We sometimes feature The Salisbury Museum gardens on this blog, highlighting the lovely plantings and great care put in by our Volunteer gardeners. This week, however, we are going outside the museum, indeed outside Salisbury, to enjoy another garden.
Volunteer Co-ordinator, Rachel Coman writes:
I thought I would take a bit of time to share a bit about what I do away from the museum. Although you would think December is a busy month with preparing for Christmas, I think this year has been a whole different experience. My garden and allotment have had a renewed focus so far this autumn and winter.
I do feel like I am neglecting my sewing and craft, so that will have a renewed focus for the days when it is too wet to work on the allotment.
I took on my 3/4 plot allotment at the end of February 2020 and it was, and is still, to an extent – rather wild! To start with I cleared a little ground for a few potatoes, namely Charlotte and some Pink Gypsy. The latter have sadly had a crop failure this year so none for 2021!
It hadn’t been cultivated for a number of years, so when lockdown restrictions lifted, the parish council arranged for it to be ploughed. The late spring and early summer weather was good, I was able to break up most of the plough lines and planted green manure in places that weren’t being cultivated this year.
As this my first year, I focused on planting crops that were fairly tough and could cope with fairly rough ground and quite a lot of weeds. The heroes of the pieces were courgettes, french beans and tomatoes – until ‘Blight’ affected our allotment plots this year (I have a few jars of green tomato chutney!)
The allotment was also a happy home to lots of sunflowers and I will be growing more wildflowers next year, as the bees were rather taken with them.
At the moment, it looks like a sea of ground cover sheets as I’m attempting to suppress the weeds but I have managed to plant some garlic, onions and found a home for some new autumn raspberry canes.
I am no expert gardener, so I don’t know lots of Latin terms and I make lots of mistakes. I just love being outdoors in my garden and allotment, it has been a real saviour this year.
If I am to have a resolution in 2021, it would be not to turn my house into a jungle of seedlings and not buy more seeds until I have planted or at least planned what I shall do with the remaining packets in 2021!
A lot of us will know exactly what Rachel means here and will no doubt enjoy comparing notes when we actually get to meet our new ‘boss’ – the Volunteer Co-ordinator. Meanwhile, we enjoy the inspiration of her allotment!
Many thanks to Rachel, who has made great efforts, via Zoom, to get to know the Volunteers, most of whom she has not yet had the chance to meet properly – and in the process most of us have learned new skills! We all look forward to being together in reality again.
We are in ‘lockdown’ again and the museum is sadly closed until further notice – December we hope – but the Volunteer Blog carries on.
We will let you know as soon as possible whether planned Zoom sessions (Coffee and Conversation, consultation meetings, etc) will be going ahead.
Meanwhile, stay in touch via this blog, have your say by emailing here (click on the blue!), and, please send in any contributions or comments . The quizzes (thank you Mary!) and articles (from the two Alans, your blogger and others) will continue – to inform, educate and entertain (all being well!).
It’s not as much fun as being able to go in to the museum but at least we keep in touch!
Salisbury Museum Volunteers who work with the Portable Antiquities Scheme were in the museum this week for C19 health and safety training. Joint Wiltshire Finds Liaison Officer, Denise Wilding, and Volunteer Co-ordinator, Rachel Coman, took us through the ‘drill’.
The planning and the detailed risk assessment is impressive. In order that everyone – staff, volunteers and public – is as safe as possible, everything, from what to consider when using light switches and door handles, to fire drills and interaction with the public, has been thought through.
Volunteer teams are starting back to their tasks again gradually, as the individual activities and the new demands on space allow.
As a retired person, I have been grateful these past few months, that I haven’t had the responsibility that others have had, to get life moving again SAFELY.
This was a common slogan years ago, with posters such as this on buses and on the London Underground.
From the Salisbury Journal 1949:
Influenza Widespread But Not Serious The mild form of influenza which is at present widespread in Salisbury in most cases merely affects its victims for three to four days, and many are not troubling their doctors in the matter. The staffs of business houses in the city have been diminished as the “flu” has taken its toll, but no serious upset has been experienced. Schools have also been affected. The situation now appears to be improving, and no deaths from influenza have occurred in the city. Dr. E. M. Wright (city M. O. H.) comments: “It is nothing like as serious as we feared it might become. There has been a great number of serious cases on the Continent, but not in Salisbury, and I think that applies to the country as a whole.”
From Rachel Coman’s (Volunteer Co-ordinator) email this week:
“We welcomed 230 visitors on the first open weekend. It was a very positive experience and as a team we are learning each day. One of the changes we will see this coming weekend is it will be mandatory from Saturday 8 August to wear masks in museums. We feel most visitors will come prepared but we have planned for visitors who don’t have a mask or have an exemption.”
“The on-line version of the exhibition* will continue – and we do need some more help with our Instagram posts https://www.instagram.com/pickandmixtsm/. The list of the next museum objects are attached – please take a look and tell us what the objects mean to you. Please email your comments (approximately 100 words) to email@example.com. Thank you for your help!”