14 Dec 2013

Volunteer Blog – Getting Ready For Santa

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

It has been a while since I wrote a blog and I thought it was about time that I got back into the groove.  As we approach Christmas it occurs to me that this is the time of getting things ready.  This is the month when every year we spend time and money preparing for the coming of Santa.  For me personally these preparations don’t start until about a week before Christmas day.    Many of the things with which I am involved start looking forward weeks in advance and at the National Botanic Garden the preparations, of necessity, start long before the happy day.   My part in those preparations started about the middle of November or maybe a little earlier.   We all like to give a warm welcome to Santa and, of course, at a place like the Botanic Garden somewhere for him to greet the children needs to be prepared.   He comes every year and has always seemed happy with what has been provided for him so it’s nice to change things just a little bit so that he doesn’t get fed up with the same old, same old.

We thought it would be nice to provide a little bit of summer for him amid the gloom of winter and also so that the children who come to see him can enjoy the show that leads them to his presence.  Flowers, insects and reindeer were made by willing volunteers, snow manufactured and an enchanted forest kindled out of the dark.   A little glimpse into Santa’s workshop completes the picture and a comfy chair for him to rest in while he speaks to the children.  It looks lovely and we trust that he is comfortable there when he is in residence.

One of the other preparations was the Christmas Tree Competition in which the schools decorate trees in the Great Glass House and they are then left for the enjoyment of all the visitors over the Christmas period.  The theme this year was ‘A Fairy Tale Christmas’.  They tell stories that we all know even if they may have a different slant and they use what we might think of as rubbish to create all those things that we pay pounds for.  They may not be as polished as those sold by the big stores but they make a lovely show and the creativity that they show is fantastic.  Whether on the part of the children or the teachers or probably a bit of both who knows!

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The Garden itself is undergoing changes with beds being taken up and grass areas being introduced.  New trees, new plants, new layouts getting ready for the future.  We tend to forget that all gardens evolve and the National Botanic Garden is really no different it’s just bigger.   We don’t really like things changing do we?  Sometimes though it’s for the good.

I hope that it isn’t too early for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Pam Murden