Spring 2013 News
Spring is in the air, judging by the sounds of the many birds in The Peace Gardens, and crocus and some of the daffodils are starting to appear. This is in spite of the wintry weather that is still upon us. As I write they are talking of temperatures in the minus, and rain and snow in parts of the country. Everyone we speak to says that they have never seen it so wet either in the fields and on the flooded roads, or in their own gardens.
Here at Moat a lake formed in quite a large area of the woods which had not been seen before; usually the wet area was on the edge of the wood in a dip of the meadow. All the paths and most of the lawn are visibly very soggy, and where the dogs tend to run there is nothing but churned up mud. Hopefully the sun, when it comes for longer periods, will assist the grass to find strength and renew again. There are good points to mention though as well in that the snowdrops have never looked so good, and the aconites also are spreading very well in the woodland. In the early part of the year these spots of colour are wonderful to see amidst the leaf strewn floor of the wood.
Hedley has been out when he can working in the garden, tidying up, chopping wood, cutting bricks and, on good weather days, laying more of the paving for the herb garden. He is ‘champing at the bit’ to get out there more often and continue to build the brick herb beds, and can be seen keenly watching for the shoots to appear in some of the herb beds after their winter sleep. We are also thinking about what herbs and wild foods will be available in the garden to use and talk about on our Food & Health Day on 14th April.
On Sunday 5th May we are getting together in the afternoon to bury Ingrid’s ashes beneath an olive tree in one of the herb beds that Hedley will soon be completing. We can’t believe nearly a year has gone by since Ingrid returned Home and we’re sure it will be a good afternoon; Ingrid’s sister and brother and his wife are coming over from Germany for the weekend and so it will be good to show them the progress that has been made in the garden since they were last here.
News on our planning application for a second entrance and driveway is not so good in that our application was turned down because of the concerns of the Landscape Officer. He felt too much hedging would be lost along the roadside, even though we said that we would plant new hedging. We were advised, before the deadline for this application, that if we withdrew the application and lodged another one using the existing driveway entrance but cutting left across the front lawn into the paddock and car park, that this would be looked on more favourably (although Highways felt the new entrance was a better one). It was felt by us all here that this would work well and, in fact, be easier as far as security and signage was concerned. So, we wait again to see if this is passed, which will probably not be before end of May, early June such are the workings of the Council Planning Department!
Some good news, however, is that the Council has given us the certificate that allows us to open the doors of the Healing Clinic to the public. This is wonderful and so we are now able to offer healing in a peaceful, purpose-built setting, and it is also very warm too and easy to regulate the temperature.
We used to say that when the Healing Clinic was open it would make things a lot easier when it came to our Open Gardens weekend, especially when the weather meant everything had to be offered indoors. However, we have some news for everyone – and this will be sent out to everyone on our mailing list – to say that we are no longer holding an Open Day Fete each year in August, and we are no longer holding an Open Gardens weekend as such any more.
In their place we are going to have an ‘Open Weekend’ when the public can turn up and look round the Healing Clinic, and have healing if they wish of course, look round the meeting room and learn what goes on during our meetings and Retreat Days etc, and look round the Peace Gardens. Cream teas will be offered as usual and will be charged for, but admission to the Erasmus Foundation during this weekend will be free. Details of the opening times have still to be confirmed but the date of this weekend is 22nd and 23rd June.
We are also introducing a very exciting new event this summer, in August. This has been put together by Rosina and then a few of us have come together with our tutors to finalise details, and this is a children’s activities workshop. It will take place over four days, two days for 5-7 year olds, and two days for 8-10 year olds and they will learn about nature, wild life, drawing, printing, cooking, and there will be out door games. Parents will also be able to see what their children have been up to at the end of each two days. Five team leaders will take the workshops and it is hoped that if this is successful we will run more of these workshops for children in school holidays, and more ‘leaders’ and helpers can take part as we develop our ideas. Already, we are talking of an event around sensory activities for children with little or no sight or hearing. Both ideas have been well received so far by some teachers in the region and if we get funding for the workshops – an application has been put in – it will be helpful, but it has been agreed that the workshop this August will go ahead anyway and the experience will inform and help future applications.
Lily, our new German Shepherd, continues to make good progress and has already put on 2.5 kg in weight. A lady from Suffolk Dog Training came round recently and offered some helpful tips for looking after Lily, and Julia has a new dog lead that will help to control Lily more easily. Prior to this, Lily was taking Julia for a walk! Most of the time, however, Lily and Derkrum run round the gardens together having a go at each other, but quite often just playing together, and this is great to see. We have ordered Derkrum a new toy that he can hold in his mouth and run round with in the garden rather than pick up sticks and branches from the wood which he then drops in the meadow once the game is over. These branches would then cause a lot of damage once the sit-on mower starts cutting the grass, so we want to change his idea of the game.
Mega and Brushka, our cats, are well and have their own domains in the upstairs part of the house, with access to the front door cat flap away from the dogs. Julia does her meditation upstairs in the mornings now before breakfast and Mega will come and sit on her lap and no doubt soaks up the energies and the warmth as well as giving of her own peace and energy!
We are now looking forward to a busy time in the garden as there is much to do after the winter months. If anyone would like to help in the garden at any time, please get in touch, this would be very welcome. On a Saturday, in particular, a group of our friends can often be seen in various parts of the grounds working away, putting their own essence into the peace that is already there. As some of you will be aware, our minds are very much on
growing, storing and preserving food, as well as stocking up on food from the shops, so that we are prepared for what we believe will be a time of shortage. Our Food & Health Day will also tackle this subject, as well as the subject of cleanliness and preparation of food.
As this is our first blog, more news on all the above and other events will be posted more frequently, so do please keep logging in!