Saturday, 22 July 2017

Ekphrastic Flowers!

I had a day trip to Tatton Park Flower Show today to visit a shed!

But not just any shed! This is the 'Ekphrastic Flowers' shed and my Paper Meadow wallpaper has been used as part of the installation.

Sally of Kingfisher Flowers lives in Hebden Bridge and she is part of the Flowers From The Farm group of florists and she asked if they could include my wallpaper.

Their shed set out to express how florists work as artists in their own right and that they often work in collaboration with artists too, using colours and style in artwork to inspire their arrangements.

It worked brilliantly!

. It was SO colourful and there were all sorts of irresistible shapes to enjoy. 

These ceramic tiles are by Linzi Ramsden from the Manchester Craft Centre. We were stand neighbours at GNCCF once and she's very lovely indeed. It was nice to find her work here.

This print is be Lee Herring. The flowers blended into it so beautifully.

I loved the Agapanthus and the Alliums.

 Sally and Vivienne Bradley had created this lovely wall hanging.

The plasma cut bronzed ferns are by Willa Ashworth. I wish I'd taken more photos of them.

This fennel against the blue is pretty amazing isn't it!

See, it was a pretty special shed.

Thanks everyone for including me in it.

It was very beautiful indeed. 

By the way 'ekphrastic' IS a real word meaning 'a vivd, often dramatic description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined'. I'm not sure I made a very ekphrastic job of expressing how beautiful this shed was but I hope the pictures speak for themselves.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Eades Meadow

On Sunday afternoon Dean and I took a cycle out of Redditch to Eades Meadow.

Eades is the largest field in Foster's Green Meadows and it is like a huge sea of wild flowers and grasses busy with bees and butterflies and all sorts of insects. It is teeming with life.

Tempting though it is to go bounding about in this beautiful wild meadow sea visitors are encouraged to not stray from the path as it is a protected area and it is sensitive to trampling but it's ok as there is SO much to see on the long path through the grasses.

We took our time, looking up close with the new botanical eyeglass and marveling at everything.

It is so richly textured at the moment. 

So many species nestling into each other.

Lots of things had gone to seed .

We enjoyed their dramatic shapes silhouetted against the sky. 

There were fluffy seed heads everywhere.

The Goatsbeard was incredible close up.  

I loved searching out patterns in the grass.

Knapweed was taking centre stage and looking glorious.

 We even found a white one. Just one!

 I am in my element walking through a meadow taking it all in, each step a discovery.

Eade is so rich because hasn't been ploughed for over a hundred years and has not seen a drop of chemical fertiliser. 

These magical places are now rare and need to be protected. 

I just donated some money to help preserve Ashes Pasture a meadow that I haven't yet visited but that is definitely on my list. It's currently on a mission to raise money. Perhaps you can donate too? Every penny would help. The butterflies will thank you!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Wild Meadow

We had a blissful week staying in this beautiful house in the middle of a meadow. Wild Meadow is near Presteigne just over the border in Wales, a large meadow hillside brimming with life and loveliness.

We chose the solstice week in June because we knew the grasses would be high and the flowers would be blooming.

And because there would still be a few weeks before the owner Andrea would be cutting it down. She runs scything courses and teaches people how to cut the tall grass in the traditional way.

So we made the most of it.

It was the perfect playground for us lot. 

We spent our week collecting,

identifying species (trying anyway),

 pressing flowers,


and painting, 

(Sarah took these gorgeous pics of Dean at work)


and eating

singing lots of songs,

(meadow karaoke)

and barbecuing with friends. 

We had fun learning to fly our little balsa wood areoplane.

When it found a thermal it was a delight to watch

but there were a lot of flops and crashes and searching for it in the long grass.

We had some lovely walks in the rolling countryside

 and hired the Wild Meadow bikes and cycled for miles. 

We had some golden sunsets and we'd all rush outside to take pictures and breathe in that evening light.  

 On the last evening Andrea gifted me a botanical eyeglass, something I have been meaning to buy for a while. She knew I'd been looking up close trying to identify all the grasses. It is a whole new world through that lens I tell you and we all ran round around the meadow like excited children discovering everything for the first time.

I can highly recommend this wonderful place. The cottage has three double bedrooms so it's great for a big group but if there are only two of you there is a beautiful shepherds hut at the top of the field too. We miss the meadow now but we have already booked again for next summer!

Thanks for all of your beautiful photos Sarah. x

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