Author: Glynis Powell

Santa in the Gardens

 

SANTA IN THE ORANGERY

Bring the little ones to see Santa in his magical Grotto and adults get to visit the Gardens for FREE!

On Sunday 1st December, Santa is taking time out of his busy workshop in the North Pole to visit Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens, from 11am – 3pm.

Come and see him in his magical grotto in the Orangery.

The Castle Bromwich Singers will be performing traditional carols at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm in the visitor centre, there will be warm drinks, Tombola and homemade cakes for sale.

Children’s entrance tickets to see Santa and receive a gift cost £4. Entrance to the gardens is FREE with a paying child.

CHRISTMAS FUN DAY IN AID OF CANCER RESEARCH UK

On Saturday 14th December, we are hosting a Christmas Fun Day with Santa in magical Tipis. In aid of Cancer Research UK, it will be a day filled with food, drinks, live music, fab prizes and live music.

From 10.30am – 4.30pm, Children can meet Santa in his grotto (set in authentic tipis from Lapland). Parents can enjoy a glass of mulled wine, enjoy the live performances and great food.

There will be face painting and the chance to win fabulous raffle prizes all donated by local businesses.

All profits from sales on the day will be donated to the charity Cancer Research UK. This is an amazing charity that strives to find a cure for cancer by using its donations to conduct research.

Please bring as many friends and family as you can to get in the Christmas spirit and raise money for an amazing cause!

Tickets to the event must be purchased in advance at www.bit.do/Xmasfunday

They cost £2.50 each and include a FREE hot drink! Children aged 10 and under can attend for free!

Tickets to see Father Christmas and receive a gift must be purchased on the day and will be charged at £5.

You can also book by calling 0121 663 1133.

To find out more about either event call 0121 749 4100 or email admin@cbhgt.org.uk

We hope to see you all then and wish you a very Happy Christmas from all at Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens.

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Unplug and Play – October Half Term Family Fun

From Monday 28th October – Friday 1st November 2019, get your wellies at the ready for 5 afternoons of outdoor exploration, crafts and trails.

There will be spooktacular crafts, pumpkin trails, the chance to play in the mud kitchen or take a bare foot walk.

Children can discover the outdoors, run wild and kick up the leaves, get lost in our Holly Maze, explore the Summer House or Holly Walk, or build dens in our trees.

On Thursday 31st October there will be a spooky fancy dress Halloween silent disco and we are asking children to come dressed in in their spookiest costumes.

All above activities are free each day from 12pm – 3pm (Gardens open from 11am).

Cost of entry: Under 5s go free, £2 for adults and over 5s. Free for Family Activities Annual Pass holders.

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Unplug and Play

Half Term Family Friendly Activities in the Gardens

Make the most of the warmer weather to get out and about in the open and discover nature.

Self Guided Trails all week 

There’s a caterpillar flower trail for the littl’uns and for everyone, try our ‘invent a plant name‘ to stretch everyone’s creative powers.

3 days of craft activities.

Leaf and plant printing.
Make your own pictures, bunting or gift tags with collected leaves and flowers.
We’ll use 2 techniques. One with paint and one with a hammer (Hapa zome).
suitable for all ages (with adult supervision
12- 3pm, £2 per person (including garden entry).

FREE for Family Friendly Activities Annual Pass holders

Tuesday 28th May
Wednesday 29th May
Friday 31st May

Don’t forget the Gardens open at 11am – Make a day of it

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Blossom picnics – Birmingham’s own Hanami

Spend the day under the blossom trees in the heritage orchards of the Historic Gardens.
With apple and pear blossoms instead of the traditional Japanese plum, this version of Hanami still echoes the tradition of enjoying the beauty of the flowers this Spring.
A picnic in the Gardens is always enjoyable, however, the orchards in full bloom also provide the perfect setting for your relaxing day out.

Traditional Japanese food by Pika Pika will be available on the day, with a selection of delicious sushi and curry available.

Bring your own food and drink too. Cafe open for light refreshments
Music and other activities likely! Take part in learning how to create beautiful origami creations.
Normal entrance fees

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Land Art Festival days for schools and the public

Richard Shilling – acclaimed environmental Land Artist – will make a welcome return to our green and pleasant land in October.

He and his partner Julia Brooklyn, who specialises in working with children, have agreed to run some special days for schools on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th October.

Using natural materials and responding to the environment the class workshops will release individual and group creativity this Autumn.

Half days or whole school length days are available to book. We welcome schools of any kind and

groups of home educated children to book places.

