January= Aboriculture Assistantship created. Voluntary placement half or one day a week. Helping to to look after the large collection of specimen trees. (See Studies page) Start of the erection of 6ft. high trellis fence screening along the back (north boundary) of the Urn Garden (later to be extended along the Exotics Garden). Construction of 8ft high wooden arch leading from the summerhouse /waterfall area to the Conifer garden and Woodland beyond.
February= Construction of gateway arch from waterfall to conifers garden. Laying of textured slabs to make path/patio at rear of summerhouse. Extension of trellis along vack of exotics garden.
March= Josh Saunders appointed from Bath University to be wildlife & environmental assistant 2017. Construction of large 3 seater arbour bench (painted primrose yellow) for carnations garden. Carnations garden totally re-designed and slightly expanded. Writing and completion of the constitution/deed of trust for the charitable incorporated organisation. Re-organisation of Exotics Garden together with addition of bamboo plant and banana tree and other items.
April= James Thompson, my volunteer/ student (who has been with me since August 2016), is now seeking a full time gardening apprenticeship. After several months all the documents for the Charity Commission application have now been completed and ready for submission. Moved the three Olive Trees from the woodland into the vegetable garden to make an avenue effect (one left to transfer from the pool area when another palm tree arrives). The space saved in the woodland will open up an area which will become an undercover teaching space sometime in 2018. The founding Trustees for the Charity Commission application are now finalised and signed up., They are: Stephen Cox; Colette Som; James Thompson; Cllr. Robert MacNaughtion; and Nicholas Self. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on 3rd.April. Josh Saunders from Bath University is now engaged in his volunteering placement with me. A digital colour coded map of the garden to exact scale is being produced by Josh. When completed with a key/index it will be uploaded to the website and hard copies printed as guides for visitors to the garden. New anti-heron fence built around perimeter of pond in black with matrix of poles across open water for extra defence. Scale map of the garden is now completed. Medieval raised beds (2 beds of 4.8 metres by 1 metre) and courtyard space being created in the vegetable garden. This will include: two wooden benches, planters (for globe artichokes & cardoons, peas etc), fountains, and four seasons statues.
May= Elderly Visits: This has now been added to oir community projects as of 2017. We welcome visits (free) to the garden by small groups residents (with a carer) of local nursing homes and retirement homes. A chance to relax, listen to the birds and fountains, watch the butterflies and dragon flies and look at the flowers. Free. Ferns: A collection of ferns has been started in a shady section of the garden. Commencing with 8 species but more being added soon.
June= Apprenticeship: Very pleased to announce that James Thompson, my volunteer/ student (who has been with me since August 2016), applied for and was successful in being offered a gardening apprenticeship at a large country estate in Wiltshire. He takes up his post when his college term ends. Moorish Quad: has been revamped with addition of two stone benches, moving the dwarf olives trees to form a screen at the open side, planting 8 half-standard (lollipop) rose trees (white, yellow, orange, peach/cream) in the tubs vacated by the olives. Young Offenders : We have made an agreement with Wiltshire Young Offenders Unit to provide voluntary work placements for first time offenders for the reparation part their sentencing. One young individual at a time (under statutory supervision) comes to us on specific times/dates. We provide tuition to enable them to carry out their reparation work. Lives can be turned around! Charlotte Woolley: Has joined us as a volunteeer. She is a student at the University of the West of England snf will be helping out in the garden one day a week throughout the summer vacation. Oleanders : In red, peach, white, and pink have been added at various places throughout the garden. Twelve half-standard specimens so far.
