On a lovely sunny Friday, a couple of BCMG staff were lucky enough to escape the office and get their hands dirty at the absolutely enchanting Moor Pool Eco Centre in Harborne. With BCMG in Bloom focussing heavily on environmental sustainability and the beauty of nature, we decided it was only right for us to go to one of only two garden suburbs in Birmingham that were having a community spring clean!  

Run by devoted trustees and community volunteers, the centre was bustling with teenagers on their duke of Edinburgh course, local residents chatting and clearing the site ready for spring, and of course a few friendly old dogs.



Opting for the easiest and possibly friendliest seeds available; we planted sunflowers! It was pretty simple, even for us. 

We poked a hole around 1 inch deep and planted two seeds per pot that will be transferred to the raised beds when they've started to grow, and there's less chance for frost. If you're growing your own, sunflowers hate wet feet (don't we all), so try not to overwater! If we're experiencing average UK weather, then watering once a week should do. 

In total, we planted 16 sunflowers(!) because our Head of Development Alex needed to plant a square number, of course. The sunflowers at the eco-centre will be replanted by schools and community groups, and we have two friendly pots sitting happily on the BCMG office window sill, let's hope they like contemporary music...

Moor Pool Heritage Trust

Moor Pool has a wonderful environmental legacy with a community to reflect it. 

John Sutton Nettlefold was the first Chairman of Birmingham's Town planning Committee and advocated a policy of building Garden Suburbs to remedy housing problems and unhealthy workers. In 1889 when Birmingham was granted City status by Queen Victoria, Nettlefold envisioned a garden suburb, near the city, which would include a community of homes for all classes run on a joint ownership basis.

All homes were designed to overlook green spaces, with gardens that were large but not unmanageable, each containing a fruit tree. Gates and walls were discouraged during planning to encourage communal access, and all residents had access to an allotment to grow their own produce. 

Today Moor Pool is still buzzing with green activity and an ever-passionate community. At the eco-centre and allotments alone they do school holiday craft sessions, pre-school mud kitchen play, weekly gardening sessions, 'communitea' sessions to combat loneliness in the community, and a forest school programme in the orchard. 

On top of all of this garden magic, they have a tennis court, bowling green, a pond, two halls and a pocket park, which just sounds delightful. 

See what they have coming up



Tips for Urban Planting 

  1. Whatever container you choose to plant your new friends in, remember drainage holes are essential. Without proper drainage, soil can become waterlogged and plants may die. The holes need to be large enough to allow excess water to drain out.
  2. Want to grow your own veg? Runner beans and cut-and-come-again lettuce are an easy start and are super rewarding! What's better than eating something you've grown yourself? Both of these are excellent for small spaces and can be grown in pots. 
  3. If you're looking to plant some beautiful but low-effort flowers, daffodils and tulips are your go-to for the spring. In the summer when it's a little warmer, geraniums, and busy lizzies make lovely company and flower all summer with minimal work. 
  4. In the spirit of Moor Pool's heritage, if you have the space to grow your own fruit tree, get planting! Fruit tree blossom provides an important nectar source for pollinators like bees, and they provide a wholesome source of fruit for you and future generations. Not to mention the amount of oxygen they produce, which is obviously pretty important. 



What's coming up with BCMG in Bloom? 

We're well into the swing of our BCMG in Bloom season, so whether you're just getting into it all, want to inspire your young seedlings to compose their own music, or are a die-hard fan of BCMG, we have so much coming up to look forward to. Take a look below, and we hope to see you at some of our nature-themed events.

Concerts  Workshops