Sunday, 22 April 2012

Cherry Tree Felling

This cherry tree was a sapling when Alan Garner found Toad Hall in 1957.  Every year since, its blossom has been a glorious affirmation of spring, but last year one branch was less glorious than the other and we feared that it might have died.  We had to wait until the tree blossomed this year to be certain.  There was no doubt about it.  One branch was dangerously dead.  It had to be felled.

The tree surgeons worked with skill and balletic grace ...

... bringing down the branch safely …

... leaving a neat pile of cherry wood.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Spring Lift Off

As flowers appear in unplanned places and the garden becomes more colourful, we begin the countdown to the season of events. 

It starts in April, but first we have to prepare and erect the multi-purpose tent, where we run some of our courses, and serve teas to our visitors, and feed the students during the archaeological training excavation in August.

First, the metal frame is put together over the only level area of grass in the garden.

As soon as it is off the ground, we clean the metal frame of the roof.   It’s unreachable once the tent is up!  This is the fourth year we have raised the structure, so we know that we have to follow the counterintuitive instructions to put the canopy on before we raise the roof.

Gently and carefully we pull the canopy over the frame.

We fix the canopy to the frame and then with a co-ordinated lift by the strong and a fitting of the legs by the nimble, the tent is up.  

In go the side panels …..

…. and the workers sit down for a well-deserved lunch. 

The tent is up: we have lift off!    Come and join us!   

It is a beautiful place, where, in the sixteenth century Old Medicine House, we shall be writing creatively; working with herbs; and discovering  the history of the people who have lived here. 

For details of what we are doing, go to: