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21/02/12 New Lanark Visitor Centre , New Lanark World Heritage Site , Roof Garden # , , ,

Roof Garden diary update – Feb 2012

New Lanark Snowdrop

New Lanark Snowdrop

February 2012 – After the darkest days of winter, the first snowdrops are a welcome sight in New Lanark Roof Garden, quivering gently in the breeze beneath the hornbeam hedging. They usually last until March. The lovely evergreen, Mahonia x media ‘Charity’, has plenty of buds promising spikes of yellow flowers.

As spring approaches, photosynthesis will gather pace. It is the miraculous process by which green plants weave sunlight together with water and carbon dioxide to make the carbohydrates and starches that form the basic food supply for all living things. Scientists still do not fully understand how it works. In the BBC 4 television programme, ‘Botany: a Blooming History’, Timothy Walker explained that scientists are trying to mimic photosynthesis in the lab, with the aim of creating new kinds of clean fuels. The plant world is truly amazing – so visit New Lanark Roof Garden and be inspired!
In flower in February – Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis).

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25/01/12 New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , ,

Video presentation by Prof. Chris Williams about Robert Owen

Professor Chris Williams, from Swansea University’s College of Arts and Humanities, speaks of his book, Robert Owen and His Legacy, co-authored with Professor Noel Thompson of Swansea University. Robert Owen (1771-1858), a radical thinker and humanitarian employer, made a major contribution to nineteenth-century social movements including co-operatives, trade unions and workers education. He was a pioneer of enlightened approaches to the education of children and an advocate of birth control. He established utopian communities in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and is often thought of as a leading early British socialist.
Short video presentation by Professor Chris Williams from Swansea University on the life and legacies of Robert Owen – click this link to view video.

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05/01/12 New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden # , ,

Roof Garden diary update

Owl on the Roof Garden in winter

Owl on the Roof Garden in winter

The Met Office has just reported that 2011 was Scotland’s wettest year on record, although the spring was warm and dry. Too much rain and the soil becomes water-logged, cold and claggy. For the Mediterranean herbs – rosemary, oregano and thyme – in the troughs, these conditions are not good, but the native Yellow Flag iris (near the hares sculpture) enjoys damp meadows. A new year begins in New Lanark Roof Garden and we look forward to the first flowers, the snowdrops, next month. The seasons follow the same annual cycle, but any gardener will tell you that no two years are exactly alike. New Lanark Roof Garden Diary will be recording what happens! Meanwhile, while the plants are dormant, we are hoping for clear skies for our Stargazing Live Event on 21 January. Come and discover the marvels of the night sky – click here for details.

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12/12/11 New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden # ,

New Lanark Roof Garden in winter

New Lanark Roof garden in winter

Reindeer on the Roof Garden in winter

The robin is still around, feeding up to survive the winter and so that it will be fit to find a mate when Spring arrives. A magic spell has been cast over New Lanark Roof Garden this month! Some bright little reindeer have flown into the ‘Garden in the Sky’ and the roof garden elves have strung up tiny sparkling lights over the evergreen box balls and the yew hedging! The shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, is on 22 December, after which the light starts to return, imperceptibly at first. Eventually the increasing daylight and rising temperatures will stir the plant world back to life.

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09/11/11 Education and Learning , New Lanark Visitor Centre # , , , , ,

Visit to New Lanark by Thornlie Primary School

Leslie's card from Thornlie Primary School

Leslie's card from Thornlie Primary School

Primary 5/6 from Thornlie Primary School in Wishaw visited New Lanark Visitor Centre to learn about Robert Owen and working conditions in the mill village in the 19th Century. On their return, the entire school got involved, from primary 1 to primary 7, to present their ‘New Lanark Assembly’.
Topics ranged from toys and games in the past, the Rights of the child, dancing, seasons, and food, and a chat show between David Dale and Robert Owen, accompanied by humorous songs.
Leslie from New Lanark Visitor Centre was lucky to be their Tour Guide when they visited and was invited to the school as their guest at the ‘New Lanark Assembly’. Miss McMillan, who was full of enthusiasm, led the assembly, and Nathan, Chloe and Kali, compered it, providing a slick and effervescent presentation. Leslie was delighted to have been invited and said, “The assembly leaves me with lovely memories, and the flowers and card that they gave me are beautiful. It was an absolute pleasure to be their Guide when they visited and to see the whole school participating.” The photograph shows the front of the card Leslie received from the school.

