As a part of our Social and Horticultural Therapy sessions at Growing Ability, we come across many situations whereby activities in the garden are used to develop our clients socially, physically and mentally. The sessions we provide aim to improve confidence, self-esteem, health and well-being. Project Manager Liz McElroy takes us through one such situation:
We've had a request from a local wildlife group who need volunteers to help toads this spring:
The common toad is in decline. Many toads are killed crossing the road each spring as they make their way to breeding ponds. Could you help local toads to cross the road? Adult volunteers (at least 18 years old) are needed to help the local patrol on Stevenage Road (near the Redcoats Farmhouse restaurant) on mild evenings from mid Feb to the end of March.
Forest gardens put the importance of plants at the very heart of their philosophy. It’s easy to underestimate plants – their complexity, their versatility and the way their existence quietly underpins our fast-paced, technologically-advanced, indoor lives. Our modern plant-blindness makes it easy to forget the fundamental role plants play in supporting eco-systems which allow us to breathe, produce food and develop life-saving medicines. Forest gardens acknowledge the value of plants and work with them to create productivity and sustainability. Find out how our Forest Garden is coming along and what's in store for it next year ...
Liz McElroy describes what our Growing Ability groups have been up to this autumn:
'We have been observing, harvesting and feasting on the spectacular abundance of seasonal foods this month during our Growing Ability and Growing Health sessions. This year has been perfect for our autumn display, from a wet start in spring, to a dry hot summer through to a calm and mild autumn, avoiding gusts and wet weather widening the window of colour for us this autumn.
Last weekend a group of Triangle Garden volunteers went scrumping (by invitiation) to a small orchard in Old Knebworth belonging to a Triangle Garden supporter. We spent almost two hours there and picked a car-load of apples for juicing. The party included two very young children who enjoyed pushing wheelbarrows of apples around and fetching more boxes for us to fill.
This week our Growing Health and Growing Ability projects got together to hold a harvest lunch in celebration of all the wonderful things they've been growing and eating over the year. The weather was glorious and friends, family, staff and volunteers were able to eat outside at tables set out beside the Pavilion.
If you missed our recent Open Day here is a short film that sums up the fun, made by one of our Garden Club volunteers Alan Hodgson: