Sunday, 3 November 2013

The volunteering life ... meet Barbara

Barbara picking apples
for the tea room
Enthusiastic amateur gardener Barbara Hale has just got her own tiny plot in the Walled Garden this year and has been filling it with wallflowers and bulbs (it should look lovely next Spring!) Here she tells us a little bit about herself and what she gets up to on her Wednesdays at Gibside.

I have been retired since 2003, and have been a volunteer at Gibside for 2 years. I have been a library assistant, a primary school teacher, and a receptionist. Since retiring, I love having more time to enjoy the theatre, music and reading. I have recently started watercolour painting and joined a choir. I'm an enthusiastic amateur gardener and love being outdoors, which is one of the reasons I wanted to work at Gibside in the walled garden.

I chose Gibside partly because I used to live in the area and feel at home here. I find the company of other volunteers very pleasant and there is always something new to see and do. Gibside is constantly evolving. I also learn a lot from the Gardener in Charge and his team, and it's good to catch up with the garden and estate news too!
Harvesting edible flowers ...

I work every Wednesday and a typical day may involve sweeping out and watering the greenhouse and coldframes if needed, cutting produce for the tea room and keeping the cut flower plot presentable. Other jobs are listed for the day in the Garden Hub.

The walled garden has undergone many changes recently, with more still to come. It's good to be a part of this, however small my contribution.

Barbara Hale

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