Author: Glynis Powell

Free lantern making workshops

Help make our enchanted mushroom lantern village for christmas in the Gardens.

We’re working with artist Sophie Handy to make 100 little mushroom houses from willow and tissue paper. A great family, club or class event. These workshops are free.

Your creations will go into the Gardens to help make a magical, illuminated woodland walk ready for our weekends before christmas 

and the big Community Lantern Parade. ‘Mushroom makers’ who help on these days will get free refreshments on the day and, as a thank you, a token for free hot chocolate and marshmallows in our Community Lantern Parade on 16th Dec.

It takes about 2-3 hours to make the lanterns, and its probably best for children over 7 years old.

November 10th (12-5pm) and Saturday 11th (10- 4pm)

Pop in on the days .. or contact us here for more info

SEE here for details of the events lantern parades, woodland walks and entertainment

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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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Dogs Don’t do Ballet

To kick off the summer holidays with a fun and warming outdoor show , get the kids up and moving with Bif…

Biff is not like other dogs. He doesn’t do dog stuff like weeing on lampposts, or scratching his fleas, or drinking out of the toilet. No, Biff likes moonlight and music and walking on his tiptoes. You see, Biff doesn’t think he’s a dog. He thinks he’s a ballerina!

We are delighted to have Little Blue Monster Theatre join us to perform Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. Get ready for an afternoon of songs, puppetry and lively story-telling.

The show goes on whatever the weather

Tickets on sale HERE

Would you like the chance to win 4 tickets to see the show at the Gardens, as well as a VIP backstage tour of the set with Bif?

To win simply get your little one to draw their best picture of Bif and send it to us on social media. Be sure to post it with the hashtag #Bifatthegardensand tag us in the post. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 19th July. We look forward to seeing your entries and hope you enjoy the show.

Facebook: Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
Twitter: @cbhallgardens
Instagram: @castlebromwichhallgardens

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Year 6 Summer Leavers Special (New)

Transition to ‘Big School’ can be a nervy time for many pupils. The Gardens’ education department is offering a fun day out for Year 6 with a purpose.

A Taste of KS3 History gets the kids out of the classroom into the open in 10 acres of open space. Our historic garden gives us the opportunity to touch on topics across the KeyStage3 curriculum.

Sessions during the day include The Black Death and early medecine (our medicinal herb borders show the real plants), ‘Dig for Victory’ in our veg. plot and the opportunity to play like a Victorian on our Archery Lawn. They’ll also be the chance to taste ‘knot biscuits’ (shortcake based recipe) and carrot cookies (wartime recipe).

A day aimed at looking forward with confidence. £4 per pupil

Booking now  for weekdays (not Wednesday)

contact admin@cbhgt.org.uk, 0121 749 4100

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All the world’s a stage

Those baroque Garden designers always emphasised bold theatricality in their layouts.

Although we are certainly not on the grand scale of Versailles or the Royal Palaces, our ‘wilderness’ areas, boxed beds and topiary are all part of that formality and dramatic approach.

We’re all the more pleased therefore, to be able to host both theatrical and musical productions in the Gardens. This year we have the Crescent Theatre celebrating Jane Austen’s anniversary with a charming rendering of Sense and Sensibility. During the school holidays Dogs don’t do Ballet (Little Blue Monster theatre) will be visiting causing exciting mayhem for the little’uns.. definitely not to be missed.

In September, on the same day as our  Heritage Open Day tours, we are lucky to have local Gilbert and Sullivan aficianadoes the Birmingham Savoyards mixing drama with music.

Music too is becoming more of a regular feature here (hoorah!). The 40s weekend had us rocking. last weekend we were smooth and mellow with the West Midlands Light Orchestra and Devon Harrison. The Central England Concert Band come in August.

In between times we have the soloists accompanying our pop-up tea and music events, various entertainments during Apple Day and Advent and we’re still holding out for an amazingly talented group who can play 17th century music with vegetables! No they can’t .. yes the can, they’re K’antu.

We are an open air site, so wind and rain are always hazards here… but, as they say, our skin is waterproof and the show… must go on.

Check out our Events calendar on this site and make sure you secure your tickets for our theatrical and  musical offerings. Not only will you have a great time, you will be helping us keep the Gardens open for more years to come.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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:

 

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