Our Donation – Buttercups Sanctuary For Goats – Maidstone, Kent

For those of you who visited us at one of the Open Days last year, you will have seen we had been raising money for various causes. Three key members of ‘Team Will Work For Cake’ (my wonderful team of volunteers) chose Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats here in Kent as one of the recipients of a donation. The sanctuary is local to us all and we’re all animal lovers, so it seemed a perfect fit for our fundraising activities.

Buttercups care for between 130 and 150 goats at any one time, with a similar number of goats fostered out to approved carers. They rely solely on public donations. The goats in the care of Buttercups go to the sanctuary for a multitude of reasons. Some have been found abandoned and are taken to the sanctuary by organisations such as the RSPCA and the Police. Others have been privately owned pets but, as they grow up they need an environment with more space and the company of other goats, goats being highly social animals. Other residents of Buttercups have been used for scientific testing. Whatever their history, the goats at Buttercups are assured of warm, dry and clean stabling, a healthy and varied diet, and plenty of safe space for grazing and exercise.

So, in the pouring rain, we made the short journey to Buttercups for their Family Day last Sunday (3rd May). It was wellies and brollies aplenty, but we had a great time. Here are some images from our day.

You can follow Buttercups via their website or Facebook page.


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Tara Tuesdays – Part 50 – Secret Birthday Surprise

Congratulations Tara on reaching your 50th ‘Tara Tuesdays’ post! I particularly love this one with your mum! – Emma

A Secret Birthday Surprise

My dear Mum had a big birthday back in February and being the loving daughter that I am, I wanted to do something special with her. Unfortunately, my original plans didn’t quite work out, but determined as ever, I planned a secret surprise for her last weekend….woo ha ha!

My Mum loves flowers (well who doesn’t?!) and I thought it might be a nice idea to organise something floral for her with my fab friend Kerrie who also happens to be my local florist! You may remember my beautiful wreath that I made with the lovely Lois back in December? Well, amongst millions of other things, Kerrie also runs workshops and I asked her if we could do something for my Mum. She of course happily obliged, so it was all arranged for this Bank Holiday Saturday. We were hoping to hold the workshop in my garden, but of course the British weather being what it is didn’t let us, no matter.

My Dad was in on the secret ‘just popping over for a cuppa’ flying visit plan, but didn’t know anything about the workshop. I had a strict Japanese style schedule planned for the day which amazingly went like clockwork!

11.15 Arrive for meet and greet

11.20 Dad and Si disappear to local farm shop and try to buy their lake (!) whilst Mum and I frequent local charity shop for bargain purchases 

12.00 Brunch at the Courtyard

13.00 Secret Floral workshop

14.00 Mum and I frequent local antique shop where more purchases were made (spend up city me thinks!)

15.00 Mum and Dad depart feeling very gruntled (I hoped) after such a wonderful day!

Now down to the actual workshop…

Kerrie explained that we would be making a table display which, currently are hugely popular at the weddings she florists at. Mum and I each had a galvanised bucket and a large piece of oasis that Kerrie had already soaked for us. She showed us each step and I tried to photograph as she went along.

After cutting the excess oasis off (Mum and I nearly cut ourselves like Samurai warriors when we did this bit!), Kerrie first added her eucalyptus foliage to get her shape, starting at the bottom of the oasis.

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And here it is with the foliage stage complete including the top piece.

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We then starting adding our flowers. Kerrie used English Alstromeria (my absolute fav’s) and made a triangle shape and then worked on filling in the gaps. The main aim was not to see any of the oasis . She said that we need to avoid lines of flowers and that you would normally work with an odd number of flowers to achieve this look.

Kerrie then added some purple loveliness as a filler (the name of it escapes me!) and here is her display at the next stage.

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English roses were then added.

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And then more roses to fill the display out. The final flowers were carnations. How beautiful does this look! No pressure on Mum and me then!

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And then it was our turn! Kerrrie left her display on the table for us to use and helped us throughout each step. Concentration face!

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My tongue wasn’t quite out in this pic!

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Managing a chuckle whilst supping a cuppa!

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My display just starting to take shape! Tight lipped concentration on this one!

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And Mum’s too! 

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And here we both are for our Tad-ah moment! Looking good me thinks!

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It was a lovely way to spend our afternoon and I think doing something like this would make the perfect gift for anyone wanting to do something special with their Mum or friends or anyone really. Anything goes! What did make me ROAR was when my Mum asked if we were ALLOWED to take our displays home! Reminded me so much of the children that I work with at school! Bless her!

Enormous thanks to Kerrie for her time and for making my special treat for my Mum simply perfick!

For more details on workshops and any other floral loveliness, check out Kerrie’s official Facebook page here.