Category: For Families

Fun and Frolics in the Gardens this August!

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Members Only treat…Friday evening open gardens

We are also proud to announce an extra treat for Members: Friday evening late openings.

These were always planned for 2020 and even though they are starting later in the season we are making every Friday evening in August a stroll and picnic evenings for Members.

The Gardens are a subtly different place on summer evenings; the bees still buzz around the scented flowers, light grows softer in the sky and it’s still warm enough to kick back and relax before bedtime.

Every Friday starting on August 7th members can use the Gardens from 5pm to 9pm.

We still ask members to prebook. This way you will know the Gardens will be safe for you and your family.

The car park will also be supervised throughout that time.

We hope to have the shop open for takeaway refreshments.

You can stay just for a stroll or hang out for the whole time for a picnic and chat.

As always, we just ask you to take home your rubbish and leave with a contented smile.

 

PS … It’s not too late to benefit from our covid-19 15 month membership deal. Join or  renew by July 31st and get an extra 3 months on your annual membership. See  HERE

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Staycations at the Gardens

August in the Gardens is so packed with lovely activities, performances and treats there is surely no reason to risk those queues and crowds by going any further afield.

In the ‘New Normal’ we have revamped some of the way we do things and almost all activities now will be ‘pre-booked’.

So, in addition to normal Day Entry and our popular picnic takeaway ‘Cream Tea in A Box’ we have for visitors delight;

First Songs musical sessions for babies and their grown ups and Relaxed Concerts by the renowned  B’Opera who create  beautiful music for tiny ears.

Yoga sessions with Yogi Clair  – two sessions in the outdoors follow by a cream tea.

We have so many charming spaces in the Gardens and we are really pleased to be able to use them to enhance these sessions – what a memory to be made! Baby’s first ‘move and groove’ under the heritage apple trees.

The size of the Archery Lawn of course allows us to spread out and keep safe while still enjoying live performances from great local theatre companies.

Tread the Boards based in Stratford and Heartbreak Productions based in Leamington are bouncing back from lockdown with specially adapted performances for the family audience

Tickets for Wind in the Willows and Alice in Lockdown will go on sale on this site by the end of this week.

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Theatre returns…

Roll up! We’re really pleased to announce that government guidelines now mean we can have socially distanced live performance and entertainment in the Gardens!!!

Not only can we now provide some fabulous fun entertainment for eager visitors in our wonderful venue, but we can also support the return to work of some creative people and performers who have totally lost their livelihoods during lockdown.

Just as a taster, with yet more to come later….. we have 2 specially adapted performances for families:Wind in the Willows from Stratford based theatre ‘Tread the Boards’ and a super 2 person show ‘Alice in Lockdown’ played from a caravan by those stalwarts of Midlands open air theatre Heartbreak Productions.

Tickets will be on sale soon… but put these dates in your diary

Saturday 8th and 9th August for Wind in the Willows and
Friday 21st August for Alice in Lockdown

Many calculations and cogitations have gone into making sure these productions are safe and healthy for both players and audiences.

Audience members will be allocated self contained spaces; ‘bubbles’, across the Archery lawn and around the Gardens, where they can settle down for the show, properly socially distanced from everyone else –  a great picnic experience for families too.

Car parking, ticket checking and finding your own special ‘bubble’ will all be managed in timed and safe ways too.

More is planned for the rest of the simmer for adults as well as families.

After such a difficult time for so many people we are thrilled to be able offer our Gardens space for some warming, healing and reviving activities this summer.

Stay in touch for more news…coming soon

 

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Cream Tea in a Box …. coming soon

The perfect takeaway food for a socially distanced Garden experience...

Last year’s popular Cream Tea in a carry out box is set to return to the Garden in the next week. Scrumptious locally made scones, oodles of proper Cornish cream and berry jams all ready for you to collect at our Orangery shop and take off to your favourite place around the gardens for your own summer picnic treat.

Just order your Cream Tea in a Box package online and collect it when you come to the Gardens.

The box and nearly all the packaging is made of totally compostable plant based materials – so nothing goes to waste. We are still offering never ending tea/coffee refills – but given current circs. these will be served in a new cup, so please help us by disposing of the packaging in the recycling bins.

With our 10acres of beautiful green space we are the ideal space for your staycation days out… pack a picnic basket, add an order for a Cream Tea in a Box and take a trip to 18th century elegance.

Check the website ticket page HERE

 

 

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“Journeys end in family’s meeting, Every wise man’s son doth know”

(to misquote Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night)

There are times when the proximity of the motorway junction is a blessing!

Today 2 families chose the Gardens as a halfway house meeting place to see their grandparents/parents/children/grandchildren for the first time since lockdown.

One family came from west and east to meet here, another from north and south.

