The Museum Garden during the Covid-19 Pandemic

31st March 2021

Museum Garden

From the beginning of the first ‘lock down’ in March 2020 until the Museum re-opened in May 2021, the Victorian Garden was closed to the public and the only way for visitors to appreciate it was through the railings. However, the Garden was not abandoned. Work continued in the busy spring period, and was safe outdoor exercise for the gardeners. Not all were available or eligible to work but each week enough volunteers turned up to keep the garden going while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The Victorian Garden Group laid a lawn around two sides of the gazebo and planted seeds, plug plants and cuttings to fill the vegetable and flower beds. They also did a complete revamp of the Museum border, sowed a ‘Pictorial Meadow’ for summer colour and replaced the old hose reel and fittings.

All of our usual fundraising events in 2020 and many in 2021 were cancelled, including the VE Day/Georgian Fayre Bank Holiday in May and Blandford Hidden Gardens in June. Photographs of the Garden have been sent to the Hidden Gardens organisers for their Hidden Gardens 2020 Photo Collection which in time will be added to the Museum’s Covid-19 project.

Without these plant sales there was a huge surplus of plants, so they were sold via an honesty box arrangement. This  raised £268 which was donated to the Blandford Food Bank to support the vital work they are doing in our community.

Blandford Christmas Tree

Decorating the Christmas tree in December 2020

At Christmas, the Victorian Garden Group decorated a tree for the Blandford Parish Church Christmas Tree Trail. All the material was grown, collected and dried by the Group, and tree could be seen through the railings when the Garden was closed.

‘Our tree celebrates the comfort we’ve gained from working together in this difficult year, our joy in growing plants and sharing the beauty of their colours and forms – culminating in our bounteous display.’