What a great day! (photos to follow)
I know it's been a while now since our open day but so much seems to go on in the summer term that it's hard to find a time to write. I'm here now though so let's try and give you a run down of how things went.
The day started off very gloomy and overcast and at 1.55pm the heavens opened and we all got drenched. The garden opened at 2pm and it was still raining. Oh No!!! Hold on though, don't despair, I can see the sun. 10 minutes later the rainclouds had gone, the sun was shining and the rest of the afternoon remained sunny and dry. Hallelujah
We were so pleased with how the afternoon went. We had approx 15 scarecrow entries from local schools and individuals. The scarecrows were judged in 2 categories by Nick Williams-Ellis. The Brownies won the group category and their prize was a Dorset Cereals Garden Starter Kit, kindly donated by Dorset Cereals. The individual prize was won by Jacob Newport and his prize was a childrens garden kindly donated by Rocket Gardens.
We had a number of plant stalls. We sold plants that we had grown ourselves and that the school community had donated to us. Other schools came along with their plants. Visiting plants stalls included Peppers By Post (or Seaspring Seeds) from West Bexington, famed for producing the hottest chillies ever and also Post Office Plants from Martinstown.
We also had a number of craft stalls: a wood turner Mr Muncaster who was a surprise neighbour just 5 minutes away who made beautiful bowls. David from Hundred Aker Wood Pottery came along with his pottery wheels and sold pottery as well as letting the children have a go at making their own pots for a small fee. Local stone sculptor Sarah Gilpin who teaches sculpting on Portland brought blocks of stone and allowed people to try their hand at sculpting. Mary Mayer is a local crafts person who makes lovely dressed dolls which were very popular with the children. Lastly we had a stand by Green Beginnings who offer a local Ecover refilling service around the Weymouth area.
Displays of country dancing and Maypole dancing were performed by some of our year 1 and year 6 children. Our MayPole has been made by hand by a very talented and special friend of the garden and was funded by a local business: Tristan Murless of TGM Electrical.
Fresh scones were baked in the school kitchen by Sandy and Gill and were served in our cream teas with Craigs Dairies clotted cream and local jam. They were as delicious as they sound and were served with Fairtrade teas, coffee and sugar.
We had storey telling on our new willow classroom. This was such a magical part of the whole afternoon. The stories were read by one of the school governors who had all the children enthralled with his storey telling about a butterfly searching the garden for food and a little boy who grew vegetables with his Grandad. To see all those children gathered around in the willow classroom was such a treat.
We had such a great turnout from friends and neighbours. The local community attended in their droves and we were able to raise just short of £1000 which we will be using to help us maintain and develop the garden in the future.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their help on the day, for the lovely prizes donated, for bringing their stalls to the event and for coming as members of the public to view the garden and support this new school initiative.