Tag: fun

Add a smile(stone) to social distancing

When we re-open the Gardens – whenever that will be – we know that social distancing will be a ‘new normal’ for some while…

from Staff Smiles Stones (by gill )

So, the (still working) team here have been thinking about what that would look like. We want to help people feel safe when they come to visit, and know that others are looking out for their health too. Shops and supermarkets are using yellow floor tape and painted circles…that’s not quite the thing we want to do in our historic Garden.

We’ve come up with a number of ideas and one of them needs your help.

Smile Stones … have you seen them about?

There is a lovely phenomenon of people painting pebbles and leaving them in the environment for people to find, to make them smile, to think and sometimes to collect and pass on. (PS the advice at present during Covid-19 , is NOT to pick them up and move them – just a precaution)

Smile stones are a little piece of everyday sharing and of spreading love.  We already have a few in the Gardens deposited (with permission) by local people.

We think stone and pebble smiles stones would make wonderful social distance markers all around our garden… Every 2 metres a bright little stone hedgehog or ladybird, or perhaps a heart lifting message to keep you going on to the next marker?

If you’d like to take part in helping brighten up our Gardens walking routes we’d love you to start now.

Aldridge smile stones

Below are some facebook pages and other things about how to paint stones.

How to get them to us

We will leave a plant pot attached to the (inner) gates of the Gardens – you can just pop your stones in there, and we’ll keep them ready for when we open (if the pot disappears , just roll your stones under the gate and our gardener will pick them up when she visits..)

Thank you – do pass on this activity to anyone you think might enjoy taking part.

PS … don’t spend money getting fancy paint… do what you can, a coat of clear nail varnish will do the trick –  or any outdoor varnish you have in your diy cupboard – over the top of house paint/kids paint or marker pens will do!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2P3gnRmv7FYlS7YwklbvVHd/how-to-become-a-rock-artist

Facebook has 

https://www.facebook.com/smilestonesbg/

and lots of groups in Erdington, Sutton Coldfield and Staffs — just search

 

 

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Happy Birthday Will Shakespeare

April 23rd is traditionally celebrated as the birth – and death – day of local lad, William Shakespeare.

It is also a saint’s day in the old calendar: St George’s Day.

St George, with his dragon slaying and masterful horseriding is a very popular saint- being a patron saint not just in England, but also Georgia, Ethiopia, Catalonia, Aragon, Valencia, Portugal, Brazil, Bulgaria and …….

Our multinational friends at REEP have yet again provided a whole shelf full of lovely games and puzzles to amuse us and those learning English through Gardening.

There are some lovely games and resources about plants mentioned by Shakespeare. Apparently he mentions 180 …I’ve just counted we have about 86 of the in the Gardens click here to go to their shelf of games 

download some of the games on in pdf or online

REEP-2020-SHAKESPEARE-Decode-Plants, 

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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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Hungry Caterpillar- downloadable activities

Bugs are beautiful…. even before they become butterflies.

Although gardeners aren’t always keen on caterpillars eating their crops, we do love watching the fluttering colour of butterflies in the Gardens.
Eric Carle’s famous book – The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favourite of ours. Here are some lovely colouring pages and worksheets supplied for free by one of our suppliers (earlyyearsresources.co.uk) all based on that lovely book.

Click on the link to download  Hungry Caterpillar activity sheets
And, you can see and hear the book, read by Eric Carle himself here below. You don’t have to share the experience with a young one…but you can 🙂

 

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Not bored with Easter yet?…

Really gutted we couldn’t do our Alice in Wonderland Easter Egg Hunt this year… Maybe we’ll turn it all upside down and send it through the Looking Glass and do something later in the year…. when things are ‘normal’ again.

If you and the littl’uns still have room for bunny and egg based fun, take a look the lovely online present we just got from our lovely friends at REEP.

REEP work in the UK, Spain and Morocco with people and gardens. Our own asst. gardener, Tanya, has been lucky enough, twice, to help them out at a girls school in Morocco.

Have a look below for some online puzzles and games with an Easter and a Gardening theme – for grown ups too, don’t be shy. Their are word searches, poems, puzzles and some gardening ‘how tos’

Click on the picture below to go to their page to explore….

https://reepinfo.org/easter-activities

 

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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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Harvest…

The Gardens are blessed with 2 apple and pear orchards and espaliered fruit fences all planted with over 60 heritage varieties dating back to the 1500s.