Although it was a blustery cool day they all made the best of their much waited for reunion.

(Us in the Gardens’ shed a little tear, we must admit)

 

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Poetry resources from Ian MacMillan

Gardens inspire poetry, poetry inspires Gardens.

The urge to be creative during lockdown has been fuelled, happily, by many tv programmes, blogs and online memes. Hopefully the creativity will not be lost as we emerge slowly from our hibernation.

The radio poet Ian Macmillan, the Barnsley Bard, works extensively with arts groups in Yorkshire. Attached is a document (.pdf) with some really useful prompts and exercises to get our poetry going – whatever age we are.

Creative Directions Resource Pack  wearedarts.org.uk

One of the styles of poem popular in victorian times was the ‘Acrostic’ .

We’ve had a go — how about you?

Here is Ian’s

Here is ours

What about …..?

 

 

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volunteer weeding the bean tunnel

Beans and Potatoes – plant, grow, eat and support growers.

Planting and growing beans and potatoes has always meant a lot to us in the Gardens

We try to keep some of the really old varieties going, but we have also wanted to encourage people – especially children – to feel confident about growing their own food.

In February and March schools and family visitors have great fun planting beans and volunteer weeding the bean tunnelwatching them grow; at home or in the Gardens. Many of these beans get planted up in our own gardens to make an annual Bean Tunnel.

Come summer the tunnel is a lush green place to crawl in, explore and peek out to the world. And what a revelation … those long green things hanging down are beans you can eat!

Potatoes

Everyone loves a potato. When we can, we grow some of the oldest varieties from 100 or even 300 years ago – a way of ensuring the biodiversity of our food stock is kept.

But also, potatoes are pretty easy – 1 potato planted, makes a whole plate of chips or mash!

hallmoor students celebrate the harvest

 

 

 

 

We usually have two weekly visiting groups from special schools and colleges: Hallmoor School and Trinity Specialist college. We are missing their input and they are missing their visits to the outdoors here. Our gardeners have been looking after their plot  while they’re away… potatoes and beans doing fine. Let’s hope they can harvest them later in the year.

What you can do

The bean tunnel is partially potted up, so hopefully in the summer people can see that. Why not encourage young ones in your household to plant some beans themselves. When you  visit us later they can compare how tall they have grown. Beans, sunflowers and peas are relatively easy now. Here’s a great ‘how to’  from Cbeebies. https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/makes/plant-pots?collection=national-gardening-week

 

Even if you are not growing potatoes yourself, you can help the farmers who are.

Good and safe food starts with the growers, but many small growers are struggling to keep up in the current times. Some local organisations have banded together to help. Slow Food Birmingham,  and two of groups we already work with, The Real Junk Food Project and The Active WellBeing Society,   have teamed up for a great project – can you help?

http://slowfoodbirmingham.co.uk/campaigns/?fbclid=IwAR2MmZqEt7m2WjZZ-mBPx4LwYdWRr0X4Dznww3HiVvtX-1sMFwyNP9GORZoThe potato project

Charlie, a farmer north of the city, had a field full of spuds and no prospect of selling them because of the drop in trade in the hospitality sector.

There are 10 tonnes of potatoes

Charlie needs to dig up the potatoes and find new customers fast or let them rot and add to the growing numbers of food that is wasted, before it can be eaten. It’s also important that the growers get a decent price for their work and that the potatoes get to the most vulnerable too.

The organisations above are matching up emergency food needs and the general public.  Click below to see how it works.

Buying, donating, paying forward and receiving spuds… all in one project.

If you can’t participate directly – do spread the word about what we can do to make the future of food security better.

http://slowfoodbirmingham.co.uk/campaigns/?fbclid=IwAR2MmZqEt7m2WjZZ-mBPx4LwYdWRr0X4Dznww3HiVvtX-1sMFwyNP9GORZo

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Kids and BBC Newsround – good as ever

Just sharing another round up of great things for kids to do.. BBCs Newsround has always been good and our national public broadcaster is really working well in the current situation.

Bug houses, Bee B&Bs, smile stones,  birdfeeders and growing veg are all featured on the current Newsround page… all things our Unplug and Play sessions really encourage.

Until we can welcome you back into the Gardens – why not practice with the Beeb.

I’m looking forward to a set of activities in the Gardens, led by enthusiastic, imaginative and skilled children!

Yes, we can make it happen.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52009318

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turning stony faces into smiles

Our call out for your SmileStone creations to build ‘social distancing’ markers in the Gardens is beginning to take of… These have been delivered to our gates in the last week. AMAZING

Thank you so much – keep’em coming!

(your creations can be dropped into the flowerpot  at our gate – we’ll use them to make 2m markers- come back and see your creation… when we can open)

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