Category: Learning

What to expect in the post lockdown gardens

So how does visiting the Gardens now we’re open post Covid lockdown differ from the past?

We are still taking advice from with the RHS, other visitor attractions and of course the government about best practice to keep us all safe.

We have risk assessed and made changes  please bear with us if it things are not the same, or not quite perfect. We continue to evolve.
We just hope you will enjoy being here and making friends again with our beautiful space.

Getting in

We are open for longer hours but fewer days, Wednesday to Sunday  10.30 to 4.30.
At the gates there is one lane going in and one lane coming out -please keep your distances – you know how it goes!

We will continue to limit the numbers in the Gardens at any one time, so it will not be crowded and there is plenty of space for you to socially distance
Please be aware that the opening 30 minutes on some days may mean a queue.
Tickets: In general, tickets will be for the whole day, but we may introduce timed tickets for special days etc
Pre booked tickets and members will be able to have their tickets ‘scanned’ either at the entrance gates or at the steps of the visitor centre. This means we will be almost totally ‘contactless’.
Please help yourself to a map and examples of trails is available from the table .

The Gardens and getting round

All areas of the Garden are open.
There is a one way system out into the wilder area. Go in one way, come out the other.
Narrow pathways are all open, there are reminders for you to wait at one end until the path is clear.
Currently all the benches and tables are open.
Staff will clean these from time to time during the day.
Please be considerate in your usage –  think of people or sit there before and after.

A small team of gardeners have kept the Gardens in remarkable condition over the last 10 weeks. We are exceedingly lucky to have them.
There are weeds, there is long grass.. but the summer bedding is in and the vegetable plot is looking amazing … enjoy

Mud kitchen and play outside.

Currently we have closed the mud kitchen and taken pots away.
We will review all our play areas and equipment and re-instate as much as we can when we feel it’s right. Over the weeks we will also introduce new trails for amusement and learning… In the meantime we hope the little ones will enjoy exploring the area, discovering bugs and wildlife on the ground

Café

The café in the visitor centre is closed and is likely to stay closed all summer.
From now on drinks, snacks, ice cream and our shop goods are available from the Orangery.
In coming weeks we plan to expand our takeaway food and bring back our cream tea in a box … keep a lookout in the enews.

Toilets

For the time being all the toilets are remaining open.
They are deep cleaned regularly and we keep a strict rota for cleaning during out open hours.
Please keep to one person using the building at any one time to avoid congestion.
Liquid soap, paper towels and air dryers are supplied.
Please close the toilet lids before flushing and dispose of any paper towels in the bin immediately.
There is an extra ‘sanitation station’ outside the toilets if you want to wash hands again before or after

Dogs. Picnics and rubbish.

Picnics … please do take advantage of being in the space.
Please can you take your rubbish home! Currently rubbish is not being collected from the site and generally costs us over £1,0000 per year – money we can ill afford at present.
As normal we really welcome your family dog in the Gardens. We know they will be excited to be back, please keep them on a lead though, so that everyone else can relax.
As with picnics – we’d appreciate if you could take your doggy poo bags home

The summer

We are really thrilled to have people in the Gardens again – they are made for sharing.
We aim to keep opening hours, days , activities and maybe even events regular and consistent… but none of us know how things will progress so things will change.
We will keep you up to date as quickly as we can. As member you will be the first to hear about things and we hope to bring you all kinds of socially distanced entertainments and pleasures over the next months.

Please do tell your friends

We all need a safe and beautiful place to remake our relationship with the world, our selves and with nature. Spread the word to friends who need a little healing time.

Thank you #wegrowtogether

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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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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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#wegrowtogether plants

The sunny weather is again helping the fair weather gardeners amongst us to get out and pot on…

It you’re planning a proper weekend out – in the back garden/ allotment/ windowsill – here are some very useful links.

‘heir and a spare’

Don’t forget, if you do have any ‘spares’ or ‘extras’ in your propagation pots, do keep a few aside for us, please. If you can.

When we reopen, we’d be very grateful for any donations of plants for us to sell to the public – a way we can raise some funds to fill the hole that has appeared this year. Many thanks  (Ps we cannot take strawberry plants. Please keep your plants at home until we open – we cannot look after them at present. Many thanks

RHS and Garden Organic

The RHS is going all out to create the event of the season online this year. This week saw the launch of My Chelsea Garden, in conjunction with the BBC’s The One Show. It’s a national competition asking people to enter pictures of their garden in one of the following four categories: Back Garden, Front Garden, Indoor Garden (Houseplants, window sills, balconies, etc), and Kids’ Corner Garden.

