Author: Glynis Powell

New-bees … we’ve got a new queen

We have 4 hives on site. Two are owned by Norman and are well established in the Gardens. They have been joined by two new ones, owned and looked after by Malcolm.

They’ve been a bit feisty settling in and Malcolm realised they were missing their queen…”where did you go to my lovely?”

Today Malcolm fetched two fresh Buckfast Queens and they’ve now been installed… and Malcolm even dressed , from top to to toe, in white for the occasion.

Welcome to the Gardens queenies both.

Peppa Pig and gardens

Popular childrens characters Peppa Pig and George will be making a visit to the Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre this Wednesday. 

Parents will know that Peppa is quite a keen gardener. He and George have planted seeds and grown flowers. We can of course only applaud this little piggies efforts….

Peppa will be inviting children to have their photo taken together with them (11 am to 4pm). To celebrate these gardening piglets we will give one free entry to the gardens to any child who can show us their picture taken with Peppa and George in Chelmsley.

National Croquet Day at the Gardens

This Sunday is National Croquet Day!

If you’ve never played croquet, then you probably only know the game through its depiction in Alice in Wonderland, where the Queen of Hearts cruelly plays the game with flamingo mallets and hedgehogs as the balls. We’d rather let our hedgehogs roam freely… but we do like a game of croquet!

All our Giant Flowers on site made us feel as tiny as Alice in the Garden so we thought we’d dust off our own croquet sets and celebrate national croquet day.

We cannot promise a perfectly flat lawn, but there will be two grown up and one junior sets of mallets and hoops on the Archery Lawn for any of our visitors to use.

Come along any time on Sunday and have a go.

Cafe and shop open.

Here are some inspiring and useful links…

A how to play link http://www.oxfordcroquet.com/coach/synopsis/index.asp

from the Croquet Association:

 

Head/Senior Gardener (p/t role)

Want to work in, and support, these amazing Historic Gardens?  We have an immediate vacancy for a part-time managing gardener who can help us plan and manage the next season or two.

Are you an experienced and trained gardener looking at a chance to ‘act up’  a grade, or perhaps are near retirement. 

The 10 acres of historic formal gardens – with wilder wildlife areas- in east Birmingham is owned and run by an independent charitable trust and staffed mainly by volunteers.

This is an opportunity for a qualified gardener (RHS level3 or equivalent vocational experience) with existing management and budgeting experience to extend or further practice their management skills.

See the attached Job description. Please ring or email us for an informal chat and more information.

Job Description (.docx)  Job Description P/T Head/Senior Gardener

Job description (pdf)  Job Description P/T Head/Senior Gardener

Please do share this with others.

 

Beak Holiday Monday

The rain wasn’t much good for anything today ….but cakes were munched, masks were found, pompom flowers were made (and will be all week) … but this little family loved being fed all those lovely grubs that wet weather brings…

Bad photo with phone, but didn’t want to get too close and frighten them off. come and see them tomorrow, they’re growing fast.

More family activities all week – 12-3pm

Invasion of the Giant Flowers … half term activities

Did you shrink or did the flowers just grow?

Wander amongst our beautiful towering plants over 4 metres tall – they’re crocheted!

This May half term join in the festival atmosphere with our Alice in Wonderland sized installation… All week from Bank Holiday Monday (29th May) through to Friday (June 2nd) we’ll also running family friendly activities around our flower theme.

  • Add a pompom flower to our woolly field and make some pom pom bees to fly amongst them.
  • Help us build giant bug hotel and learn how to make your own mini-beastie hotel at home.

    http://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/thingstodo/inaweekend/bug-mansion.aspx
    credit: Sue Tatman & RHShome.
  • And why not construct a giant birds nest for the little ones to snuggle up in.
  • Little green fingers can also help us plant up our Jack and the Giant Beanstalk runner bean tunnel… plant now and come back to play in the tunnel over summer.

The giant flowers are here all week and weekend (Sunday to Saturday), the family activities are Monday to Friday.

