With the sound of sleigh bells still ringing in our ears after our fantastic Festive Fridays, things slow down a little in the arboretum during January.
2013 seems to have flown by – dominated by weather both good and bad – with late springs, boiling hot summers and very late autumns plus a liberal sprinkling of storms which forced us to close the arboretum and here we are – at the start of another new year again.
We’re over the moon to have won silver in the Cotswold Tourism Awards Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category – a fantastic endorsement of everything we have to offer here and in particular the fabulous staff who make every visit to Batsford special.
We’re also thrilled to have reached the halfway point in our major fundraising project to build a new classroom at Batsford. We launched the appeal to raise £40,000 for the building in August and are very excited to have come so far in such a short period of time. Once built the new building will allow many more schoolchildren to benefit from the arboretum – our living classroom as we like to think of it. We’re also keen to offer adult education in the form of events and courses so watch this space and thank you to everyone who’s helped us get so far so quickly!
It’s tempting to shut the world out and hunker down at this time of year but January and February are two wonderful months in the arboretum. January is the season of stems – with the yellow, orange and red stems of the witch hazels, sweet-smelling Mahonias and interesting mottling on the Coral Bark Maples taking centre stage. And in late January/February the fruits of our gardens teams hard work come to fruition! For the past decade they’ve spent back-breaking hours and days each autumn planting thousands of spring flowering bulbs. It means from mid-January things start to burst into life again – first with early daffodil varieties like January Gold and Spring Dawn, followed by swathes of snowdrops and aconites which spring into life a little later. They bring with them the promise of warmer days to come and the very welcome advent of spring.
Don’t forget we’re open all year round (except Christmas Day) including Boxing Day between 10am and 3pm when there’s a free glass of mulled wine (while stocks last!) and dogs are welcome throughout the arboretum and visitor centre on a short lead. There’s £1 off entry to the arboretum during January and individual RHS Members get in for free in both January and February on production of their membership card!
We wish all our customers and friends a wonderfully Happy Christmas and a peaceful 2014 when we hope to welcome you again to beautiful Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre.
Batsford Arboretum, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9AB.
Winner of Cotswold Tourism’s Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2013.
2014 events at Batsford
February A great month for spotting early signs of spring as the snowdrops come into full bloom, contrasting with the vivid yellow of the aconites, pastel mauve crocus and mixed coloured hellebores – a positive patchwork of colour carpeting the arboretum. It’s also a great time for spotting early insect activity as the bees lap up the abundance of pollen from our spring flowers.
If you’re an individual member of the RHS you get free arboretum entry throughout February. Just show us your card at the entrance.
Grow Your Own Soup Week at the Garden Terrace Café February 3rd – 7th inclusive. As part of Bite 2014 – the Cotswolds Food Festival, treat yourself to something special with a different bowl of soup served every day between 12 and 2pm in the Garden Terrace Café. Depending on the vegetable used, there’ll be a free packet of seed, recipe card for the soup and information about how to grow your own soup this season – with 5 different soups to try accompanied by our legendary home-baked focaccia!
Grow Your Own Soup Masterclass Saturday 8th February. 5 – 7pm. Whether or not you’ve been enjoying our different soups this week and collected your free veg seeds, come along to our Masterclass to learn how to Grow Your Own Soup! The Garden Terrace Café’s Head Chef will give you top tips about creating the perfect soup as well as insider information about how we make our famous focaccia! With advice about veg growing too you’ll have all the information you need to make 2014 the year you grow your own soup! Tickets cost £5. Please call us on 01386 701441 to book. This wonderful event is part of Bite 2014 – the Cotswolds Food Festival – a week-long celebration of local food. Find out more by visiting www.thebite.co.uk.
Valentines Day. February 14th If you’re looking for the perfect place to show someone how much you love them – why not choose Batsford? With spring-flowering bulbs carpeting the arboretum, gorgeous lunches and teas in the Garden Terrace Café and some of the best retail therapy around – it’s a one-stop-shop to romance this Valentine’s Day.
Snowdrop Week. February 22nd to March 2nd Weather-permitting, our snowdrops should be at their absolute peak of floral gorgeousness in the arboretum right now – a welcome harbinger of warmer days to come. Wander through drifts of aconites and snowdrops and spoil yourself with lunch or afternoon tea in the Garden Terrace Café and a spot of retail therapy – the perfect way to warm up again! Snowdrops will also be available to buy ‘in the green’ in the Plant Centre. Check the website or call us on 01386 701441 for an update on snowdrop flowering!