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What is National Gardening Week? 

National Gardening Week is a chance for people to celebrate their gardens, whether they are balcony/indoor gardeners, or flower border and lawn gardeners. 
This year, the theme is 'Sharing the Joy of Gardening'.  

Why Is Being In The Garden Important? 

Gardening improves your wellbeing through its various activities, such as watering, trimming, and watching your plants grow while you look after them. At Mires Beck Nursery, we provide green horticultural therapy to 100 vulnerable adults weekly, some of whom have mental health difficulties. Green horticultural therapy teaches all aspects of growing and looking after plants and gardens. Our service users are also surrounded by wonderful staff and volunteers, who also create a calm and fun environment. 
A variety of plants in the garden attract a whole range of wildlife. Any plants that you plant in your garden/growing/green space creates a diverse range of habitats and food sources for wildlife, and it creates a never-ending ecosystem. 

How Is The RHS Involved? 

The RHS are, of course, getting involved, as they are encouraging everyone to take a photo of themselves enjoying gardening and share them on social media while using the hashtag #nationalgardeningweek to encourage more people to grow plants in their garden. You could even start growing fruit and vegetables, meaning less trips to the shop and less money spent on fuel! 
They hope that gardening groups, families, organisations and individuals will 'Share the Joy of Gardening'. Grandparents teaching grandchildren how to sow seeds is crucial for the younger generation's interests to carry on gardening and taking care of the planet in the future. 

Mires Beck's Gardens 

New Rockery Garden 

Our Garden Team Supervisor, Alice, and her team have been creating a new rockery garden on our site! You will all be able to see the finished result soon! Alice has very kindly written us her story behind the rockery garden, and what plants are involved: 
"The sensory garden had become overgrown, and because the nursery have started to sell Alpine plants and Sempervivums, we decided to create a new rockery with some materials donated to the charity. We have also included aeoniums. 
I worked with the trainees to empty and refill the raised bed, transport the rocks to the bed, and put them in. 
I wanted to showcase some succelents in the bed, and was inspired by Jimi Blake's Garden in Ireland (although he uses Cacti, where I have used Agaves instead). I have three Agave montana that I grew from seed at home and a Yucca - also grown from seed at home. Both should be hardy in our climate as long as kept relatively dry. Agave Montana is from mountainous regions in Mexico. 
The grasses I have included are Mexican fleabane, echium, and lots of calendulas later in the year. 
As the plants grow, the rocks will disappear, but it will create perfect growing conditions for the plants that like very free-draining conditions." 
This rockery sits within an area surrounded by perennial boarders containing as many as 20 species of plants. 

City of Sanctuary Garden 

On 20th June 2021 (Refugee Day), Mires Beck Nursery was accredited with a City of Sanctuary Garden Award! Our aim for this garden was to welcome refugees, asylum seekers and resettled communities to Mires Beck Nursery. We approached a working in partnership with the ‘Open Doors’ charity and City of Sanctuary, Hull, to create a garden design which would seek to focus on the migration of plants and the common foods eaten in the UK which have originated in many of the refugee countries of origin. The aim was to share knowledge and skills with those people known to the sanctuary seeking agencies in our area and invite people to experience the garden and the horticultural nursery, and eventually become part of our Mires Beck community of staff, volunteers, and service users of the charity. We all at Mires Beck want to break down the barriers of racism by connecting with these communities by sharing our common interests with them. 
Many people will have also seen all kinds of beautiful wildflowers during their journeys, and we would also like to connect this experience to our wildflower library at the nursery. Our work in conserving wildflowers of Yorkshire Provenance is a key part of the nursery work. 
Alice, the designer, and creator (along with Gary, both Steve's, Phil and our Estate Team) of our Garden of Sanctuary will be sowing a lot less edibles in the garden this year, however there will be more ornamentals. She has had a lot of difficulty sourcing some plants, such as cassava, so in the end, she decided to focus on evoking a more lush, tropical feel in some parts of the garden, rather than only using plants from known refugee countries of origin. In fact, many of the plants originate from the Far East. It is a very cold site, so some plants have had to be overwintered inside and Alice is waiting to see if some tender plants have overwintered successfully. 
She has now sown a lot of annual again, such as Cosmos and Amaranthus, and in addition, there should be a lot more annual climbers this year. We have more trees on the way, which Alice hopes to incorporate a lot more to add shade to the area. 
COVID- 19 certainly put a stop on the physical engagement by organisations with the practical garden development, but now restrictions are lifted we hope that even though quite established, sanctuary seeking people will be able to visit the nursery and get involved in the project, sharing the learning from Alice and bring new ideas for her to incorporate in the design. 

Herb Garden 

To showcase the work of our Herb Team who grow over 50 varieties of herbs (culinary and medicinal), we have a wonderful Herb garden around our central fountain which contains our message 'A Place To Grow'. 

AS Apothecary Rose Garden 

Mires Beck was approached by a representative for AS Apothecary during the summer of 2020. The company was looking to find a northern location, warm enough to grow roses needing to venture from their Sussex home in the south due to a relocation of the owners business to Scotland. The approach was made as Mires Beck was known about as a large nursery with land in the area and ideally being situated halfway up the country for the owner to visit. Discussions went ahead as to how we could make this possibility a reality and as talks progressed, we decided to collaborate to bring the roses and their harvesting centrally into the story of Mires Beck. We have been working to prepare the Anniversary Garden beds to be their new home and the first steps of spring 2021 will see the planting of the roses and by 2022 we will have a lovely garden to visit at the nursery, which will be renamed as The ASA Rose Garden
The opportunity for our service users to join in the harvesting of the rose petals each year offers the wonderful experience for touch and smell, both senses we talk about regularly in our therapeutic approach to horticulture, but also will enhance their learning to understand the process of how the oil from the roses and the lavender turns into product for sale. We seek to deliver new learning opportunities to our service users as often as we can with each of our new projects and this is an exciting prospect for an annual activity and cause for celebration. 
For the first time, we are stocking roses, including the 'Queen Elizabeth' Rose to celebrate the platinum jubilee. 

Our New Wildflower Garden 

Through this arch is the beginning of our new wildflower garden! You can come and see it when it is finished 27th May. 

What Can You Do To Celebrate This Week? 

Come and visit our nursery to see our amazing gardens! We always have special offers in our retail area for you to either add or create your very own Mires Beck Nursery garden too! This week, Thursday to Sunday (28th April - 1st May), our Sempervivums are £2 each instead of £2.50, and you could even start creating your own rockery. Follow us on Facebook to find out our special offer for 5th-8th May. You can join in with the RHS's hashtag on social media (#nationalgardeningweek) by taking a photo of you gardening, putting it on social media and tag them in it. Equally, we would love to see picture of our plants in your garden at any time! Please post your gardening pictures on social media and tag us in them (@miresbecknursery). 
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