• Lesley

Summer 2019 at The Garden

As Autumn starts to draw in, the temperature is dropping, and the children are back at school. I've got a chance to reflect back on all the summer activity that has been going on at the garden.

It's been our busiest summer yet, but in a different way to other years. In the past we have run a few bigger events during the summer, like our grand opening in August last year, and had very quiet regular sessions. This year we tried something a little different.

On Mondays and Thursdays we kept our regular gardening volunteer group going. 10.30-12.30 every Monday, and 4.30-6.30 every Thursday evening throughout June, July and August, these groups met, and gardened, chatted, built friendships and had tea and cake. These groups have quietly grown and they are the backbone of the garden. This summer they are the ones who have tended the plants, watered and maintained the garden to keep it going for other groups to enjoy. They are my heroes!! But it's quite rare to catch them on camera, they are a quiet hard working bunch.

Little Foresters, ran very successful family groups over the summer. Louise and Michelle run Little Foresters as a non-profit providing affordable forest school access. For a very reasonable fee, they run incredible sessions teaching families woodcraft, how to work safely with fire and having fun in the open air. Forest schools build confidence and relationships.

Our new addition for Summer 2019 was Summertime Acorns To Oaks, a cross-generational group funded by Erewash Voluntary Services, 5 ways to Mental Health. We met every Friday over the summer to enjoy the garden, play and chat, and have lunch together.

It was wonderful to have so many families returning over several weeks of the summer, and to have so many come every Friday to have fun together. We told stories, played games, painted stones, made pompoms and weaved willow (grown from our very own willow tunnel).

The pond was always a popular place to visit, although we can only take small numbers of people in at a time for safety reasons, and sometimes we had to keep the pond closed due to such good attendance and a only having so a limited number of volunteers.

It was also especially wonderful to welcome the 'Oaks' to the sessions, often adults don't feel they can come along to sessions that have a lot of children attending. Acorns To Oaks is trying to change that, and really welcomed everyone who wanted to come along and join in the fun. Acorns to Oaks is continuing in the Autumn on Fridays, with a slight change of time - 10.30-12.30, we'll still have lunch together - book your tickets on our events page.

And in response to requests from some Acorns to Oaks families, who have to go back to school, so can't do Fridays....we introduce Saturday Acorns To Oaks in September and October. Book your tickets on our events page.

If you would be interested in joining in with any of these sessions, you can contact us via email or our facebook page and we'll get straight back to you with the info. Or have browse of our website and book your place for Acorns To Oaks activities.

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