Suitable for all ages and abilities
£5 per child (group prices by negotiation), ring 0121 749 4100 or email to book

 

Julia and Richard have agreed to stay over until Saturday and to continue the Festival feel of their artist residency on Saturday 27th October.  The Land Art Fesitval day will be a drop in anytime, join in and make art together type event. Let our garden inspire you to explore shapes and places together

Normal Garden Entry fees apply (TBC)

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Sorry – cancelled- back next year-Family Music Workshop

The amazing young performers of the K’antu early music ensemble provice a fun and lively  ‘have a go’  music making workshop this summer afternoon (1pm -2.30pm)…

Watch out: vegetable flutes may be involved :-)))

Later at  3.30pm K’antu will enchant us with a concert of early music  in our 17th century Gardens

Normal entry prices apply

Discounted entry for members

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Vandals, mud and bugs

[update: We are overwhelmed by the positive support and reaction of the public to this act of vandalism in the Gardens. we are grateful to everyone for their good wishes and take heart in knwoing that what we are trying to do pleases so many people.  

We are busy prparng for our big 40s event at present, as soon as that is over we will be planning to invite our wellwishesr to be part of the reconstruction of the spaces – it might take a little planning- but we are really looking forward to involving even mor epeople in the pleasure of our spaces…. Please keep a look out for news of how you can help out… .With heartfelt thanks from the volunteers , staff and Trustees]

(PS Many people have asked how they might contribute financially – if this is something yu want and ware able to do, you can make a contriubtion of any size to our Just Giving page HERE.  All contributions for the next month will go directly on the re-build project… THANKS)

…over the past few months thoughtless and destructive intruders have done some stupid things in the Gardens overnight – all of which has cost our charity and hard working volunteers both money and tears. Over the last 2 nights yet more destructive idiocy has happened. This time it directly affects our visitors too. Last night was even worse.
Our little mud kitchen – much beloved by toddlers and parents was set alight. The ‘bug hotel’ built by volunteers and visitors last year to attract creepy crawlies was also burned. The fences protecting the small bridges by our spinney pond have now been trashed 4 times. Its not just stuff we have built , but nearby trees have been scorched too.
Our charity and volunteers look after these unique Gardens on behalf of us all. What brains and hearts get pleasure out of spoiling things for everyone else? They are the few…we are the many…oh, and our hedgehog cameras are now trained on humans…

 

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Water water everywhere

The numbers are in. Yes, March was indeed the wettest month. In fact the wettest for 8 years.

Our Education Officer Ann Brookman has been keeping records and sharing the readings with our school visitors for a while now. Her figures certainly bear out our own gut (wellboot) feelings that its been a drearily damp month.

This March we had a whopping 92mm. The driest year was way back in 2012 with a mere 14.5 millimetres

No doubt some of those extra millimetres come from this year’s snow melt but, even so, the hike

from the previous high (60mm in 2013) is pretty spectacular.

Our grass has certainly suffered this month too. The gardeners have been spending this week

tamping down and reseeding some of the paths that have been churned up by traffic in the snow

and rain.

The lovely new stretch tent (from Tentickle) on the lawn, while providing us and the public some good shelter, has been rather too efficiently gathering the water into little swimming pools on the roof. Good job it’s stretchy.

Ah well… April showers to come…..

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#wegrowtogether: a guide to companion planting

There’s a lot of wisdom out there amongst professional and amateur gardeners. Much folklore and science knowledge handed down from generation to generation. 

In the post second world war  ‘nuke everything with a chemical’ era, a lot of native knowledge about what grew well with what, was lost and indeed strongly poo-poohed as ‘magic’ and superstition.

Thankfully since then, largely due to the Organic Gardening lobby, a more rational approach and some good scientific studies have been instrumental in making the practice of ‘companion planting’ an accepted practice amongst mainstream gardeners.

In our veg. and herb garden (the Batty Langley), we tend to mix some pre-18th century practices with some modern wisdom. We don’t use chemicals and plant calendula, nasturtiums, borage, comfrey etc plants amongst the vegetables to encourage beneficial insects.

On the Schools plot we have also experimented with ‘Three Sisters’ planting. This is a techniques used primarily by native north american peoples and combines three main agricultural crops winter squash, maize (corn), and climbing beans.

“The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to        climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other  plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent the establishment of weeds. The squash leaves also act as a “living mulch”, creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Corn, beans, and squash contain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and all eight essential amino acids, allowing most Native American tribes to thrive on a plant-based diet.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_(agriculture)

There is quite a lot of information out there on the web but we thought we would share a guide made by one of our helpful commercial partners, FirstTunnels.

Click here to be taken to their very comprehensive site

https://www.firsttunnels.co.uk/page/Companion-Planting-Guide

 

 

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