Author: generalmanager

Giving Time raises money and improves your CV

Looking to get real experiences down on the CV, some references to show your talents are not just wishful thinking?  These days employers look for practical and provable experience to show you are employable. Volunteering for small charities is not just ‘ a good thing’ to do, it provides tangible benefits to the Charity, something great to see on your CV and, very probably, you will find it a positive personal experience – giving feels good.

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens is a tiny charity, dependent on volunteers and doing really rather ambitious things. …come and be part of it.

Not only do we preserve a really beautiful – and historically important – garden in the middle of a city landscape, we also open it up to the public nearly every day of the year.

The 10 acre site is a place of peaceful wandering and contemplation, but its also an exciting place for young children to explore the outdoors, to come face to face with nature in a safe place for the first time. It’s a place to explore art and creativity, to experience theatre and music on your own doorstep, to find places where people can meet together, share picnics under the blossoms, discover neighbours, learn to grow vegetables and harvest them, create bug hotels, indulge in nostalgia for the 40s (our big 1940s weekend is firmly established on the re-enactors calendar) and generally get active..

To do this well for our visitors, and to raise the income we need to be a successful charity, we rely on the Gift of Time from Volunteers.

It’s not just gardening (although that is an enormous part), there are opportunities to develop your visitor service, practice your retail skills in our cafe and shop, make sure the site – and its signage – is clear, in the right place and communicates.

Our Unplug and Play programme is developing outdoor play environments and creative play sessions. Why not join our small team creating recycled, woodland, simple craft, child-centred and family based activities…

Maybe you have the theory of digital marketing and event planning – what about practical experience? Our growing programme of educational and fundraising activities needs constant attention… Can you help build our Twitter reach? Plan and organise resources for a shoestring event? Write copy for the press and produce convincing text to persuade donors and members to help our cause?

If you have just a few hours to spare, or want to spend some consistent time building up your CV, why not come and be part of a great community #wegrowtogether.

Email or ring for a chat. come along to our Open volunteering Sessions … Friday 28th April and Friday 26th May (10-12ish)

 

 

 

 

 

 

wild wild tulips

As well as some delightful period tulips and daffodils in the Gardens we have, this year, introduced the ‘wild tulip’ … the mummy of all those later fancy ones.

Tulipa sylvestris, known as the ‘wild’ or ‘florentine’ tulip is a species tulip noted ‘somewhere in Italy’  as early as 1594. Our suppliers Thomas Etty esq describes it thus

“Violet scented almond-shaped lemon yellow flowers in mid April. Naturalises well in grass. Said, by some, to have first travelled to these shores attached upon the roots of grape vines brought from Italy by the Romans.”

Volunteers have been deadheading  the daffs along the Holly Walk bank revealing the wild tulips and allowing them to make their mark. A really special addition to the month.

Other varieties of note this year are;

  • the jolly scarlet and yellow of Kaiserkroon (‘kings crown’) from 1620,
  • the 16th century double white poeticus plenus and pheasants eye
  • and of the later varieties we have sneaked in – Queen of the Night tulip (pre 1939) and Rinjveld’s Early Sensation daff., 1926.

Auricula …not a very prim primula

To celebrate our 17th century Gardens’ new ‘Auricula Theatre’ feature we are holding a day with specialist growers HillView Hardy Plants.

On Easter Bank Holiday Monday,  the nursery people from HillView will answer questions, give advice about growing, and of course sell you some of their lovely range of plants, which will be at their height around this time.

The Primula auricula is usually known as auricula, or by the folk names of mountain cowslip or bear’s ear. The upright stalks and colourful headed flowers were popular, and coveted,  from the early 17th century. Rare beauties were so prized that they were sometimes presented to a seated and expectant audience, appearing from behind a curtain, with many ‘oohs and ahhs’.

As growers became ‘enthusiasts’, this approach led to the practice of displaying the plants on layered shelving or within a framed arch – just like a theatre. Some ‘ auricula theatres’ were modest others,

Theatre at Calke Abbey

frankly, ostentatious.

As a 17th/18th century Garden, there would undoubtedly have been auriculas grown here.

by courtesy of the National Galleries Scotland

In the Music Room this summer we are displaying a reproduction of a flower painting (from around 1712, by Dutch painter Jan van Huysum). We already grow most of the flowers that appear in his picture … but not auricula. So…

Our, modest but authentic, Auricula Theatre will complement the season of mini-flower exhibits reflecting the picture in the Music Room.

Come along on Easter Bank Holiday Monday to find out more.

Part of our #GrowtheGardens fundraising this year.

Potatoes planted…

A good day for planting potatoes… Lots of ‘growing kits’ given away.

Make sure you share your results with us #castlebromichhallgardens #wegrowtogether. I wonder who will be able to harvest the most from our one potato.

We were giving away ‘rocket’ seed potatoes, so they shold be ready in a couple of months.

Thanks to all the lovely young peple who helped plant up one of our 4 potato beds. We have now added “swift” and “foremost” to our ‘earlies’ beds. All the Highland Burgundy Red, shetland Blacks and Salad Blues are now in and we’ll be putting the very special Congo  and Yamm varieties in next week.

