sue's Daily Photography