Category Archives: The Walled Garden

The start of Spring…

March 1st is officially the start of spring.
This weekend is the first spring weekend of 2016.
The first Saturday of the month: March 5th.
It’s time for the good folk on our gardening team to be in the gardens by the chapel. They’ll be doing what needs to be done.Tidying up after the winter and getting ready for new growth.

You can join us for a few minutes or a few hours.
Open air, the gentle beauty of the Walled Garden, available to all.
A shared joke, a shared activity and a deep sense of satisfaction.

Meet by Chadkirk Chapel at 2pm.
A cuppa and a little something delicious to eat at the break.
Tidy up and tools away by 4pm.
Over the year, you’ll see the garden change through the season, starting with the green shoots in spring.

Volunteer weeding one of the beds in the Walled Garden.

Volunteer weeding one of the beds in the Walled Garden.

Gardening time

The first Saturday in any month is gardening time down by the chapel at Chadkirk. Whatever the weather, there’s pruning and weeding, or planting to be done.

On Saturday 6th February it rained all day. Drenching and dyke filling rain.
And, yes, the gardeners turned up and got stuck in. It can still be fun, working outdoors, even in the pouring rain. And there’s always a sense of achievement. Gentle activity, good company and a part played in creating a beautiful garden which gives pleasure to so many. Well worth it.

‘Not surprisingly just a handful of us were daft enough to brave the wet weather. February Fill-Dyke (an old country saying) certainly lived up to its name. Two of us got busy transferring primulas from their hidden place behind the benches to the bed by the oak tree, where they can be seen and enjoyed by all. Meanwhile, another gardener donned his waders to clean out 2 of the ponds to keep the Great Crested Newts happy.’

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February 2106 Gardening Team at work

September’s here again…

Yesterday the team of gardening volunteers were at Chadkirk. A delightful few hours, in fine company, beautiful surroundings, fresh air and gentle sunshine.

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Pulling out brambles, weeding and pruning, gentle activity and time for a chat and a cuppa (and Pat’s home made biscuits). The first Saturday of every month is always a gardening afternoon at Chadkirk. The time spent is well rewarded, for this time and the gardening morning on the third Thursday of the month, are the times when the volunteers do plenty of good work so that the gardens at Chadkirk flourish.

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If you like pottering in the garden and would enjoy time in the gardens at Chadkirk, why not join us? Spend as much time as suits you, minutes or hours, on both or either of the gardening days each month. Our team is a mixed bunch. Some know more about gardening than others. Together we can usually decide if the plant is a weed or not. Just ask. It’s a team effort!

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This September one of the most beautiful features in the Walled Garden is the bed of annuals. It’s stunning. In Saturday’s sunshine, the glorious flowers attracted some of our honey bees from the nearby hives.

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In the gardens and meadows, woodlands and ponds, there is a rich variety of flora and fauna. The plants provide food for insects and the insects provide food for the birds and the bats. And if it’s birds and bats that you are interested in you may want to build your own bird or bat box. Or maybe both. If so, join us next weekend for our annual bird and bat box making afternoon.

Bird and Bat Box making with expert guidance from John Rowlands
Saturday 12th September 2015
1-30 – 4pm.

There is a small charge for materials.
Please bring your own hammer.
We’ll be outside the chapel when the weather’s fine.

Chadkirk in July

There’s plenty happening at Chadkirk this month.
The month starts with our Friends of Chadkirk meeting in Chadkirk Chapel; a relaxed meeting to discuss, among other things, the 2015 Chadkirk Festival. This is our 19th Festival here at Chadkirk, and we know from the visitors who come that, for many, it has turned into one of their favourite summer days out and become something of a tradition. The last Sunday in July? Oh yes! That’s the Chadkirk Festival.

During our meeting there was a chance just to refresh our plans. The Festival will be a blend of all those traditions that regular visitors enjoy so much, together with a few new features that will add a touch of novelty and some small surprises. More of which later…

Before then, there’s time to spend in the gardens. Here volunteers in our gardening team will be doing some weeding, and making the odd nip and tuck, to make sure the garden is at it’s glorious best for the Festival. Today it is radiant and full of blossom in the summer sunshine. From the paths, approaching the garden, the scents of summer fill the air. In the Walled Garden, there are some fine specimen roses, with a stunning cascade of Rambling Rector transforming one of the apple trees.

This week’s combination of warmth and wet has provided ideal growing conditions. It may have brought out blossom; it has also nourished weeds. Whereas once, the weeding and maintenance of these gardens was shared between local authority workers and unpaid volunteers, now Stockport MBC pays to mow the lawn. Virtually everything else is being done by local people.

