Tag Archives: outdoor

Fun for all the family – indoors and out

19 Jul
Go hunting for bees in the garden

On the trail: Go hunting for bees in the garden

There’s something special on at Wordsworth House every day that we’re open during the school holidays.

For those with green fingers, Monday or Wednesday is the day to visit. On Mondays, from 11.30am to 1.30pm, budding young gardeners can decorate a plant pot made from recycled materials, sow a seed and take it home to grow.

Wednesdays are herbs and hedgerows days, with talks at 11.30am and 2.30pm about the bizarre ways – from poisonous puddings to nettle cloth – that the Georgians used herbs and foraged plants.

Weather permitting, any day of the week, your young ones can also pick up a copy of Amanda’s brilliant All-a-Buzz garden bumblebee and bug trail.

If their main interest is in the kitchen, they can roll up their sleeves and join the costumed servants on Tuesday, between 11am and 3pm, to make clapbread, or on Thursday, also from 11am to 3pm, to fashion a pastry fish.

On Saturdays, there are special talks and recipe tastings at 11.30am and 2.30pm, while for Sundays the focus is on the weird world of Georgian sports and pastimes, with talks at 11.30am and 2.30pm, and the chance to play cards or skittles 18th-century style throughout the day.

We’re open every day except Friday, from 11am (last entry 4pm) and there’s no additional charge for activities. For more details about our events programme, go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wordsworthhouse or call 01900 820884.

Playing snip, snap snorum

Hand of cards: Playing “snip, snap snorum”

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Hi hoe, hi hoe, it’s off on holiday Amanda goes

14 Jun
Volunteer David collects fallen holly leaves

Tidy: Volunteer David collects fallen holly leaves

Alison and Jean tackle the weeds
Hoeing: Alison and Jean tackle the weeds

Amanda’s volunteer team have been keeping me company for the past week, while she’s been on a well-earned break at home with her family. Work hasn’t stopped though, just because she’s been away.

The team have been busy hoeing the heritage vegetable beds as the weeds are suddenly flourishing. Because we’re fully organic, conventional weedkillers are simply not an option, so thank goodness the volunteers are happy to hoe.

When it comes to garden pests, we’re equally principled. We use a range of organic options, including the wonderfully named “nematodes”. These microscopic creatures love nothing better than munching on those pesky slugs who’ve been making the most of the recent damp weather.

As for the aphids that have been trying to colonise all our lovely plants, a soap spray does the trick. Amanda says if you want to give it a try, there are lots of good brands available on the internet.

Take a walk on the wild side – or get into the drawing room

29 May
The outdoor drawing room on Friar's Crag

Jubilee: Celebrate at Friar’s Crag this weekend

I don’t get into the great outdoors as much as I’d like, so I always enjoy it when gardener Amanda comes to chat about the walks she takes with her dogs, Dandy and Birdy – you’ve guessed it, Dandelion and Burdock.

The three of them have been having a lovely time in the good weather exploring the Solway Mosses, listening to curlews rippling overhead, the melody of skylarks and the mellow call of the cuckoo, while watching swallows swirling across the sky and bronze dragonflies and blue and red damson flies zipping over the bog.

For those who like a bit more culture while they’re out and about, I highly recommend the “outdoor drawing room” events over the Jubilee weekend to mark the centenary of National Trust founder and social reformer Octavia Hill.

My lovely colleague Jessie has brought the indoors outside and created an actual drawing room at Friar’s Crag, on Derwentwater. Turn up from Friday, June 3 to Wednesday, June 6, to have a picnic, hunt for mini-beasts, try your hand at craft activities or meet some fabulous artists.

For more details and to book your place on one of the free events, call 017687 74649 or visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/borrowdale.

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