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Black Country Living in bloom

April has been a busy month for the Trust’s Recovery College, as they have been digging up over 200 years of history…and local gardens! Collaborating with the award winning Black Country Living Museum and assisted by their head gardener, students are rolling up their sleeves and working on the site’s 1920s toll house garden, growing period specific fruit, plants and vegetables, such as beetroot, carrots and potatoes.

The gardening activities are currently led by a volunteer of the college, who aids the students’ in maintaining the famous site’s historical identity whilst bringing the gardens to life. Their recent cultivation tasks have included creating wigwams from branches to grow sweet peas and runner beans, keeping areas weed free and clearing overgrown paths and beds to make way for a herb garden.

The botany project is an ongoing volunteering venture, with students attending every Friday to manage and sustain their growing herb garden, engage with visitors about the history of the landscape and learn more about horticulture. With future continuous handiwork, teamwork and development, students can also expect to further opportunities within the museum. Students have positively embraced the gardening scheme, with one student commenting, “I feel my life has started! I am so excited the day before and hope this leads to more opportunities, maybe even paid work.” We look forward to seeing the literal fruits of their labour in weeks to come!