The Wilderspin Playground Garden
Samuel Wilderspin believed that gardening and the appreciation of nature were an important part of the child’s development.
Prior to September 2010 volunteers were constantly weeding bare beds. The topsoil having been brought from Alkborough was sandy and full of weed seed – chickweed, pineapple mayweed, coltsfoot, nettle, dock and willow herb to name a few.
The Outreach Group from Scunthorpe maintained and still do the north east corner of the garden and last year put on a spectacular display of sunflowers. The sunflowers now on the north side are self set from last year.
School children also have been involved. One year a group planted vegetables and last year another group planted daffodil bulbs, which gave us a wonderful splash of vivid yellow this spring. We look forward to next years display.
In August 2010 we asked Sue Hoy, who was the Head Gardener at Normanby Hall for her expert advice on creating a Victorian Garden. Sue came to view the area and emailed a list of suitable plants and shrubs – a copy which can be seen in the shop. Unfortunately for us Sue retired shortly after this.
Late September 2010/early October 2010, using Sue Hoy’s list as a guide, volunteers planted a number of shrubs to get established over winter before introducing the perennials. We did not however expect such a hard winter and were relieved to find only one shrub had died.
A few perennials and the little box hedge plants donated by various people were also planted.
In May 2011 Andrew Robinson, the local landscape gardener, came to prune and cordon the apple trees on the west facing wall. The apple trees are Victorian varieties. Andrew also supplied numerous perennials which volunteers planted. We now eagerly await the results of our efforts.
As you will realise gardens need time to get established and will evolve over the coming years. In the future we hope to plant old fashioned roses, sweet smelling honeysuckle and a low lavender hedge. Also we have plans to make a bird table and compost bin.
We are only volunteers and not trained gardeners so any comments on work so far and the correct name of plants will be valued.