Category: Latest News

Creating in the Gardens

Over the last few years we have been able to invite more and more artists to be inspired by the Gardens.

Let’s hope, when all this is over…. we can continue to play host to everyone’s creative spark – whatever age you are.

Here are one or two pictures from a variety of activities and residencies.

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a little edgy…

A second week of lockdown begins – oops no, it’s the third week!

It promises to be a sunny week, which means the flowers and grass will be growing apace. Our Gardeners manage a brief rota of getting in the Gardens from time to time to look over things, making sure things are safe and sound. We all look forward to the photos they share with us.

With such a large lawn and lots of grassed paths in the Upper and Lower Wilderness areas it is no surprise that we normally spend such a lot of time using the ride-on and electric mowers. Although we love the flowers, the grass and its trim precise edges and borders are a major part of what gives the Gardens their style and look. We have been reliant over the years on a few lovely volunteers who absolutely love to wield the long-handled lawn edging shears and the halfmoon cutter. Without their patience and precision our 17th century formality would disappear.

#volunteers #formalgardens #gardentools

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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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invitation to tender – contract to manage/lead Unplug and Play

Due the success and rapid growth in popularity of our Unplug and Play family activities ‘brand’, we are now seeking to contract an individual, or small team, to lead, manage – and possibly develop – the delivery for 2020 and possibly beyond.

We are inviting expressions of interest from individuals or small teams to work with us on a fixed term contract – with a possibility of extension.

The post will remain open until it is filled

Please see attached PDF Expression of interest -managing and leading Unplug and Play 2020 with fuller information and how to apply

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Santa in the Gardens

 

SANTA IN THE ORANGERY – ALL SOLD OUT

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 – Santa is Sold out – but plenty to do otherwise

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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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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