Tag: #trees #outdoors

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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Kids plan to Takeover the Gardens

Yesterday 14 young people invaded the Gardens and started plotting to take over!

The young people, from nearby Braidwood School for the Deaf,  are part of a Birmingham wide programme run by the group Kids in Museums.  Takeover Birmingham is a pilot programme for 11 – 14 year olds, designed to ensure arts and culture are available to everyone no matter what their background.

The young people, accompanied by signers, took a tour round the gardens undeterred by the cold and damp. They decided that bugs and mini beasties were unseen helpers in the Gardens and will be devising their own interactive tour.

Here is some of their creative thinking:

 

The group have scheduled Friday 19th May as their Takeover Day….

Should we worry, should we be scared? No we’re looking forward to the next generation’s management of heritage.

Keep  a lookout for more information about the Takeover Day

 

 

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Half Term family activities

February Fun… indoors or out.

The first school holiday of the year and a bit or sun and freshening air makes for lively kids, eager for a run around. As usual we have a week packed full of things to do and places to explore.

Running round the maze will keep them warm, there are still beautiful snowdrops to discover, lanterns and  pom-pom twigs to decorate your spaces, apple birdfeeders to hang up.. and of course there are seeds to plant and take home to watch grow.

Every day an extra craft and loads  of spaces, nooks and magic views for young ones to explore time and again.

Garden opens Monday 20th to Friday 24th,  11am – 3pm
(Activities- 12pm-3pm)

Buy tickets on the door.
Entrance to the Gardens for family activities are £2 per person

(Under 5s Free. children must be accompanied by an adult)
Normal adult entrance £4
Under 5’s are free
Family Day ticket £8 (up to 5 people, include up to 2 adults.)

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Apple blossom v. Holly hedge

The Woodland Trust’s latest post on caring for apple trees is great advice. (Find it here: how to prune apple trees in winter)

We’ll be posting the date for our own pruning of fruit espaliers courses shortly, but it’s pruning on a much bigger scale that our gardeners will need to be tackling this coming year.

snow covered orchard https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blogs/woodland-trust/2017/01/how-to-prune-apple-trees-in-winter/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=blogs&utm_content=gardening
The Woodlands Trust advice on pruning and caring for apple trees

Last year, both of our two heirloom orchards got a much needed trim and we’re hoping to see much bigger yields as a result.  We did lose one or two trees this year, but there are others nearly ready to replace them.

There’s a bit of a battle looming. The Holly perimeter hedge has not had much attention over the last five years and has grown to 3 times the intended height and breadth.  It is now seriously  overshadowing the Apple and Pear trees in the ‘New Orchard’.

We’ll need to radically trim back this year if we are to expect our magnificent blossoms to shine again.  If you are able to help us (there is nearly  half a kilometre of hedge so, we’re tackling it bit by bit).. … keep checking back here for callouts.

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Time for trees

Tree Dressing Day:A tree is not just for Christmas, but for … 

We have over 130 mature trees in the Gardens. Most of which are important enough to have Tree Preservation Orders on them.  Caring for them and keeping them in good shape – literally – is a responsibility we are proud to be able to undertake.

Although it’s financially expensive and time consuming for a small Charity like ours, without the trees framing our views, shielding us from the winds, sheltering our beneficial bugs and birds and yielding us fruit, we would be much poorer in spirit.

This year we’ve been drawn to the custom of Tree Dressing as a way to express our positive relationship with trees …. a little ‘thank you’.

Celebrated in the first weekend of December the custom was revived in 1990 by the group who re-invented Apple Day; Common Ground.

“Trees have long been celebrated for their spiritual significance. The simplicity of tying strips of cloth or yarn to a tree is universal and timeless. The old Celtic custom of tying cloth dipped in water from a holy well to a ‘clootie tree’ echoes the practice in Japan of decorating trees with strips of white paper, or tanzaku, bearing wishes and poems. The twenty-first century trend of ‘yarn bombing’ in Europe and North America transforms the local landscape with bright fabrics and yarns, like the Buddhist tradition of tying ribbons around the trunk or the annual Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan when coloured strings are tied onto trees and plants to call upon the power of nature to protect loved ones.

These deep and diverse cultural associations provide a rich basis for tree festivities across the world. The act of dressing a tree binds us to it and celebrates the unique role that trees have in our local neighbourhoods.”

Some of us went down to visit one of our lovely walnut trees that supplied us with shade during the summer family activities and supported our community art work ‘the knit knot tree’.

With paper lanterns, twig dreamcatchers and wool apples we decorated the tree. A ring of colour on the bare branches.

Why not come and visit it add your own decoration perhaps. So when you are decorating your Christmas tree this year, think about adding one of your decorations to a living tree on your street.

For more information and free  resources about Tree Dressing Day, see here Common Ground  and Charter for Woods, Trees and People

 

 

by Felicity Hallam & Glynis Powell

 

 

 

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