Like many fruit growers we’ve had a mixed year.

Normally we are able to produce a goodly number of single variety fruit juices for sale to our visitors. A radical pruning of the trees last year combined with the weather, has meant the crop this year is almost non-existent. (don’t worry it’s all to the good,we hope for an even bigger crop next year.

Undaunted, our annual Apple day this year will turn its focus to the urban harvest within our local community and the abundance of crab apples and other apple trees on the public land hereabouts. On 15th October it will be ‘Bring a Bottle’ and ‘juice your own’ – our three donated apple presses will be hard at work all day.

Our large veg plot – in 18th century ‘stylee’ the Batty Langley,usually provides a good crop of Cardoons, Artichokes, Squashes and Rhubarb. This year our younger visitors also planted up a runner bean tunnel …their effort have been rewarded with a great crop.

Earlier in the year visitors also helped us plant some special heritage potato varieties.

Early potato varieties, reputedly planted by local hero Sir Matthew Boulton, were re-introduced in the Garden but we have yet to test the taste of the tiny Yam and Congo varieties..

A good crop of Arran Victory, the potato named to celebrate the end of the 1914-18 war, has also been harvested – so we have plenty of seed potatoes for 2018 commemorations.

Together with Highland Burgundy red and Salad Blue, we’re hoping to produce red, white a blue mash!

Come along to our Harvest day Sunday 15th October 2017, 12.30 -4.30

(dont foget bring your apples, some clean bottles… and hopefully after a little elbow grease on the apple presser you’ll take home your very own juicy drink :_)

More details soon

 

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Traditional family fun day

Nearly time again for our amazingly popular low-tech family fun day.

Skittles, sack races, hopscotch and egg and spoon races  bring three – or more – generations together this Thursday (11-3.30pm).

We run this event every year in conjunction with the local branch of the U3A (University of the 3rd Age) as a fundraiser for us and them.

We love that every year this generation’s kids are thrilled by such old fashioned games as hook-a-duck, quoits and skipping. Grannies and granddads feel extra special showing them how to play.

These activities run all day alongside, fabulous face painting from GlitterCreep, dances from the Lawrie School of Dance and sing along fun from the Generations Choir and  shanties  from the Lichfield LightHouse choir. Meet the RSPB, explore the maze, follow the trails…

All for £2 each for everyone over 5years. Old fashioned prices too!

Cafe and shop open. Picnics welcome

  • All tickets  £2  (under 4s free)
  • £8 for a family day ticket (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults)
  • Free for Family Activity Annual Pass holders (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults, including named cardholder). Pass costs £40 and lasts 12 months.
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Unplug and Play – all summer

Five weeks of good value summer fun at the Gardens

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12- 3.30… it’s Unplug and Play

Crafts, gardening and outdoor exploration. Children and families can enjoy outdoor play and/or craft activities under gentle supervision.

The mud kitchen, maze, dipping pond and some gardening activities available for families to explore any day during summer.  Every week will have a different activity based on something in the Gardens.

Week one 25th, 26th, 27th July    Get up and do

Recycled streamers, making chatterboxes and all things on the move: waving, bending, climbing, crawling flying, rolling , fluttering , creeping.

 Week two, 2nd & 3rd August  Wildlife disguises

Collages from leaves, green man masquerade masks, find the dancers in the trees.

(because of the Dogs Don’t do Ballet performance on Tues 1st – there will be no craft activities. Tickets for the performance £10)

Week three, 8th, 9th 10th August  Make an impression..

Clay hedgehogs, leaf and bark rubbings, flowers and leaf pressed nature medallions

Week four, 15th, 16th 17th August  Festival style! The recycled way.

Make your own flags and bunting from plastic bags, paper and other household things.

NB Thursday 17th is big Family Fun Day 11-3.30

Week five, 22nd 23rd, 24th August  Teddies, picnics, making a picture

Sit and relax with teddy, make a den, explore the wildlife and create some art around the site

 

There’s 10 acres of formal gardens, lawns, holly maze and wilder areas, so lots of places to explore, play and run around whatever is going on.

  • Café and small shop onsite. No need to book.
  • Cost: £2 per person (free for under 5s)
  • £8 for a family day ticket (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults)
  • £20 for a family week ticket (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults)
  • Free for Family Activity Annual Pass holders (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults, including named cardholder) Pass cost £40 and will runs for 12 months.

Contact: 0121 749 4100   Email: admin@cbhgt.org.uk

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