York Museums Trust

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Museum Gardens at Home

DATE: 18 May 2020

Help create a home grown flower display

Sow seeds this spring and take part in a project to create a colourful community flower display in York Museum Gardens planned for this summer.

York Museums Trust are encouraging people to plant any flower seeds they have and to share their experiences, tips and results through social media, creating an online citizen gardening project.

The ambition is for people to then bring their blooms to York Museum Gardens for a community display, once they have reopened for the public later this year.

Jo Killeya, head of public engagement, collections and curatorial, said: “We hope people young and old and of all levels of experience will give gardening a go this spring, documenting and sharing their experiences online with us. Whether it is a sunflower grown in a back yard or pansies planted in a pot on a window sill, our ambition is that the colourful blooms grown in these difficult times will come together to create a fantastic display in the summer when the Gardens can hopefully reopen for the public to enjoy.”

Everyone is encouraged to take part – the flowers can be any seeds you already have and grown in any container, tub or box you already own– the hope is to make the activity as accessible to everyone as possible without the need to leave your home. York Museums Trust are organising free seeds to be distributed with food parcels through food banks in the city.

Once the Trust is able to reopen the Gardens we will set a date for people to be able to come and drop off their blooms to create the final display.

Currently York Museums Trust is not in a position to reopen the York Museum Gardens, a registered botanical gardens which require high levels of maintenance and security because of the plants and trees, Scheduled Monuments and Listed buildings within them.

At the moment 80% of York Museums Trust staff are on furlough leave, to help the Trust survive as a charity. This includes the majority of the Gardens team, with just essential maintenance now being carried out. The safety of the remaining staff members and visitors to the Gardens is our most significant priority but without adequate numbers of staff or the financial resources to hire appropriately trained personnel, it is not possible to ensure that safe social distancing would be maintained.

The Trust will continue to monitor the situation closely in the coming weeks.

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