The gardening team includes people with a life time of gardening experience and folk who just enjoy being in the garden doing a little gentle activity with a friendly bunch. The expertise of the the gardening team leader provides inspiration and focus for the rest of the team. This means there’s a great opportunity for people to come along, be in the fresh air, do a little stretching and moving and feel that they are making a difference, enabling others to enjoy this special place.

The Friends of Chadkirk gardening team will be in the garden on Saturday 4th July, whatever the weather. Please join us. We are there between 2-4 approximately. Chadkirk Chapel will be open, serving ice cream, tea and coffee. During our break, the gardeners chat and share refreshments. Always a cuppa for each member of the team. Often some home baked cake, biscuits or flapjack brought along by one of the friends as a thank you and a treat.One of the many rewards of being part of the Friends of Chadkirk.

Tea break at the June Gardening Saturday

Green Gym…

This afternoon the volunteer gardeners were at work in The Walled Garden at Chadkirk. Out in the fresh air of a June day, in an idyllic setting, a gentle pleasure, in fine company. And the added satisfaction of helping to create a little bit of beauty and harmony in this quiet corner of Stockport.

June Gardening Team

This is a busy time in the garden. In a space like this one, at this time of the year, some of the plants that we don’t want are growing faster than the ones we do, so the team have plenty to do pulling up weeds from the beds and tidying around the edges. Each volunteer does their bit. Each person comes to garden when they can and as a result the garden is there for all to enjoy.

Before the restoration project and the gardening of the Friends of Chadkirk, this place was dishevelled and forlorn, overrun with brambles, nettles and weeds. Without the team of volunteers, the weeds would win and the garden would be lost again.

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10 volunteers today...making a difference

10 volunteers today…making a difference

Green Gym ?

Green Gym ?

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Volunteer, taking a break...

A little bit of moving around in the open air, stretching, hoeing, weeding, planting. Good for the heart and lungs, connecting with community and landscape, with friends and with green. Movement and growth. In a peaceful setting. Uplifting. Benefits for mind and body. And after the team head off home, the tranquility and beauty remain…
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Looking closely…

Early May 2015 has brought a mixed bag of weather. However for those fortunate enough to be able to visit Chadkirk on Bank Holiday Monday, there was plenty of pleasant sunshine and an opportunity to enjoy Chadkirk at a lovely time of the year.

Visitors to the Walled Garden

Visitors to the Walled Garden

In the Walled Garden, a family from Macclesfield were delighted to find the Chapel and Walled Gardens, hidden away within a short distance of a busy main road. Seats in the sun, in a beautiful sheltered place of tranquility gave them an ideal spot to sit and stare.

Time to sit and stare?

Time to sit and stare?

Like many of the visitors, they were surprised to learn that these beautiful gardens are largely maintained by volunteers.A small team of gardeners from the Friends of Chadkirk had been in the gardens on Saturday. For those in the know there were telltale signs of the work that they had done.

The Herb Beds, Walled Garden, Chadkirk

The Herb Beds, Walled Garden, Chadkirk

The herb beds had been weeded, and a seedbed prepared for the annual plants and flowers. In other areas of the garden, borders had been top dressed with compost and well-rotted manure so that plants can flourish, allowing the vibrant growth and colourful displays of flowers which give so much pleasure to visitors in the months ahead.

After some TLC from the Friends of Chadkirk volunteer gardening team.

After some TLC from the Friends of Chadkirk volunteer gardening team.

further evidence

further evidence

A discerning eye might also spot signs, not just of the care of the gardening team, but also of the cooperation between volunteers and the local authority. Not that you need look too hard…

evidence of cooperation

evidence of cooperation

These bags , clustered by the gate from the gardens into the lane, are just a temporary feature. Soon, someone from the local authority will pick them up and take the material away for re-cycling. In addition, employees of Solutions SK, will from time to time mow the lawns.

Together we create a special place. And for those with time to sit and stare, there’s also an opportunity to observe and enjoy some of the biodiversity which Chadkirk supports. One of the herb beds is frothing with forget-me-not flowers.These nourish and feed butterflies and honey bees.

Food for bees and butterflies

Food for bees and butterflies

Honey bee feeds on forget-me-not flower

Holly Blue?

Holly Blue?

Holly Blue feeding on forget-me-not flowers

Looking closely when you visit…what will you see?

Chadkirk: The Walled Garden in February

Chadkirk: The Walled Garden in February

On Saturday 7th February, a hardy group of Friends will be along at the Walled Garden. These volunteers will be tidying up some of last year’s growth and preparing the garden for the year ahead.The delights of this garden are, in no small measure, a result of the cheerful contribution they make on the team gardening days. Gardening volunteers will be in the garden between 2 and 4pm. Chadkirk Chapel will be open during this time and refreshments are available for visitors in the Chapel.