IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK!

Today was my first day back volunteering at RHS Hyde Hall and it really was great to be back!

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I’ve not been there in my volunteer role since the end of the summer term, although have been a few times (not enough for my liking) in my visitor and parent role during the holidays, and have missed the sense of peace and joy it brings me. Just walking up the hill at the beginning of the day is enough to restore ones equilibrium after a hectic school run!

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And so much has changed during those six weeks! The last day I helped out, the last activity we did was bug hunting in the tall, nearly waist high grass on the hill. Today I found the meadow has had its annual ‘trim’ and it was a totally different atmosphere!

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It was far quieter – no wind whispering through the grasses and only a few birds singing instead of the choir of crickets. The stillness is not better or worse, just different. And with its new, slicker ‘do’ the meandering pathways appear and treasures are revealed.

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Isn’t it a beauty?

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And all of this wonder before I’ve even met up with my fellow volunteers and had a catch up!
When I got to the top if the hill, I headed for the volunteers kitchen/break room to sign in and literally gasped with joy when I saw the amazing ivy on the wall. The colours are stunning!

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Today, after Charlotte’s introductory talk, we took the children out into the garden to look at all the different kids of rock used in the garden – they are learning about geology at school – and, while we were out , it gave me chance to take a few snaps.

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I love the different colours, texture and how the light bounces off the pond…so many things.

So what is my favourite sight this week? It has to be that amazing, ivy clad wall!

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If you would like to visit RHS Hyde Hall, then you can find more details here . Or, if you fancy a more hands on role, you can contact the volunteer coordinator Lara here .

WE WISH YOU A…COMPOSTABLE CHRISTMAS!

I had the pleasure of visiting RHS Hyde Hall not once but twice this week! Both visits were arranged to catch up with good friends, one who I haven’t seen for too long and one who I just can’t get rid of…only joking…who I see on a more regular basis but with our children in tow, so conversation is somewhat stilted.

I must confess that the second visit was spent entirely in the Field Café catching up with my friend over a cup of their lovely broccoli and stilton soup with one of their super yummy cheese scones. However, on the first visit of the week we popped out to have a look at the RHS Hyde Hall WI Christmas Trees which were fabulous!

Festive Feast of Furs

Festive Feast of Furs

RHS Hyde Hall had invited the ladies of the  Essex WI to decorate a Christmas Tree with the only requirement, this year, being all the materials to be ‘compostable’. All decorations had to be made of natural materials which could be spray painted to add interest and colour. The ladies really stepped up to the challenge and used reeds and grasses, nuts, teasels, poppy and other seed heads, fruits, paper and many more lovely, natural items.

I may have been a little inspired by the lovely trees and taken one or..er..two photos to share with you! My favourites include the little candles made of spray painted clementine skin with a twig and some string for the candle; the Sycamore seeds with rose hips; the wooden spoon angels; and the poppy seed head, conker and chilli tinsel!

Best in Show

Christmas candle Conkers and acorns  Poppy chilli conker tinsle Blue tree Kashew tinsel Monkey nut tinsel Orange peel spiralAcorn cups orange peel tinsel Orange tree Painted beans Paper cup bells Physalis aka Chinese Lantern Popcorn cranberry orange and lime tree Pumpkin seeds Red and white angel tree Red tree Spoon angel Spray painted beans Sweet potato tinsle Sycamore and rose hip holly

I hope you have enjoyed this whistle stop tour around the lovely WI Christmas Trees at Hyde Hall – do try and get along to see them in person!