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07/11/11 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , ,

New ‘New Lanark’ Chunky Limestone Knitting Yarn available online

New Lanark Chunky Yarn - Limestone

New Lanark Chunky Yarn - Limestone

The team in the yarn production department at New Lanark Mills are always adding to the range of yarns available. One of the most recent is a Chunky yarn, in a lovely light grey colour, called Limestone. This is now available to purchase online. If you’ve a knitting project in the pipeline then this may be just ideal.

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05/11/11 SWT Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve # , , , ,

Grand Tours Of Scotland TV Programme

Presenter, Paul Murton, travels through the Scottish borders and up to Glasgow visiting New Lanark on route. In this (his 2nd series) Murton discovers the places whose lures have charmed visitors for more than 200 years. Here’s a link to the episode on BBC iPlayer… may not be on iPlayer for long, so you may want to watch it quite soon.

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02/11/11 New Lanark Visitor Centre , Roof Garden #

Roof Garden Diary November 2011

Autumn colours 2011

Autumn colours 2011

“November chill blaws loud wi’ angry sugh ­–”

Thus Robert Burns in 1785 described an autumn gale in his poem, The Cotter’s Saturday Night. In fact, November 2011 began with fine weather, but the effect of the wind is an important design consideration for any roof garden. The lovely Switch Grass (Panicum Virgatum) ‘Heavy Metal’, for example, was chosen for New Lanark Roof Garden because it can withstand windy conditions.
Another strong plant, the stately Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) flowered late with big, purple, thistle-like blooms. Related to the artichoke, cardoon was popular as a vegetable in Victorian times. Rudbeckia’s star-shaped daisy heads add a splash of bright yellow against the muted autumn colours.
A robin has been foraging in the flowerbeds and singing his half-wistful song in the trees outside New Lanark Roof Garden. And from the valley comes the low growl of the River Clyde in spate.
In flower in November – Japanese anemones, Rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne’, cardoon.

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01/11/11 New Lanark World Heritage Site , SWT Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve # , ,

A visit to New Lanark in autumn

Walker and wildlife fanatic Jane visited New Lanark on a stunning autumn day… read about all about her day on her blog.

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24/10/11 New Lanark World Heritage Site # ,

Final Day in New Harmony

Our final day in New Harmony began the way all days should- with pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast! We then had an hour to have a walk in the glorious sunshine and visit Church Park. Thie park is situated on the site of two Harmonist Churches and is laid out in the shape of the old brick church, making it the perfect spot to enjoy the tranquility of New Harmony.

We were then treated to a tour of the Working Men’s Institute by Library Director Stephen Cochran. The working Men’s Institute is Indiana’s oldest public library but far from being a regular public library, it also contains a large archive collection and a museum and art gallery! The archive contains manuscripts from the Harmonist and Owen Communal societies as well as an extensive rare book collection. The museum is a fascinating space with a variety of collections gathered by early members of the Institute including natural history and Harmonist artefacts. Most of the collections are in their original display cabinets and it is intriguing to see how museum displays looked before ‘interpretation’ came about! The crocodile that had been taxidermied to stand on it’s rear legs was a highlight!

Our afternoon was spent in the company of local residents George and Peggy Rapp who took us for a drive around New Harmony in their golf cart- the best way of getting around New Harmony! We drove down to the banks of the Wabash River and saw some of the beautiful woodlands that surround New Harmony. We also visited the marble labyrinth and the Roofless Church- a Phillip Johnson designed landmark and interdenominational church. The Roofless Church is currently having its old wooden shingles replaced and the pictures show the beautiful contrast between the old and the new. George and Peggy were also kind enough to give us a tour of their house in New Harmony- one of the traditional houses that has been beautifully extended and modernised internally- and introduce us to two other local residents- Larry and Patricia Gosh. Their premises on Main Street are home to the New Harmony Antique Doll Shoppe and tea room, run by Pat. As well as hundreds of dolls and costumes, Pat has a huge and beautifully kept collection of Petersons magazine (a historic ladies fashion magazine with patterns) annuals dating from around 1830. However the biggest surprise was the rear of the premises where Larry keeps his 4 mint condition classic cars!

After another busy day we met with all the staff from Historic New Harmony for a final meal. Our day ended with an extra special evening visit to the roof of the Atheneum to see the stars! Our sincerest thanks go to all of those who made our trip to New Harmony so special and we hope to be able to return one day! Jane & Aynsley

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New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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