While we’re in lockdown, we’ve been misssing Stick Man fans, who regularly come to Martineau Gardens to follow our Stick Man activity trail. Our friends over at Social Farms and Gardens thought they’d bring outdoor adventure to you at home, whilst the trails (at various locations around the country) are not available.
In celebration of World Book Day, check out their special online activity videos featuring your favourite character on their YouTube channel.
We hope to see you at Martineau Gardens soon – please keep an eye on our Covid-19 Statement here for announcements regarding re-opening in Spring 2021. We can’t wait to see you again!
And, meanwhile, watch our environmental educator, Juliette Green, making a Stick Man out of twigs and craft materials, in the woodland at Martineau Gardens, filmed on a sunny spring day in 2020:
If it feels a bit too cold to be looking for twigs for your Stick Man figure, then watch this film in which Juliette demonstrates a few indoor crafty alternatives to celebrate World Book Day 2021 (filmed in lockdown).
Now the vaccine programme is well underway, we can’t wait to welcome back our volunteers as soon as lockdown provisions allow.
Therapeutic Horticulture Set to Continue
With Covid restrictions continuing into 2021 and in anticipation of frost, rain, or freezing fog, we have been considering our options for January and beyond. Gardening together on the Therapeutic Horticulture programme is a mainstay of many volunteers’ lives, and maintaining safe space indoors is key to facilitating winter work.
A breath of fresh air and we hope an experience of calm and tranquillity. Our gardens have been well looked after over these last few months, by the Therapeutic Gardening team – there are new things to see and the gardens are flourishing. Your visit will be a little different to the times you have spent with us before, please read through the following so you are prepared.
Throughout the growing year, Martineau Gardens grows a huge variety of fruit and vegetables that are suitable for preserving. From apples, pears, rhubarb and gooseberries to figs and mulberries – the orchard, vegetable beds, glasshouses and soft fruit cages produce quite a bounty.
We are sorry to announce Martineau Gardens is temporarily closed for volunteers and public visits during the early weeks of Lockdown 3. We’ve taken the decision to pause Therapeutic Horticulture and our Martineau Mondays for a few weeks until we feel it is safe to begin again. Some staff are furloughed with a smaller crew looking after the Gardens and keeping in touch with our volunteers.
Usually, in December, we would hold our Volunteer Festive Gathering – enjoy eating homemade food together, the windows of the Pavilion steaming up as we laugh, exchange cards and generally have a jolly time.
Pictured here, one of our Friday volunteers having a very satisfying gardening moment. Pat is particularly interested in seed saving, and has the skill and patience to reap success. Back in Summer 2019, Pat brought into the Gardens a very expensive and great tasting punnet of tomatoes from which she extracted, dried and stored the seed. These were then sown, just before March lockdown in 2020. They germinated and so Pat planted them in troughs in the keder house and has tended to them ever since.
By early summer, the plants were being raised in the keder house – providing a delicious and sweet, pale orange fruit.
Pat had picked a sturdy variety – here she is in December 2020, picking the final tomatoes.
Our volunteers have been gardening with us through much of the winter months, the light is dwindling, the temperature is lowering but getting together and gardening keeps our spirits high. Our much loved Shipwreck Play Area has seen better days – we are starting to work on improving it to enhance the natural play experience. Watch our short film ‘Restoring the play area, part I’ here, to see volunteers at work this month:
If you’re planning to visit Martineau Gardens with children when we re-open – it would be best to prepare younger visitors for what to expect since changes in the play area are taking place and certain areas may not be accessible when you visit. We are restoring the popular Wheelhouse, relocating the sandpit and furnishing the area with eco-friendly play equipment – the refurbishment will be in keeping with our commitment to consider the environment and wildlife in all we do.
Please consider becoming a Friend or making a donation at your next visit, to ensure that Martineau Gardens continues to be a safe and welcoming place for all. Whilst our Therapeutic Horticulture Project has been well supported, the ‘behind the scenes costs’ that keep Martineau Gardens looking beautiful still need to be met. We need your help to keep the hot water running, the toilets flushing, the tools repaired, the seed box replenished, the lawnmowers serviced and a myriad of bills that keep coming in. These essential costs are normally met through our public engagement activities such as the Garden Party, plus venue hire, plant and produce sales. Since March 2020 all these income streams have been lost in the year we faced Covid-19 together. This is where we ask you, our community, to support us by donating so we can continue to care for these beautiful gardens, and keep them open for all to enjoy.
Donate to our Tree Dressing Appeal to see that Martineau Gardens continues to flourish.
Help to ensure that Martineau Gardens continues to be a safe and welcoming place for all. Donating to our Tree Dressing Appeal will see a bare winter tree burst into colour. Tree dressing customs are found throughout the world, an opportunity to celebrate our leafy friends and the benefits they bring. Taking the tree dressing tradition as our inspiration, we have selected the fig tree within our orchard to be the focus for us this December. As more and more donations are received for the Martineau Gardens Tree Dressing Appeal, colourful strips of cloth will be tied to the tree to create a bloom of colour in the bare orchard and to bring everyone cheer in the dark days of December.
Help to ensure that Martineau Gardens continues to be a safe and welcoming place for all. A well cared for garden where visitors can take a break from the trials that life often presents, and a place to get close to nature, whatever your age. During the pandemic, we have been able to offer a lifeline to our volunteers by continuing the therapeutic horticulture project, at a time when this service was needed more than ever. Thanks to funding from charitable trusts we have been able to provide meaningful support to our volunteers throughout the crisis. Alas, the ‘behind the scenes costs’ that help to keep the hot water running, the toilets flushing, the tools repaired, the seed box replenished, the lawnmowers serviced and a myriad of bills paid, keep coming in. These essential costs are normally met through our public engagement activities such as the Garden Party, plus venue hire, plant and produce sales. Since March all these income streams have been lost in the year we faced Covid-19 together. This is where we ask you, our community, to support us by donating to our Tree Dressing Appeal so we can continue to care for these beautiful gardens, and keep them open for all to enjoy.
Make a dedication When you make your online donation, you have the option to add a message – if you wish, write a message of hope, a wish or perhaps a dedication in remembrance of someone – we will copy your message onto our Tree of Hope – which will be on display in our welcome shelter.