Since the fire at Castle Gardens on 13th March, the Centre has been a hive of activity. Within 36 hours the doors were open and it was business as usual. One of the first things Mike Burks realised was that the seed ranges had not been completely damaged but the packaging was a little smoky!
"We have had complete fresh ranges of seeds delivered but there are hundreds of packets of seeds which are perfectly 'growable' and we'd very much like children to come in and have some free of charge," explained Mike. "We'd especially welcome schools or playgroups as we are always happy to support new gardeners. As well as flowers, we have packets of carrot seed, beans, peas and all other types of vegetable seeds and hopefully lots of people will grow them and enjoy the resulting fresh produce."
Each day since the fire, thousands of new plants, boxes of equipment and tools, and all manner of gardening necessities have been arriving. The Centre had a very busy Easter with hundreds of familiar customers coming and offering support.
After the fire, which has caused considerable damage to both the shop and the greenhouse, Mike and the team have been overwhelmed with kindness from the local community. "As well as hundreds of cards, letters and telephone calls, we have been contacted by loyal customers who have even offered to help rebuild the Centre!
A pile of letters arrived from Sherborne Primary School and a generous letter of support from Sherborne Abbey was also very kind. The best thing of all is that our team has been amazing. We have restocked and re-arranged and it's amazing what you can achieve when everyone pulls together. The clear-up begins in the next few days we'll all feel like a big corner has been turned," said Mike.