Category: For Families

Monthly Gardener’s Tips

In an effort to provide some #mondaymotivation for you, we will be posting Gardener’s tips the first Monday of each month. To catch us all up, we start with March – check back in with us on Easter Monday for tips for April!

Spring has sprung and warmer days increase garden tasks but it is also time for the cheery daffodil to take centre stage. A true herald of Spring, it is also the national flower of Wales and is often worn on St David’s Day on the 1st of March. In the garden once the daffodils have started to fade remove the developing seed heads, the plant will then put all its energy into replenishing itself rather than trying to reproduce. Also don’t cut off any leaves or tie into bunches, yes the leaves may look a little untidy but they are doing an important job in helping the bulb underground to gain valuable reserves to help with flowering next year.

It is time to cut back winter shrubs. Those plants used for their showy stems such as dogwood can be cut down to the ground to encourage new vibrant growth. A good rule of thumb is to take out a third of the oldest stems. The older stems start to lose their colour and by taking out the older stems you will always have bright newer growth waiting in the wings to take its place. 

It is a good month for planting shallots and onions. If the weather turns slightly warmer you may be able to start to plant early potatoes at the end of the month. You can check the temperature of the soil by using the back of your hand or by noticing the germination of weed seeds. If weeds are germinating then the soil must be getting warmer so hoe them off and start to plant the hardier salads such as radish and beetroot. 

Now the weather is warming up, you can start to reseed any grass areas that show signs of wear, gently scuff the surface you wish to seed and if there are hollows or dips you can add compost to the seed to even out the surface. You may find you need to mow the lawn, wait for the ground to dry out a little and raise your mower blades for the first cut, you don’t want to stress your turf at this time of year by giving it a short cut. 

Birds are nesting now and starting to have families, it’s a good idea to remove peanuts from feeders now as they can choke baby birds. If you want to feed the birds then swap the peanuts for meal worms they are a good choice as they are packed full of protein. 

Join in with the whole family and have a walk locally and see what plants are springing up. This doesn’t have to be in the wilderness – see what plants are poking out of pavements, gardens and window sills. You could always take some photos to practice drawing later on. 

We would love to see your photos! Please feel free to send and share any through to us via email marketingcbhallgardens@gmail.com, or direct via social media and we would love to feature your gardens, nature spotting and creations.

Stay safe from all of us at Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens x

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Farewell for now … The Temporary Closure of the Gardens

 Despite the best efforts of all, the Gardens will remain closed to the public until it is safe to re-open again. An eerie and strange feeling has engulfed us, with a globally collective fear of what may come; we recognise the benefit of fresh air and green space in the Gardens and the comfort and solace this brings to many of you.  With this in mind, we will keep you updated regularly in a digital sense – writing blog posts, posting to social media, suggesting activities on various topics in the coming weeks and beyond. We will tend to the Gardens in the most reduced way, maintaining what we can during this time. The Gardens team have been working flat out to plant, sow, build, chop and mow, but for now it’s tools down to keep the population safe. Here is a round up of the year so far and what’s happening now: 

We began the year with a wonderful Wassail, the Green Man joined us with hot cider and apple juice as we celebrated and wished for a bountiful apple harvest later this year. An unusually warm and sunny afternoon, with much merriment. February half-term saw the first of our planned activities in the Gardens. Spiderman and Elsa joined us for a special visit in the Orangery, Unplug and Play family activities took place in between Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis – well done to those who braved the winds. School groups came to learn all about the natural world in the Gardens and our troop of wonderful volunteers continued to work in the vegetation, help fundraise, run the cafe and ticket desk and work behind the scenes on history gathering in preparation for our planned ‘Big History’ day. We have also been looking at the future of the Gardens in its 35th anniversary year, harnessing what we can to develop and grow for many years to come. 

The Gardens have slowly been awakening in the past few weeks, the first buds and greenery have begun to appear, including the beautiful snowdrops, daffodils and just now a sprinkling of blossom. With the promise of new growth and life creeping about the walls, the plants have been reminding us that “they can’t cancel Spring!”. With wildlife also emerging, our night camera had spotted heron’s dipping for the frogs in the ponds, plenty of frogspawn bobbing in the spinney pond, foxes padding about and a couple of house cats who snuck in too.

With the recent uncertainty in the world, we have made a change to our Memberships. Those who have a current Membership, have recently renewed, or would like to take a new Membership out in the next 3 months, will receive 15 months access instead of 12 months. We will review this as we can in order to give people extended access where they may have missed out during the restrictions. 