Can’t wait till they harvest? Well come back for our community cob and pizza oven making days on 18th and 19th April

Family Friendly volunteering in the Gardens

Unplug and Play! Our summer long programme  for families to get outside, together in a safe and creative place. Suddenly the Back Garden grew… to 10acres!

 Want to try out your work skills? Why not volunteer with us.

We can help you grow and practice your creative, early years, youth work, woodland and gardening skills.

Storytime, crafts, learning to knit, mud kitchens and doodling we’ve got them all this summer.

You can have a great time helping young people grow – just few hours will make a difference.

We want young children and their grown-ups to find our Gardens a place to get outside, enjoy making and creating, run around and sometimes just be peaceful.

Can you help us support them?

Families can use the Gardens 7 days a week but on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during school holidays, from 12-3pm, we run extra sessions.

Ways you can help:

  • Perhaps help us run story time in the Maze?
  • Help us with simple craft activities – frogs from cardboard tubes, recycling milk cartons into wind catchers?
  • Be part of the giant recycled knit-knot tent made from strips of material and French knitting ‘ropes’.
  • Garden alongside our junior gardeners?

You don’t have to be an expert, we can show you how to do things.

As well as the sessions we need people to prepare and tidy up – put away the books and cushions, set out the croquet on the lawn, collect the doodles and pin them to the artline.. gather recycled materials ….

Let us know if you have some time- or know of others who’d like to help out. You don’t need to commit to the whole summer, just a few hours of your time can make a big difference.

Want to know more?

You can: Phone. 0121 749 4100, Email :admin@cbhgt.org.uk

Fill out a form here

Come along to one of our regular Volunteer Open sessions , 10am- 12,  31st March, 28th April etc

Download a copy of this information (pdf) here : Family Activities volunteering

Event support volunteers

Do you love making something happen? Want to do something good in your community? Like working with others in a team? 

Come and be a part of something which makes people smile and help us run a great programme of public events.

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust is a tiny charity with a big Garden – 10 acres!!  We are run by volunteers and rely on volunteers to keep the charity going.

We love to share the space with people and, to help us keep the charity going, we also run over 25 public events and 40 family activity sessions. Our volunteers run a small café and a shop too.

Events range from musical afternoons through outdoor family theatre to 1940s nostalgia and rare plant fairs. Many activities happen at weekends or during school holidays.

Why not come and have fun making it fun for everyone.

What will I be doing?

Depending on the event and your preferences, you may be asked to:

  • meet and greet visitors and make sure they can find their way about
  • help set up and clear down the event
  • help set up signs and flyers to advertise the events in advance
  • staff the shop or stalls
  • sell raffle tickets and tell people about membership
  • take refreshments to other volunteers on the day
  • help the organisers run a smooth event
  • help direct traffic safely in the car park

What skills, experience and attributes do I need?

Along with being able to give your time on at least 2 or 3 occasions, we ask that you are

  • flexible and willing to volunteer outdoors
  • enthusiastic about what we do and helping at events
  • willing to work as part of a team
  • Some tasks might involve physically moving tables, equipment etc…. we can adjust according to your needs – there’s a variety of roles!

If you have specific skills and experience that you think might be useful, such as event management, graphic skills, leading teams, till experience, car parking, first aid – do please let us know when you apply.

But don’t worry, we will provide training and induction as needed – a willingness to help out and to learn the ropes is the main thing .

Want to know more?

You can: Phone. 0121 749 4100, Email: admin@cbhgt.org.uk

Fill out the form on this website here

Or come along to one of our regular Volunteer Open sessions , 10am- 12,  31st March, 28th April etc…

Download a copy of this (pdf) here : Events Support volunteering

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

 

 

Family Activities Annual Pass..

Your back garden just got bigger!

Our 10 acres is ready for you, and your young ones, to explore, discover, have fun and chill, all year round.

If you’ve enjoyed our school holiday crafting, creative and outdoor activities, why not take advantage of the Family Activity Annual Pass so you can bring the family back, again and again.

As well as free access to the over 40 days of organised family activities, you can use the Gardens, have picnics, play in the mud kitchen, hunt for bugs and beasties or build dens any day we are open … all year round.

That is, every day we are open (except Special Events) – we are open 5 days a week in winter and 7 days a week from April to October!

The Pass costs just £40 and is valid from January to December. It covers up to 5 people over 5years old (maximum 2 adults).  (Conditions apply)

Download a membership form here:  Membership form (PDF).  Or pop in when we are open and ask about it.

In summer, normal entrance for two adults and two children over 5yrs old would cost £11… The pass saves you money even if you visit just 4 time per year.

 

 

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.)

Volunteers make the welcome work …

We’re full of  Family Fun at half term … Can you help make the best welcome for all to the Gardens?
We are recruiting volunteers to support us deliver fun and friendly craft and outdoor activities next week. (Monday 20th Feb – Friday 24th 11-3.30)
All week children and their grown-ups will explore our 10 acres, discover the mud kitchen, hunt for bugs, make daffodil cards and find signs of spring.
Volunteers can help with everything from showing people round, ensuring signs and maps are ready, showing how to make the crafts. Training and induction is given and you’re always in a team with others.
Our cosy café serves visitors warm drinks and snacks… we always need help there too.
Interested? Contact us for a chat. Phone, message or fill in the form on our website here : volunteer-enquiry form
#wegrowtogether