The Plume of Feathers garden, hidden behind houses and the old Post Office on London Road, was lit by 300 twinkling candles to create a magical winter solstice evening. From 6pm today December 21st, visitors to the garden could soak up the atmosphere of this tranquil corner of the town with a blazing brazier and hot apple juice, made from the garden’s own apples, to keep them warm.
The garden is owned by Marlborough Town Council but leased to the Richmond Fellowship, a mental health charity. The garden has long been an ongoing source of wellbeing in the community and is looked after by Richmond Fellowship volunteers.
Danny O’Donoghue, from the Richmond Fellowship, told Marlborough.news, “We had planned for this last year but then we were unable to go ahead because of Covid restrictions. We’ve really been looking forward to it – modest and charming was the aspiration but it looks great, really sweet and charming. We’re also inviting people to write wishes for the coming year and to throw them onto the brazier. We definitely want to repeat this event on next year’s winter solstice, perhaps with 1000 candles.”
As visitors entered the garden they were greeted by volunteers from Seasalt, Marlborough, who were giving out gifts and who had helped to set up the evening. Karen Escott, manager of Seasalt, Marlborough, said, “All Seasalt employees volunteer for local charities each year. This year we are helping Danny with the garden.”
“It’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit,” said Seasalt employee, Michelle.
Danny commented, “This is very much a community garden. Sue and Dave Blacklock, who live nearby collected all the apples off the trees here and had them pressed. We are serving the apple juice this evening.
In the summer we are hoping to hold some community events in the garden with live music.”