As a charitable trust, we rely quite heavily on funding and income from visitors. If you would like to support us from home and feel that you can at this time, we would be grateful for any donations via our page on Just Giving. https://www.justgiving.com/cbh-gardens

We will leave you with this image from illustrator Charlie Mackesy – “When the big things feel out of control … focus on what you love right under your nose.”

Thank you for reading, keep safe at home and join us online again soon for more news and updates from the Gardens

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Harvest & Apple Day 2019

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens will be hosting their Harvest and Apple day on Sunday 13th October between 12.30 – 4.30pm.

One of the most popular events in the gardens calendar, this is a day out for all the family.

Visitors can explore the historic, 10 acres 18th century restored walled gardens and enjoy several free activities and displays.

Have a go at pressing apples picked from the garden, take part in snap apple or the longest apple peel competition, visit the Orangery and discover the vegetable display.

Younger visitors can take part in apple printing, try hook for apples or listen to songs and stories performed by The Wild Man of the Woods, Britain’s widest travelled Green Man. There will also be face painting and craft activities.

Or just take a leisurely stroll, explore the Summer House, Holly Walk and Maze, a place of beauty, to breathe deeply, escape & relax.

We are encouraging local people to bring their windfalls apples for juicing, remembering to bring their own containers to take it home.

The café will be open serving hot and cold food and drinks.

Entrance to the event will be charged at adults £5, children (5 – 15 years) £1, under 5 go FREE and most of the activities are free.

Find out more by calling 0121 749 4100.

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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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Sunday Saunters…special weekend openings for winter wanderings

Sometimes all you want on Sunday afternoon at this time of year is a bit of fresh air and a stretching of the legs.

No kitting up for a long walk in the hills, just a stroll around a green and peaceful place…

This winter we are having a series of special weekend openings at the Gardens with this need in mind. There are five ‘Sunday Saunters’ between the end of January and the beginning of the season in April.

Late Winter and early Spring is also just a fascinating time in our Gardens.. the snowdrops, aconites and hellebores begin to emerge. As the days get longer the birds (and the box hedges!) get more active. Soon our drifts of daffodils begin to shoot up. When we are lucky enough to have some sunshine the low raking light illuminates the walkways and creates intriguing silhouettes.

We like to share these transient treasures, so Sunday opening offers a chance for our busy visitors to have a couple of hours of healthy pootering outdoors.

Of course it’s still a bit parky, so we have opened our 18th century Greenhouse (sometimes known as the Orangery) for people to find shelter and get a cup of warming chocolate.

On some of the days we will also strike up the firepit and indulge in toasted marshmallows and have some simple family crafts too.

 

Here are the dates. Do check back to the events calendar on this site or on Facebook just to make sure.

Sundays, 11am – 3pm

£4 adults, £1 children. Free for Members

 28th January Snowdrops+ RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and family craft
 4th February Snowdrops
18th February
  4th March Daffs + Elite Tents Wedding Fair on site  (free entry)
18th March Good for Daffs

 

 

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The magic is starting

Sunday is the first of our four enchanting afternoons in the Gardens

Over the last two days the willow and lighting gnomes … aka artist Sophie Handy and her hardy crew, have been busy making our wionderful garden into an evening delight.

Come along in the afternoon tomorrow, make some easy lanterns form tissue willow and twigs and then …. as the sun goes down, and the light begins to fade…the mushroom village begins to appear. Take you lantern and explore the Garden, follow the paths find the mushroom village… some of them seem to be having a party, others are cosily tucked up…

Wander back have a hot chocolate and toast a marshmallow or two over our firepit and cut back to the the visitor centre via the glowing gnomes and dragonfly.

Join for one or four afternoons of fun… see here for more (4 dates 26 nov, 2nd Dec, 10 dec and 16th Dec

£3 for everyone over 4years old (including crafts and lanterns)

£10 families

Free for Garden members and Family Activity Annual Pass holders.

 

 

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Free lantern making workshops

Help make our enchanted mushroom lantern village for christmas in the Gardens.

We’re working with artist Sophie Handy to make 100 little mushroom houses from willow and tissue paper. A great family, club or class event. These workshops are free.

Your creations will go into the Gardens to help make a magical, illuminated woodland walk ready for our weekends before christmas 

and the big Community Lantern Parade. ‘Mushroom makers’ who help on these days will get free refreshments on the day and, as a thank you, a token for free hot chocolate and marshmallows in our Community Lantern Parade on 16th Dec.

It takes about 2-3 hours to make the lanterns, and its probably best for children over 7 years old.

November 10th (12-5pm) and Saturday 11th (10- 4pm)

Pop in on the days .. or contact us here for more info

SEE here for details of the events lantern parades, woodland walks and entertainment

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