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Half Term Children's Art
The half term holiday provided another opportunity for children to practice their artistic skills in the meeting room of the Physic Garden. Vicki Ostersen returned, full of imagination, to provide inspiration for three sessions which were entittled 'Jungle! All about paint', 'My Street. Drawing and Chalk' and 'Mosaic'. As the titles suggest there was plenty of choice in the use of different materials and the decisions as to whether to work individually or collaboratively. Some stunning results were produced, as the photos below demonstrate, and there were lots of happy children and parents.
Jungle
My Street
Mosaic
Hidden Rocks
The Physic Garden continues to be an excellent place for finding Hidden Rocks.
Twinning Association student helps at Petersfield Physic Garden

Garden volunteers welcomed Lina as she helped sort out some of the woody prunings in Petersfield Physic Garden. An Engineering student in her first year, Lina is French and lives close to Barentin, Petersfield’s twin town.
Lina is staying with Joy Francis, a Physic Garden regular, who was delighted to hear that Lina is also fond of gardening. The group will benefit from her three week stay in Petersfield.


Physic Garden benefits from state of the art pruning ladder

Volunteers at Petersfield Physics Garden were amazed when our gardener, John Wade-Palmer, arrived with his new state-of-the-art tripod ladder, to prune and tidy the damson.

The ladder, a Niwacki, is made in Japan and has been in use for many years to deal with bamboo cutting and olive tree pruning, as well as orchard use. Its incredibly stable and versatile design makes pruning the trees in the Physic Garden much safer than with our conventional ladders. Being hollow aluminium, the ladder is light to carry around and packs down into a small space.

Our team of garden volunteers will be queueing up to have a turn on it!


Hellebore Drawing


Sometimes in dull moments when there are no visitors the garden stewards find that time can go slowly.

Not so for Pauline Elkins. In spare moments she applies her drawing talents to committing plants and flowers from the Garden to paper. She usually has her sketch pad and pencil to hand and is always eager to record a huge variety of interesting subjects.

Pauline's skills are demonstrated in the charming picture of the Hellebore which she created using a large number of coloured pencils.

She is hoping to exhibit some of her work at the Autumn show of Petersfield Arts and Crafts in the Physic Garden.
Broken Urn
One May morning gardeners were greeted by this sad sight. An urn which had stood by the back gate for many years was found shattered with no known explanation. The urn which was a gift to the Garden was made by Whichford Pottery and was a copy of that designed for the National Trust for Ham House near London. It was based on existing stone gate finials dating from about 1680 and was the sort of exuberant design which would have been appearing in English gardens at the time.
The tale thankfully has a happy ending as the Physic Garden is fortunate in having a very gifted volunteer in Paul who was able to collect all the broken pieces together and restore the urn to its former state.
Family Fun Day
On Bank Holiday Monday the Physic Garden was full of happiness and children like never before. In brilliant sunshine, outdoor entertainments filled the Garden. Under the direction of Vicki (art), Dawn (spontaneous storytelling) and Louise (plants) the children enjoyed collaborative drawing, mini mysteries and simple gardening including the search for scented herbs.
Concentrating on potting up a Lavender cutting
Collabrative drawing - Creation of a beautiful garden
Sticking coloured leaves to the Spring Tree
Visit of Bidbury Mead WI
The pictures show members of the  Bidbury Mead WI, who were given a guided tour of the Garden by Garden Manager, Jenny Hill.They were shown many of the herbs grown in the Garden and told of the ways in which they were used medicinally in the 17th Century.Stories of the associated myths and folk lore also entertained the group.
Liquidamber styraciflua
Liquidamber is a deciduous tree which is native to warm temperatures of North and Central America. It was so named by Linnaeus because of the tree's fragrant gum which exudes from the bark of the tree when wounded. The species was introduced to England by John Banister in 1681 and planted in the palace gardens in Fulham. It is a popular ornamental tree cultivated for its distinctive foliage and intense autumn colours.
Hidden Rocks
The Physic Garden is still proving to be a popular spot to find and hide Hidden Rocks. This was proved by Isla who found two very attractive stones and is now faced with the job of hiding them to be found by another pebble seeker.
The craze for Hidden Rocks certainly continues. It is a simple idea, get a pebble, paint it and hide it, and possibly leave a hint on Facebook so that others can find it. Finders then have the choice of either keeping the rock or moving it somewhere else.They may also share their finds on social media.
Rocks are left in a variety of places, woodlands, parks, hidden paths and many have been left and found in Petersfield.
New Tree

Visitors to the Physic Garden recently may have noticed a new tree had been planted alongside the bench on the East Wall.This is a Liquidambar tree and is a gift from the Twiddy family. It has been planted by Sue and Alan in memory of their son George who spent many happy hours in the garden.

Veg Plot


Encouraged by a little warmth and some late Spring sunshine our vegetables are starting to grow. Here the broad beans are sprouting under the support of traditional birch pea-sticks. The tall plant in the background is a Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) which will produce its thistle-like flower heads later in the year.
Stripping the Willow
Willow Support for young Woad Plants
Joy with Jenny, garden manager , at work
On a very wet day the volunteer gardeners found a job that enabled them to seek legimate shelter! Here they are preparing the slender pliable willow branches for use as support for the tall herbs. The outer bark, the living part of the willow is stripped before the supports are stuck into the ground.This prevents them from rooting and then shooting which they would do very easily.

Normally hazel would be used, as in the seventeenth century but it was in short supply this year. Willow did not in fact reach England until 1734.
Recipe for a Happy Hotbin
Garden manager Jenny Hill thinks that the Hotbins are not being used to their full potential as low temperatures and worms have been detected. Melanie has therefore written new guidelines to improve performance. Hotbins rely on bacterial systems that produce high temperatures to promote maximum bacterial activity and should be at around 50'C at all times. They require mixed waste and should be added in the proportion of one part full of weeds, twigs, leaves or grass cuttings to 1/2 trug of food waste, torn paper and card and1/4 trug of woodchip.
All the bins are being emptied and are to be monitored using the new guidelines.
 
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