The Past: The William Turner Garden

In the spring of 2016 the Friends of William Turner Morpeth group, held their Annual Symposium meeting at the school and were the first group to view the development of the Mulberry Science Garden.  A stepping stone to our future work together!

By spring 2017, members of the FOWTM and Dr Marie Addyman began working with the school to develop a second science garden. This would act as a tribute to William Turner and help to highlight the historical connections he had with the school.

Dr Marie Addyman was instrumental in designing the look of the garden and together with members of FOWTM, KEVI staff and volunteers, work began on the garden. Heavy digging to remove old bush stumps and clearing of the site was a team effort by all but very soon the ground was prepared and laid out. With expert advice and help from Marie, a start was made on collecting and planting specimen plants in the summer and autumn terms of 2017.

At the beginning of October 2017, the garden had its first official guests. Marie arranged a visit by an expert on medieval physic gardens, Dr. Javier Vilanova from Brazil, whose enthusiastic encouragement was very valuable.  His endorsement added to the sense of progress and excitement which attached to this project from the outset and continues to grow.

Meanwhile the focus on the further planting of the School’s William Turner Garden strengthens.  The site faces north and has a wall which screens part of the garden from east winds, so the amount of sunlight reaching the garden varies significantly from one part to another. Centrally, in a good-sized and attractive container, is a dwarf box (Buxus sempervirens ‘Fruticosa’, which was a generous gift from Dorothy Cowans).   At the entrance point and in the front are healthy French and English lavenders Lavandula stoechas and L. vera.  A very generous gift of an Apothecary Rose came from FOWTM and we’re looking forward to seeing it flower by summer 2018.

Dr Marie Addyman has provided comprehensive plant lists for each section of the garden. For many of the plants, she has provided these either sourced from the nurseries she knows well or by making a gift to the garden of specimens which she has propagated herself. Based on Marie’s notes, we are now in the process of developing a leaflet to explain the various areas and list the plants in preparation for opening the garden in summer 2018.

The culmination of this first stage will be an Opening event on Saturday July 7th in the school’s Advanced Study Centre (ASC) with presentations from Dr Marie Addyman, Michael Chapman and students from KEVI.