July= PrivateViewing: Attended by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, and tye Mayor of Calne, and several local Councillors. Over 42 people enjoyed a sunny afternoon tour of the garden. Including visitors from Bath, Weymouth, Dorchester and Reading. Over £160 raised for Trust funds. Tea and scones were served (baked Colette Som & Mary Aylen). My thanks to the Trustees for helping out and also to Angie & Martin Cleverly Young Offenders: Placements are now happening each week. One young person (with a supervisor) at a time for three hours. Good to see them gain confidence, work hard, start to engage and open up. Hopefully they will gain from the sessions and redirect their lives. Eddington & Tinhead Womens Institute : A party of 25 members all keen gardeners. The rain held off for their arrival. I started with a little talk, and then gave out maps. Then they had a leisurely tour of my unusual demesne. A lively and friendly group it was a pleasure to show around. Finally followed by tea and scones (kindly baked by Colette Som and Mary Aylen).
August= Bishop's Cannings Gardening Club A visit by 27 of their members it was a delight to show around. The weather decided to sun up a little in time for their 6pm arrival. A lively and appreciative group with lots of questions, exchanges of anecdotes, informed discussion and requests for advice on problems. It felt like Gardeners' Question Time live! Then sit down tea and biscuits. Surprised to get a little thank you speech and round of applause! Pool Refurb Stage one is now complete: erection of 5ft. high feather-edge fencing panels (& posts with ball & cap finials) all around perimeter of the patio/ decking area. Palm Trees Three torbay palms of 6ft high installed in the pool patio area. Cat Statues:Three stone statues of musical cats (playing trumpet, guitar, flute) installed in the fuchsia beds. Rabbit Statues :Three stone statue of rabbits installed in the Urns Garden flower bed: Peter Rabbit together with Mr.&Mrs Rabbut just married. Charity Registration : After a long haul of much work including the development of over 23 extensive documents explaining our objects, aims and activities in detail today, the 14th.August 2017, the Stephen Cox Garden Trust was officiallly recognised by the Charity Commissioners as a registered charity under law in England and Wales and has accordingly been entered onto the Register of Charities. Registered Charity number: 1174239
September= Whetman Pinks We are pleased to announce that Whetman Pinks of Devon (who are a long standing grower, premier breeder, supplier and exporter of all types of pinks of many different varieties have become our very first business sponsor and are kindly sponsoring the room 'Theophrastus Corner' by supplying us with carnations, pinks, dianthus etc. Visit them at: http://www.whetmanpinks.com/ Waterfall and Pools Are undergoing a major refurbishment by building an extension to the second pool thereby more doubling it in length to 16ft. Additionally a higher stone wall at the rear is beng constructed.
October= Waterfall & Pools The second drop waterfall pool has now been extended from 4 ft to over 16 feet and approximately over 3.5 feet wide. This is also edged with limestone and other rocks as is the rest of the waterfall. At the back a wall of rocks frames the pool. It is completed by a small bubbling fountain at the far end adding sound and movement. Heather Garden ('Heath Ridge') As a result of the above work the heather garden has also been expanded and is awaiting planting. Unused Space Used None of the above resulted in loss of lawn or extant garden/features since all new development used up ground previously wasted under the very large conifer trees. Gardening Club Bookings For 2018 for private group visits already confirmed are: Broughton Gardening Club; and also Box Gardening Club. Woodland Picket fence erected down entire eastern boundary of the emergent woodland area (360sq.yds). Privet hedge planted down 60% (space at south for composting zone and space at north for benches and fire box. David Meier from Switzerland was our volunteer garden student from 11th.October to 15th.November. David was a great asset and in his time made several improvements to the garden and designed and initiated some new projects.
November= Ice Alpines We are pleased to announce that Ice Alpines are sponsoring the alpine garden Wilderswil. Pepperpot Nursery We are pleased to announce that Pepperpot Nursery are sponsoring the herb garden Culpepper's Delights. Bastien Sauvet from Switzerland is our volunteer garden student from 10th. November to 22nd. December. Alpine Garden Dramatic expansion. Increasing size by three or four times. Required an extra 3 cubic metres of soil, and increased height. Landscaped into varying heights/undulating. Wide range of plants. Assisted by Bastien Sauvet. Dwarf/Mushroom Garden Created from an unused storage area between the Gym, Waterfall pool and Elf house. Advised, instigated and executed by David Meier.