My Mum was up visiting and we had given her a present of a day out to Westonbirt Arboretum + lunch, for her birthday. So, we drove down there yesterday and arrived mid-morning.
Some amazing Rhododendron flowers around the Loop walk and we had loads of fun running around the woods and the kids play areas.
Had a nice lunch then went further into the Old Arboretum area and found some great areas with stepping logs, carved wooden sculptures and massive wooden feet! Both boys were out for the count in the car when we dropped Mum back to her flat and on the way home!
A potentially good idea for an Easter egg hunt! Instead of using actula chocolate eggs, use wooden ones, which are then traded in for real ones. The original idea was to not waste the real ones when they’re not found, but it actually might be more of a waste to not find the wooden ones!
Anyway, some of the wooden ones can be hung from tree branches, so this would also extend the area of exploration! We’re keen to do a big hunt this year and i’m trying to think about it a bit.
Another idea is to combine the egg hunt with egg painting.
A couple of links to wooden eggs.
Claire is taking two days off work this week and i’m taking the Wednesday off, so we have 3 days for a mini holiday! First day is a trip to Crickley Hill as it was clear and bright. Spring is in the air and the plants are starting to come back to life.
We had a great couple of hours there, with lots of exercise, fresh air and fun! We had a walk through the woods and the boys had loads of fun trying to protect their castle from the invading grasshoppers (Claire and I). That’s a reference to the film Bugs Life!
There were also some tree surgeons cutting back the line of trees along the entrance road and I asked if I could take some of the wood. They said yes and on the way out I loaded the boot up!
I went to pickup the free trees which we’d reserved, as part of the Gloucester free trees scheme. This is run by the City Council and Gloucester residents are allowed up to 10 free trees each. There’s a range of types and they all come at about 1 metre in height. It’s a great way to improve the garden and get some more CO2 absorbing plants into the environment.
We went for 6 Birch, 1 Field maple and 1 Crab Apple. The birch trees have been placed in a rough circle, with 1 to the back, which is meant to be a small copse. There is a small area inside the circle which we hope will be a place for the kids to hide and play in. This space did have the sad looking Elder tree, which I cut down! I’d rather look at 6 birch trees with their great silver bark than an Elder anyway. This space was used for growing potatoes last year so we’re cycling the use of space.
The Birch trees apparently grow 45 cm per year, so will hopefully bush out and up quickly. We’ve also tied them all to stakes to help the roots bed in and stabilise.
We’ve placed the Filed Maple in the middle of the garden width, at the back near the shed. This will hopefully be the feature tree, with yellow leaves in the autumn. The Crab Apple is in the corner of the patio, to the left of centre. This will leave room to walk up the path and each tree is placed in alternating spaces, which will leave enough breathing and growing room for the future.
So, we’re really pleased with the choices and positions and can’t wait to see some growth and life in the Spring. Also, just went to Blooms Garden Centre to look around. We found some half price fruit trees, including Raspberries and Loganberries, which we’re going to plant along the north side (shady) of the garden.
We drove down to Westonbirt Arboretum yesterday, on a perfect autumn day. This is one of the reasons it’s my favourite season – clear, crisp days with lots of sun and the changing colours in the landscape.
Although we’re still not completely over the colds we’ve had, we needed to get out. I’d only been out once in over a week – I think my eyes had adapted to near-sight living. It’s a 45 min drive from Gloucester and it’s near Tetbury, so lots of nice Cotswold scenery on the way. We also have the family season ticket things, which we got last year, which gives us free entry to Westonbirt and Batsford Arboretum.
Anyway, we got there and there was a sea of cars. It seems everyone else had the same idea. No problems parking but we were just a short walk away from the main facilities. We walked through the old arboretum and saw some amazing maple trees, in full red autumn colour!
The boys were loving running around exploring, running under tree canopies and collecting leaves. It’s a very good time to go right now as there are still leaves on the trees and plenty of colour. We got some great photos and the light was excellent and clear.
We looped around to the main centre, where the kids playground area is. Always good fun and we got a sneaky tea and cake in. Finally there are some play areas in the woods, near to the centre, where there are various buildings and huts, which you can add to or just build dens. Lots of random wood piles and logs etc and further around there is a brilliant balancing network of planks.
Glad we went and we’re both feeling more vital now. It’s an amazing feeling having some energy again after more than a week.