Category: Events

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:

 

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

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

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

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

White and Green – Snowdrops and a Green man

Celebrate the return of the light with the ‘sweet harbinger of Spring’, the delicate snowdrop.  Sunday 5th February  11am -3pm.

Our snowdrops have been increasing every year and they make a delightful show of sprinkled white and green in the Lower Wilderness. The first Snowdrop day Sunday 5th February is a family day out dedicated to welcoming back the longer days and brighter light.

For ‘gardeners’ there will be short guided walks and sales of plants, our Green Man will delight us with stories and song about spring and winter.

Join us in making simple lanterns to light our way round and fashion a traditional Brigid Cross to hang on your door.

Hot drinks and homemade soup will be available in the shop.

£4.50 (including optional Gift Aid), Children £1
RHS & Garden members £3.20

Come back to see the later flowering snowdrops on a second snowdrop Sunday (19th February).

 

Draw the Gardens…a botanical quest

Like to Draw? Join us for our new (free) monthly relaxed drawing sessions with our artists in residence from the Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists.

Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists logoWe are delighted to announce the beginning of a year long drawing project in conjunction with the Society.

Once a month Members of the BSBA will be in the Gardens drawing plants across the seasons. They are inviting anyone – of whatever experience – to join them for a relaxed and no hassle couple of hours.

Normal garden entry charges will apply, but otherwise the sessions are free to anyone who wishes to join in and be guided by experienced botanical artists.

The first session will be on Wednesday 8th February and continue on the second Wednesday of every month thereafter 1.30 to 3.30.

All you will need is suitable clothing (we will be outside for all or some of the time – indoors if the weather is bad) and bring some basic drawing tools – paper, sketchbooks pens/pencils and perhaps a folding seat – together with a willingness to observe aspects of the garden and make drawings of what you see.

Some very basic drawing materials will be available if you are coming for the first time.