Isn’t it often hard to motivate ourselves to get going and get outside in the winter and yet how many of us feel the benefit once we get some fresh air?
Here on the Conservation project at Caring For Life we have been busy with many different jobs throughout the last year but the latest major project has been the designing and developing of the Bonsai Garden. Behind the plastic mesh fencing in the Sensory Gardens the development work on our new Bonsai Garden and access path are making steady progress. We are so pleased to be able to develop this new area which will be in keeping with the character of the sensory gardens whilst adding a new work area for bonsai workshops and a further area of interest for visitors. The conservation project beneficiaries have been busily engaged in preparing for the garden to eventually receive its permanent guests (our small collection of bonsai trees!) and new visitors ( Caring For Life beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and members of the public). This garden development has proved a valuable motivation for the conservation team beneficiaries to attend week after cold windswept week to see how things are progressing and to contribute to getting the garden finished.
One new member of the team has particularly appreciated being involved in finishing the various stages of the work and the opportunity the garden has provided for social interaction as we have chatted through each development together. Thankfully due to these concerted efforts the garden structure itself is nearly complete although there is still lots of timber to paint and a large new fence to put up. The most recent heavy work has centred upon constructing the new pathway which will link the bonsai garden with the conservation area and create a circular route around the medieval pond. Once this path and adjacent rockery are in place there is much excitement about the prospect of planting this area. It will retain its wildlife centred focus sat next to the pond and will have plenty of log piles, shrub cover and shady corners. One man attending the project is thrilled to be involved in the stumpery/fernery and the prospect of planting this up has kept him going throughout and is the next job we will do when he attends. This area will also contain plants specifically chosen for their winter interest such as golden Pines, winter flowering heathers, bright berried hollies and fiery dogwood stems. Having cheerful plants to lift the spirit is particularly valuable for those beneficiaries who struggle with the winter months as well as providing a living reminder of the colour and warmth of the spring ahead.