Case Study 6: Willy Lotts - Survey
The staff were given the opportunity to give feedback on the vision for the garden, both verbally and via the following questionnaire
On the Saturday morning, The Apricot Centre lead the group through the following site survey activities
Blue = Jonathon Oldham Green = Sarah Waterfield Orange = Jennifer Andrews (Gardener)
Questions to think about Re - Willy Lotts Garden (to make this clearer can we please refer to it in a way that distinguishes it from the front of willy lotts)
If you have some time whilst in the garden or over meal times to discuss or think about some of the following they will overlap quite a bit but that is good as it provides me with a clear picture of your requirements. I appreciate that you are a team, but it would be good to include the cook and well as a least one member of the training staff in this process.
Ie social space for overnight guests, eat, play games ...
Mainly use it as a vegetable garden – preferably keeping in period with the 19th century. We have plenty of other spaces for other activities.
Personally like it as space away from guests, to get hands on and practical in garden but mostly it’s unused at present
I see this area as essentially a veg plot - not that one cannot play games in it!
It should not be confused with the garden on the Mill side of which is cottage flowers informally planted.
Ie – food, attract bird life, relaxation, play games, views, educational space, demonstration of ...
See above. It would be helpful to attract bees and butterflies (NOT caterpillars) as well.
Food production – especially crops that are expensive to buy in but don’t take much space to grow; permaculture demo space – different way to interact with local env; quiet space for guests and staff
Bird feeders! And compost bin
Essential – vegetables and herbs for use in the Centre kitchen.
Need – compost bin.
Want – bug/bee hotel, water butt/ off grid watering system, area screened from Willy Lott’s bedrooms (so can use gardens when people in bedrooms)
Do not know at the moment.
Vegetables for food, plus herbs for flavouring.
Possibly some flowers for cutting.
Housekeeping team are always looking for flowers for the main hall so a year round supply of cut-able attractive plants
a sensory garden aspect, including touch, smell, shade etc,
Herbs, fruit bushes?
Organisational strap line – Bringing Environmental Understanding to All.
Environmental education for all ages – to foster a better understanding and appreciation of the natural world and our place within it, and the built environment. It would be good to use the garden as an example for others to follow, and as a possible teaching / learning resource.
As above environmental understanding but older groups currently focus on exams and coursework, there is more flexibility with KS2 as we are developing new days in line with the curriculum.
At a guess – a member of staff may have half a day a week with occasional help from others.
John Blair would like volunteers to help, but I do not know how realistic that will be. (The National Trust has volunteers to manage the vegetable garden in Valley Farm, and the produce is used at Bridge Cottage.)
I reckon half a day a week total split into slots of a few mins to an hour or so. So short tasks, rather than long ones – any tasks but if using volunteers, something that can be done with little training to begin with (assuming the volunteers aren’t gardeners already!)
Mill/Mill House borders and willy lotts cottage garden area facing the mill maintained by Jennifer
That is up to John Blair.
I would have thought that we could grow many, if not most, plants from seed.
Garden style – something that would fit the image of an early 19th century garden – definitely not modern, though it needs to be productive.
Typical cottage garden style, mixed planting, some seating, a variety of height structure not formal layout but with clear flow
NB All changes to grounds are subject to National Trust approval as they own the land (even hard standings etc). – they are known here for being particularly conservative in what they’ll approve, eg guttering on some buildings was a no-no!
As Willy Lotts is an accommodation block with bedroom windows onto the garden we have to be aware of who is using it /can see in and lines of sight, as well as views from the building
Our Gardener, Jennifer, is in charge of green areas and knows loads about plants, she is super busy and only typically works one day a week. She will have lots of ideas about planting the front of Willy Lotts around the front door.
Basemapping with Natalia
Natalia gave an expert class in measuring using her experience as an architect, and then worked with the group to convert the measurements to a basemap.
Slope Measurement with Bob
The slope was measured using a bunyip to measure the level difference in a few locations. The highest point is situated by the main gate in the south-
east corner and the garden is inclined towards north west. The whole site then slope very gradually towards the river. It is almost flat until it drops off to the river, but the slope would be sufficient to take advantage of gravity for water management.
Plants and Soil with Marina
Whilst a small portion of the garden was cultivated the previous year, there was much weed growth such as thistle, brambles, chickweed, nettle and comfrey (these latter two suggesting that it is nutrient rich and has been cultivated in the past.
Soil ball tests revealed a sandy loam with high levels of organic matter. The soil pH was 7.5 - slightly alkaline.
Other General Observations