Family Friendly sessions + entry to the Gardens £2 (for anyone over 5 years old)

Family Activities Annual Pass holders: FREE

NB Normal entry prices for non-family groups

 

Family Activities 12- 3pm Monday to Friday

Gardens open Saturday 27th – Sunday 4th

Help Grow the Gardens

The Gardens Trust here is run almost entirely by volunteers, who gift over 10,000 hours of their time per year to keep the Gardens trim.

They run the education, family and wildlife activities and support the survival of the charity by running the café, shop and holding fundraising events.

It costs the equivalent of £900 per day to keep the Gardens open and sharing its delights with the public.

So the Trust is entirely dependent on the generosity of our visitors, members, donors and grant-making Trusts to keep the Gardens open. We hope you enjoy the Gardens, and if so, perhaps you can help us keep them going.

There are many ways you can help Grow the Gardens.

You can:

  • Volunteer your time
  • Buy a raffle ticket
  • Make a one-off or regular donation
  • Become a member
  • Arrange to leave a legacy
  • Sponsor an event or family friendly/school activity

Click here for membership and volunteering forms or pick one up at the Visitor Centre.

This year’s raffle will be held on December 2nd at one of our Advent events. Just in time for Christmas!

There is a raft of prizes including a top cash prize of £200, afternoon tea at Hogarth’s hotel, a child’s bike, pairs of quality hand-forged trowels and forks from DeWit, original artworks, Christmas coffee presentation for Starbucks and more…

Tickets are £1 each and can be found in the Visitor Centre

Sponsorships

There are numerous events, activities and aspects of the Gardens which can be sponsored and we’d be glad to talk about how we can work together.

Contact us on 0121 749 4100, admin@cbhgt.org.uk to talk about sponsorships and other supportive opportunities, such as corporate volunteering days.

Donations

There are donation boxes around the site.

You can make an immediate donation by phone, just text CBHG17 £1 to 70070 and make a difference today (#justTextGiving by Vodaphone)

Other donations can also be made online at our Just Giving site, (Just giving.com/cbh-gardens.)Every donation will immediately help Grow the Gardens and will be used where it is most needed to directly support our work.

Thank you for your support! #wegrowtogether

Pop in for pop-up food and music…

A new series of gentle, relaxed afternoons where you can take full advantage of the Gardens for some ‘me-time’.
We’ve asked some of the best local or artisan food businesses to run a one day pop-up cafe in the Orangery at the Gardens.
This month (May 21st) you can try some truly luscious cakes made by Bakes and Bits.
They currently operate in the city centre but hail originally from Castle Bromwich.

To put the ‘cherry on the cake’ of your afternoon experience we are also offering aspiring local musicians a chance to entertain our visitors while they chill and chomp on their cupcakes. We may not have a bandstand.. but we’ll have handpicked buskers to bathe your ears.
Good prices, good food and good company ..

Usual Garden entry prices
PS – We are still offering music slots – contact us if you are interested in knowing more
(Sun May 21st, Sat June 17th , Sat. July 8th & Sun July 23rd)

Warwickshire wildlife trust out counting hedgehogs

Hedgehogs by torchlight

We’ve always valued our connection with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Hedgehog project. Officer Simon Thompson has always thought our mix of cultivaed grass and wilder areas have been an ideal habitat for these really threatened creatures.  With him and our younger visitors we have carried out a couple of population surveys in an around the Gardens and held the odd ‘hedgehog day’ or two.

This is Hedgehog Awareness Week (#hedgehogweek) and although we are not doing anything special this week, we are pleased to be hosting a special torchlight tour on 26th May (8.30pm to 10pm). Here are the details. Please book your place in advance via the link below (it takes you to the Wildlife Trust’s site)

Join Hedgehog Officers, Simon Thompson and Debbie Wright, for an evening outdoor event. They will be talking all things hedgehog, answering questions and leading a torchlight tour of 17th century gardens on the lookout for the enigmatic and elusive hedgehog.

Please be advised that this is an adults only event. Please wear clothing that is both warm and waterproof and wear appropriate footwear. Meet opposite St Mary and St Margaret’s Church, Chester Road, Castle Bromwich, B36 9BT..

To book your place and pay for the advanced ticket (£5) please click through to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust website

here: warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/hedgehogtorchlighttour

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)