Natural Inspiration! Our garden is nearly there…

What a fabulous few weeks we’ve had! After our session with garden designer Clare Ryan, and from conversations we had with local people, we cam up with our plan for what we wanted to add to the already beautiful garden. Joan & the u3a originally designed it to be a ‘Sensory Garden’, so we wanted to add some extra sensory things – interesting fragrances, different textures, sounds of water and wind, the taste of fresh strawberries and mint!

We also wanted to make it more interesting to children, and more accessible as a place where creativity and inspiration happens – not just gardening!

So to achieve that, here’s a round-up of what we’ve been upto!

Helen Astley’s watercolour gang!
  • A big group of lovely ladies spent a relaxing afternoon with Helen Astley as she guided them through painting plants with watercolours. The results are gorgeous, and they’ll be featured in a special one-off printed booklet that will be available at the Garden Party on 26th June.
Sensory tiles ready to be glazed after Ian Kille’s clay workshop
  • Another group joined potter and geologist Ian Kille for a session on clay tile making. They used natural materials and leaves from the garden to create their designs, which will be featured in the garden and add to that ‘touch’ sensory element (crayon rubbings too, maybe…?).
Anna Turnbull’s felt session at the Drop-in Centre
  • Anna Turnbull spent the day showing another group of willing participants how to make willow flower sculptures. They are just beautiful, and they are now dotted around the garden, in some places hidden and hard to find so we hope visitors will enjoy trying to spot all of them. Anna also spent an evening with the young people at the drop-in centre making garden inspired felt panels which will be featured as part of the garden!
Learning how to make plant sculptures out of dead plants – another fabulous traditional skills session with Anna Turnbull!
  • As well as creative sessions, we’ve of course been busy in the garden! We’ve had several practical gardening tips sessions with our gardening social group, including ‘Gardening on a budget’ with Pam & Gill. Our amazing volunteers have been busy doing everything from repainting walls and benches, sanding down and oiling furniture, cleaning up the Northumberland bikes, jetwashing everything(!), creating new planting beds, weeding, repotting… the list goes on!

We’re in the last stretch of our little project now, but we do hope that whether or not you have already participated in one of our activities, that you will still join us for our Garden Party on Sunday 26th June 12-5pm.

More details to come – but for now – happy strawberry season!