Creative Crewkerne’s new Summer garden event brought visitors into the town with the highest number of programmes sold, between 1 pm and 3 pm on the day. Twelve gardens, many of which had never been seen by the public before, opened their gates for Art In The Garden. Local crafts people displayed their creations, workshops were held for adults and children and live entertainment created a festival atmosphere.
Ashlands First School in North Street, invited people to follow the nature trail in their forest school wildlife garden, where the children enjoy learning about nature in all weathers. Headteacher Nicola Ball said: “The children love coming here, even when it’s wet, in their wellies and raincoats. They learn to build dens and other structures, enjoy toasted marshmallows cooked on the fire pit by staff and take a real pride in helping to look after the wild flowers and wildlife.”
In the large secret walled garden at Speedwell Hall, free drop-in workshops were run in Headdresses and Masks and Soft Stone Carving. A workshop in making willow wigwams was led by Sophia Campbell of Tinkers Bubble and a variety of craft stalls displayed their creations with refreshments available all day and a barbecue in the afternoon.
Crewkerne Museum opened its doors for a workshop in lino-cutting by Jonathan Blackmore and visitors enjoyed looking at the exhibits and spending time in the courtyard garden. At Candle Cottage, a medieval house listed on the Blue Plaque millennium trail, afternoon tea was provided by John and Geraldine Clotworthy in their beautiful aromatic garden while visitors listened to Vanessa and John of Pandango. The steel pan duo from the Somerset/Devon border, entertained with Calypso music, adding an Afro-Caribbean theme ‘for that summer sound’.
In Church Path, Chris and Debbie Latham welcomed visitors with refreshing cups of tea and natural lemon balm and mint infusions. Visitors enjoyed taking part in the storytelling and drumming workshops led by Mike McElya of Sunshine Drumming from Frome. Crafts on display in gardens across the town included wood-turning by Rod Page, woodcuts and wood engravings by Jackie Setter, woodcarving by Roger Franklin and earthenware pots by Chris Wright. An exhibition of old Crewkerne photos were on display in the cottage garden of one of the town’s historic alms-houses in West Street.
Residents at Bowhayes Lodge held an art and craft exhibition in their garden and residents of pom-pom fame at Barn Crescent kept the community spirit going with a pom-pom display, flower arrangements and showcase of paintings by Janet Spark. Angela Blackmore of the Art In The Garden project said: “We were pleased to include community spaces, as well as the excellent private gardens and to reach out to all ages. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to Crewkerne’s first successful Art In The garden event.”