The competition runs until 18 May so do feel free  to send in your pics using #mychelseagarden 

The RHS are also supporting local nurseries by promoting the Plants Near Me website – if you are looking for plants and gardens product, enter your postcode and see who is still selling- and often delivering.

Working with the earth

As always the national charity for organic growing, Garden Organic has an absolute wealth of advice and helpful information – you can access a lot of their information without being a member…

Here is the link to some great and timely podcasts https://audioboom.com/channels/4987940 

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On your doorstep nature..our wildlife survey

Citizen science: we can all make a difference to the world’s knowledge.

These days almost anyone can take part in gathering important information that adds to scientists’ understanding. From this Friday you can help us map some really important nature around the Gardens using a free app for your phone.

In the past we have taken part in things like national Bee Counts and flower surveys. Our colleagues over in Chelmsley Wood (B37 project and the Tribal Community Rangers) have started using this app  iNaturalist from the National Geographic Society.

In May we will be taking part – where we can – at looking and recording the wildlife surrounding our Gardens, over the Parkland, on the church paddock, on Lady Bradfords Gardens (the green common in front of the hotel).  It’s a month long bio-blitz!

Did you know that the Parkland, surrounding the Gardens, hasn’t had much change or disturbance on it for nearly 400 years! So, it’s a really rich place for biodiversity.

All you need to do is:

  • Download the app.
  • Have a look for ‘On your Doorstop’ under projects – and join (not compulsory- but will help them and us with the data )
  • Then on your daily walk around the area, take a snap or two and upload what you see:  plants, insects, animals , birds….
  • At the end of the month Tribal will crunch the data for us – and we’ll share it with everyone.
  • And that’s it… ooh don’t forget to share some of your photos on our facebook/twitter/instagram

Thank you … you will be contributing to human knowledge and science –  that’s a great thing!

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Hello bunting…

Looking forward…

Volunteers have been central to pretty well every event and activity in the Gardens for decades, we are really missing their input and daily conversation.

So many people also contribute in the background by making, doing, cooking and inventing. Here is one thing which anyone could get involved in and help us with… if they wished.

Bunting is jolly. Full stop.

We use it for decorating  the stretch tent for events, for cheering up the entrance gates and courtyard, making intriguing spaces in the woodland area even more intriguing…

We would love more and welcome anyone’s efforts in making it during our lockdown. We can’t supply the materials Im afraid, so anything you do will be gratefully received as a donation.

We are happy to have any designs you make… triangular and cloth bunting would be used more often, but knitted, paper, square, animal shaped or anything would be lovely… Maybe we can use them all to make a jolly festival atmosphere on our return to opening – we’ll all need it.

Here below is a bit of help and inspiration

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Bunting

    you tube: make ‘no-waste’ bunting  

 

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Take a Candide virtual tour of the Gardens

You can get your fix of the Garden via our audio guide app, Candide.

They helped us create an audio tour and it has pictures!

So you can find out about the Gardens and see some of it from the comfort of your phone. Here is a link to our tour. https://candidegardening.com/GB/places/4a33aa4448ace3bdde9d0a3b9510920b

Download the free app (android and apple) to find us and lots more tours of fab gardens… and advice too.

Just search for Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens, scroll down for the tour… click on the pins on the aerial photo and then listen, Scroll up the page for the picture too.

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forever young … activities

We had hoped to keep the Gardens open for ‘contactless’  walks and explorations – especially for our younger visitors who like to experience the magic of all the intriguing spaces and easily accessible nature.

Until we can do that again, here are some of the inspirational people and ideas who are now sharing on the web to help keep you and your young ones creative and active at home or in your garden.

Nature Makers,  Art sessions for the very young will resume in the Gardens, hopefully later in the year. Here is Faye online https://www.facebook.com/NatureMakers/,  https://bookwhen.com/naturemakers#focus=ev-sr62-20200410000000

Jessica Hartshorn, a local illustrator and museum person  – some live drawing sessions for you and young people  https://www.facebook.com/jessi.illustrates/

B’Opera,  Yes baby opera! – Singalong and great music making ideas while you’re cooped up. Let’s hope we can see them in the Gardens sometime. https://www.facebook.com/pg/BoperaBabyOpera/videos/?ref=page_internal

Woodland Trust, We love the Woodland Trust and follow their lead in so many things – here are some specials for ‘lockdown nature hunters’. https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2020/03/kids-nature-activities-self-isolation/

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, our good neighbours in wildlife. some great blogs about nature spotting form your garden and a place to share your photos. https://www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/blog

Free downloads from EarlyYearsResources . Like many commercial companies, they are not open at present, but they have made some lovely free downloadable worksheets, play ideas and colouring for those quieter times at home https://www.earlyyearsresources.co.uk/downloadables-c275/minibeasts-c1570

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