Right from the word go, we had a great team on board to help produce this event. Angela, Margaret, Saifer, Amjad, Esther and Clare had all been part of the planning group back in July. On the day Richard and Kathy were up early getting Four Seasons Garden Project ready for the day – flooring covered and taped, and cakes baked. Colin and Angela nipped in quick with the press and scratter.
When Sara arrived, she found time to paint green foliage onto my face for the day! Stuart was waiting to unload the gazebos, while Ian and Jenny were already at the playarea with the string and flags running through the orchard play trail. Rhiannon and friends were not far behind in their bright orange VW camper van that stayed in the woodland all day. Its built-in kitchenette helped serve hot drinks to go with the fabulous entries to the honey cake competition.
Sue set about her soap-making by lighting a fire from nearby brushwood and collecting nettles to make a brew for the soap. (We now have it to sell to discerning and sensitive customers!) Sharif and Jan calmly got their honey stall together – beekeepers are calm people, they have to be – there was honey and bees wax to sell, and fascinating information to share. Nicola arrived with minutes to spare carrying a beautiful and inspiring bouquet of wild flowers, herbs and berries. Alf was finally spotted hauling Hazel branches across the meadow, freshly coppiced from the park’s old hedgerow.
Then our visitors started arriving. Someone had come from Oxford. Most were much more local. The adults chatted and asked questions. They tasted, they observed. The children ran through the trail, made mud pies, swung on our tree swing, had their faces painted, and turned the apples into juice. The park, the orchard and the garden project looked their autumnal best in the gentle sunshine, a very welcome interlude from the downpours we had had all week. The sweet smell of fallen leaves was an evocative accompaniment for anyone en route in the park and orchard, or up the path to Four Seasons for another cup of tea and more cake.
Thank you to everyone who helped, and to those who came to make it such a successful occasion!