Sunday 12th May marks the launch of Garden Day, a community benefit project created by Bristol-based Candide, a new gardening app. Successfully piloted as Somerset Garden Day in 2017, the nationwide Garden Day movement encourages gardeners to down tools for the day, pop on a flower crown and celebrate their gardens with their neighbours, family and friends. Local Somerset personalities Paula Carnell and Steve Horrell are actively supporting the Garden Day movement, and free flower crown workshops are set to take place on May bank holiday weekend at Hauser & Wirth and Frome Independent Market.
Garden Day is for anyone and everyone. If you own a plant, then you’re a gardener. You can host a Garden Day gathering on a balcony, a lawn or patio or in a flat surrounded by precious pot plants. The main thing is to gather neighbours, family and friends together on Sunday 12th May for elevenses, a more-the-merrier lunch, barbecue, afternoon tea or a glass of wine or two – the choice is yours and the options are limitless!
When Castle Cary-based Paula Carnell fell ill and became wheelchair bound in the midst of a successful career as an artist, she spent the following seven years on a new quest to become a globally recognised beekeeper, writer and speaker. She is currently the Queen Bee at the recently launched The Newt in Somerset.
Paula explains why she’s supported Garden Day since it began, “It’s a lovely idea that is very inclusive – it’s about everybody celebrating what we have. There’s something for all, for being grateful for the space we’ve got and just making time to be in it. I find, the longer you sit in your garden doing nothing but watching the bees and butterflies, the more you see and notice. Rather than thinking ‘I must tidy this’, just see which creatures are enjoying it as it is. Last year, we held a Garden Day party with the bees. We ate food outside, it was a lovely bright day – and nobody was stung!”
Steve Horrell, executive chef at Roth Bar & Grill in Bruton, is renowned here and beyond the county borders for his ‘farm to fork’ approach as well as his love of cooking al fresco over an open flame. It is this love of food, nature and the outdoors that has inspired him to support the Garden Day project and create two delicious salad recipes exclusively for Garden Day: The Raw Red Salad with creme fraiche and Spring Vegetable Salad with White Lake goat’s curd. Full recipe details can be found at www.gardenday.co.uk/gallery.
Steve says, “Everyone should spend more time outdoors and the garden is a great place to do that, and it’s a way to encourage nature which is on the decline. Gardens should be celebrated as a place where you can grow not only flowers but also your own vegetables and fruit. At Roth Bar & Grill we’re inspired the outdoors. All our livestock are born and bred on the farm, we source vegetables from the garden and flowers from our cutting patch. Having all this on hand inspires our kitchen team to make the most of the amazing fresh produce around us.”
Free flower crown pop-up stations are being held in the county in the run-up to Garden Day at Hauser & Wirth on Saturday 4th May (Roth Bar & Grill courtyard – 10am to 12 noon) and Frome Independent Market on Sunday 5th May (Village Square – 10am to 2pm). You’ll learn how to make a flower crown, and take your handmade flower crown away with you ready for your Garden Day celebrations. Register for your free places at www.gardenday.co.uk/events.
Find out more about Garden Day at www.gardenday.co.uk where you can download a toolkit with hints and tips and videos on ways to celebrate Garden Day on Sunday 12th May including a step-by-step video on how to make a flower crown by Bath-based Rachel Wardley of Tallulah Rose Flower School. Follow @GardenDayUK on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and be part of the movement.