Garden News - Petersfield Physic Garden

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Drawing at the Physic Garden    
Under the auspicies and encouragement of Vicki Ostersen aspiring young artists have been busy in the exhibition room of the Physic Garden during their half term holiday. On day one of the three day course, the class of 8-10 year olds were given pencils (and rubbers!) and objects from the world of nature to copy. They have been working both individually and colaboratively and two examples of their individual effects are shown here.

                Hidden Rocks

Little Elsie who is aged just 2 is a big fan of Hidden Rocks.
She recently took her bucket to Petersfield Heath and seached for the stones which she then brought to the Garden.
She is seen here hiding two of her finds - a bee and a smiley face - amongst the Snowdrops.
Elsie managed to plant 7 stones and took away 3 leaving the Garden with a bonus of 4 for other children to find.
Projects for 2018  
Renewal of the Pathways
It is proposed to renew the gravel pthways throughout the Garden. This job was last completed in 2002 and wear and tear is starting to show especially after the heavy winter rains. Special attention will be applied to the drainage and the materiel used to make a suitable durable surface.
Extension of the Office
It is hoped to explore further the possibilities of extending the office in order to develop a bespoke visitor centre.
Volunteers' Lunch
As a thank you for all the hard work provided by the numerous volunteers an anonymous wellwisher, with the help of the Physic Garden committee, organised a luncheon party to bring cheer on a cold January day. Thirty of the volunteers attended, these included gardeners, wardens and other helpers.
They were rewarded with a delicious two course hot meal and wine. Non-chairperson, Colin Mattingly gave a brief address of welcome and thanks and said how essential the voluteers were to The Garden which had very limited means of raising income.
Mistletoe gathering for Christmas
Garden Manager, Jenny Hill gathering Mistletoe for sale in the Garden
Hidden Rocks
Recently colourful stones have been appearing in all sorts of odd places in the Physic Garden. This is the result of a new craze called Hidden Rocks. The idea is simple, get a pebble paint it and hide it, and possibly leave a hint on Facebook so others can find it. Finders then have the choice of either keeping the rock or moving it somewhere else and they may also share their finds on social media. Facebook pages are popping up as people set up groups in towns and cities to promote this phenomenon.
Have you found any ‘Hidden Rocks’ in the garden or indeed elsewhere in the town? They are left in woodlands, along riversides, parks and hidden paths. Many have been found in Petersfield.
The rocks pictured above are about to be rehidden in the Garden. Can you find them? Too late! They have moved again

Autumn Jobs
With the advent of autumn jobs have been piling up for the gardeners. Much tidying up has been going on preparing to put the garden to bed for the winter. Fallen leaves swept and removed, paths weeded and edged and summer growth cut down. Action for the spring has also been taking place with potting up bulbs to display in the Floral Beds and propagating new plants to sell in the new year.


The Physic Garden now has an impressive row of compost making Hotbins. An additional two have been added to the original pair making a total of four. The new bins were generous gifts from anonymous donors who wanted to ensure that as much wastegreen materiel as possible was converted to the useful organic compost.
Yet more Topiary
Liam and Terry from Spruce Fencing have been busy on the yew hedges and made the topiary walk look very pristine. Spruce Fencing worked in the Physic Garden earlier in the year when they successfully attacked the Black Walnut tree and pruned it into shape. During their visit they offered to adopt the Yew hedge and have returned to do just that leaving it looking splendid. Thank you
Topiary in the Physic Garden
Adrian Milmer with the help of the Sunday gardeners trimmed the Bay (Laurus nobilis) trees in the herb beds of the Garden to restore them to their distinctive shapes. The horticultural practice of training plants by clipping the foliage and twigs to develop and maintain distinctive shapes is known as topiary. European topiary dates from Roman times, the practice being revived in Europe in the 16th century and was seen on the parterres and terraces of gardens of the elite as well as in simple cottage gardens. Traditional topiary forms use plants trimmed as balls or cubes, obelisks, pyramids,cones or tapering spirals. Straight lines were most fashionable in 17th century gardens but there are examples of curved shapes in our garden. Other species used for topiary include Box and Yew and these can also be found here.
Annual Plant Sale
Plant hunters were out in full force on Saturday morning for the Physic Garden's annual plant sale. A number of stalls filled the drive and entrance way including those from Durleighmarsh Farm and Petersfield Plants as well as those packed with plants plants grown by the Friends and gardeners of the Physic Garden itself. A short mid-morning rain shower provided a good excuse for visitors to enjoy coffee and cakes which were served in the Exhibition Room.
A sum of about £250 was raised by the morning's activities which will be used to support  work in the Garden.

Inspired by the Word
Visitors to the Physic Garden this summer enjoyed an exhibition of four sculptures. Entittled 'Inspired by the Word' it consisted of a number of works by contemporary artists celebrating the literature of Hampshire writers - Jane Austen, Edward Thomas and Gilbert White. This formed part of a larger exhibition organised by Rachel Bebb with works being showcased at a number of other venues including Petersfield Museum. 2017 marks the bicenenary of the death of Jane Austen in Winchester and the centenary of the death of Edward Thomas at Arras. The exhibitors in the Physic Garden were Lisi Ashbridge, Mark Evans (also at Gilbert White's Garden), John Neilson and Jo Sweeting.The exhibition featured sculpture, letter carving and works in other media.

This sculpture by Jo Sweeting is entittled 'Dymock Shul Head'
Art in the Garden
This spring there was a special installation in the Physic Garden created by the children of Petersfield Infant School with the direction of freelance artist and theatre designer, Vicki Ostersen. Every one of the 350 pupils from the school make a contributed to the finished work.
Craig Towersey (Henry Adams), Vicki Ostersen and Brian Robinson
Stones showing self portraits and colour painting
The official opening took place on Monday, March 27th. Chairman of the Physic Garden, Brian Robinson, welcomed Year 1 children who came to look at their finished work. This had been displayed by Vicki Ostersen who was responsible for orchestrating the entire project.
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