A church yard open to the public on specific days, facilitating education and projects around wild plants and pollinators, and encouraging wild people!
‘‘The Secret Garden Salisbury is a unique one acre church yard and community garden project, it is gently rambling and has an appealing quiet charm that has the ability to help you unwind and leave you feeling like you have pressed the reset button. You won’t find a traditional garden, garden gimmicks or neat edges, but you will be captivated by the space and it’s ability to make you feel both relaxed and energised with its unassuming wildness full of birds, bees and butterflies. I want to make sure that the living things in the space are never upstaged by the many distractions we often see in public gardens, so instead we pair everything back, keeping it simple and natural, so that you can look closer at and maybe even feel inspired to do more to protect the natural world. Do look for interesting wildlife facts written on old clay tiles, around the space, or our fabulous four story bug hotel. At fund raiser events; grab a cup of tea and slice of cake from our lovely recycled wood ‘tuck shop’.
The volunteer garden team has worked gently on the site, with me since 2015 and it is now used as the base for many other community programmes and projects that I create for the community beyond the garden gate. I want to lay good community foundations and forge community links from the ground up in an authentic and genuine way. Visit the garden itself for a peaceful moment in your week (Sunday 12 -4pm) from April to October each year. You will discover gravestones with stories of the city as it was in the past, you will find opportunities to expand your knowledge about wild bees and the plants they depend on, we also invite you to enjoy our events and other activities, talks and workshops in the subjects of natural history, the arts and well being. See our facebook page for weekly updates and garden events news.’’
News: Thank you also, to 'Plantlife' CEO Marian Spain for your support for our project. Do come in to the garden to see how we will partner up with this wonderful wildflower charity in 2019.
News: Find out about the directors exhibition October 2018 outreach project here.
Why create a project like this?
I am often asked why I think a relationship with nature is so important, so I have pulled this section of text from an early article I wrote - I think it explains my fundamental starting point, quite well -
''To stand among, observe and interact with living things that grow, develop, adapt, compromise and tolerate, is to learn those lessons ourselves. These skills, often developed in quiet outdoor time as children, when we watch life happening, uncontrolled, wild and sometimes brutal, often captivating and magical, are at the centre of what it is to be human. Without those things how do we reason the fundamental issues in our lives? In our early years outdoor exploration creates that little light we search for to clear away the fog at times when we need it and helps develop a real centre of resiliance, from which we can draw on through life. As adults it is important to strengthen that connection by maintaining our commitment to time outdoors. Essentially this is a commitment to our own well being and coupled with the opportunity to learn about nature and make active moves to be involved with its protection, it can be a win win situation, nature and people can both benefit from this mutual relationship.’’
It is my hope the garden will grow with the people that tend it, and will be very much a community effort. I feel very strongly about social inclusion, sharing of ideas, working with local business, investing in community, understanding of different backgrounds and values, owning and understanding our actions within communities and our growing team and highly valued connections already reflect that. It is lovely that our success can be compared to the success of the natural world where one element supporting another, creates a strong supportive network and I really hope that by reminding people that may have lost or forgotten those lovely connections, how they can impact positively on us; we can steer more people to put outdoor time at the very top of the list.
Our soft steps into the world of 'not for profit' may leave more conventional thinkers unaware of how much impact we make, but look a bit closer at the many trusted alliances we have made from new connections to old partnerships. We are a city project with a true 'feel good factor', I am keen not to do marketing stunts or simply pay lip service to this subject, I want the impact this project makes to be truly felt. I want to inspire people through genuine passion for the natural world and invite people to share that interest. The Secret Garden Salisbury really focuses on being a gateway to learning about and protecting nature, through various events and workshops that focus on giving the tools and insights to increase feet on the ground and action. One single wild flower meadow or bee garden is great, but what if people had the knowledge and confidence to understand how bee species choose specific plants or interact with different habitats? Now we can make an impact! This is central to my very first draft of the garden ethos and stays firmly in place at the core of everything we do.
In short - we foster understanding of the natural world and its important connections, and therefore a passion to protect it.
A special thanks goes to the amazing band of volunteers in our garden team, who not only enjoy being there, but have invested time, energy and love, I can't thank you enough.
As a C.I.C our objectives are to carry on activities that benefit the community, in particular - Environmental education. Protection of British Flora & fauna. Health & well being. Engagement & participation. Sustainable gardening & habitat management. Garden related arts and crafts. Historical & archaeological investigation. Historical preservation. Encourage & provide advice, support and resources to similar projects in the UK.
Read about some of our memorable moments on a facebook post, click here.
Rebecca Twigg – Founder/ Director. Projects, garden & team development, outreach, fundraising & chief wheelbarrow pusher.
Paul Howland - Treasurer
Daniel Kronenberg - Swift Project
Steve Webster - History and Archaeology
Hilda Phillips - Compost & Soil
Spencer Mulholland - Photography
Thanks to Moura MacDonagh for assistance with meetings
Volunteer Team - Events assistance, gardening & wildlife recording