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Archive for the ‘Sussex’ Category

gregperason6We are delighted to be joined by another young garden sculptor this season – Greg Pearson . We discovered and met Greg at the Firle garden show and loved the twists , turns and organic forms of his work .

gregpearson1As well as his range of quirky and winsome sculptures for any space, Greg will be bringing a large aspirational piece which will be taking centre stage in our newly revamped border. We cannot wait to see this ! 

gregpearson2

Here is Greg in his own words –

“I am a young sculptor specialising in metal garden features and structures. Brought up in a heavily influential design and art family setting, I have grown a passion for abstract shapes and natural form. I now love creating unique garden and outdoor features working almost exclusively in metal – mostly steel.

gregpearson3I seek inspiration from all types of gardens and settings, and favour the theme of using single lengths of material to create sculptures with unique and provoking shapes and forms, not purposely based on any existing flower or plant – instead creating new ones, to fill the imaginary void in ones garden flowerbed! All of my sculptures are completely handmade, hand bent free form by eye. This lets all pieces be unique and have a natural organic feel.

gregpearson6I’m based in Effingham, Surrey, where I share fantastically well equipped family workshop, and I’m always close nature and inspiration in our garden and surrounding woodland “

Greg Pearson – Garden Sculptor

http://www.gregpearsonoriginals.co.uk

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IMG_0390Flip to the Bee Side – Paul tells his tale about his bees

As I walked past my five hives of bees this evening, not paying much attention, I heard a deep buzzing noise coming from one of them. I bent my ear close to the hive entrance(there being no flying on this damp dusk) and the buzzing increased as if they were being disturbed. I glanced up and realised that I had failed to observe a medium sized swarm of about 5000 bees, clustered on the outside of the hive 6 inches from my face. Yikes! I thought, along with some other less Enid Blyton like curses!!

Have a Go Beeman.

My challenge, I decided, was to find a way of collecting, hiving and feeding the swarm, within the twenty minutes of daylight left to me. I had to think quick, and this is what I did.

Cakus Interuptus

Firstly, interrupt Pauline making Rhubarb cake in the kitchen to boil the kettle and make some sugar syrup. Then search for a suitable way of scanning the  bees off the flat wooden exterior of the hive. My eyes alighted on a box of 12 Schweppes tonic waters. The empty cardboard box, with it’s end cut off made a perfect scoop for bee collection. So I hoped.

Job Done!

I trotted off to the bees in the field, got my kit on, and slowly slid the tonic box, whilst holding it tight, flat against the hive, until all the bees slipped into the box. Amazingly, I collected all but three bees in a matter of seconds. Two minutes later they were in the new hive with a feeder full of syrup and a reduced entrance to discourage other bees from robbing.

Moral of the Tale 

a swarm in the hive is worth two in the bush !

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IMG_5005Sarah Raven Made me Do It

It was Witchcraft !

It all started this week when the temptress Sarah Raven sent out a missive that she was offering cut price dahlia tubers. It was one quick sidestep to her website and I was hooked and drawn into that one click wonder of purchasing a little clutch of dahlias which will be added into our existing dahlia meadow in our garden.

Don’t get me wrong – I love and adore Sarah and will sing her praises and admire her endlessly . She fills up my senses with gorgeous catalogues and aspirational visions of delight ! she cannot go wrong .. so nor neither can I !

So what have I chosen and why ?

Thanks to the Sarah Raven website we have all the pictures to see what was in my basket (a basket which could have been added to many times over .. but rare for me , I was reasonably restrained and stuck with five favourites ! )

  1. Dahlia Magenta Star

dahlia Magenta Star

Love made this choice happen ! Paul and I treated ourselves to a night at Gravetye Manor for our  wedding anniversary last year  .We saw this dahlia planted en masse there and utterly adored it.Tom makes a spectacular display by threading it through his borders and with its glowing , luminous flower and very dark stems and leaves it is stunning. So that one was a must !

2. Dahlia “Blanc y Verde”

dahlia blanc y verde

its always a good idea  to have a white dahlia for cutting and adding into bunches . This one has a luminosity and delicate verdant green within it which sings out to me . Also a perfect single open flower will be super for our bees. Its a cool , calm and collected sort of dahlia !

3. Dahlia “Waltzing Mathilda”

dahlia waltzing mathilda.jpg

Not only was the colour combination within the flower beguiling – pink and burnt orange is thrilling to me- but it reminded me of that song and then I couldn’t get it out of my mind .. you won’t either.

4. Dahlia “Burlesca”

dahlia burlesca.jpg

emm again .. it seems to be that orangey pink colour way which has caught me in its clutches.. but obviously that tight perfect form of the flower shape is wonderful and will add flower shape interest to bouquets .The name conjured up that whiff of the nightime and the fascinating intrigue of burlesque nightclub burlesque !

5.Dahlia “Darkarin”

dahlia darkarin.jpg

oops .. that colour again ! well I really loved the name of this one .. a hint of mystery , mood and magic and brooding jewel box velvet.

Now Waiting for Despatch

phew sorted ….order is in , free postage and packing applied, we are on our way . More soon once the tubers arrive.

What happens next

Once the tubers arrive I will show you how to plant them , and then the magic will start ! I will then reveal to you how one can become two and two four (I will for the first time ever do the math !) and we can make a meadow with the few becoming many ! Dahlia cuttings – we love them ! so easy to do when you know how !  and soon you will !

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TextileNatureJKTfin copy

Go wild in the Country….feel  absolutely free

Join us on Sunday 26th June , 1pm until 5pm ,with Sussex Wildlife Trust and Anne Kelly ,renowned author of Textile Nature, a new book celebrating wildlife and giving invaluable guidance on how nature can be inspirational in  textile art .

AnneKellydetailfrom'NaturalHistoryWaistcoat'

Being Wild in Your Garden

How to attract wildlife into your garden is among the advice on offer at this open day.

Gardening expert Peter Crawford ,from the Sussex Wildlife Trust , will offer tips on attracting butterflies, hedgehogs and toads into gardens and green spaces.

AnnekellyflowerimageYour gardening questions can be answered by Peter and learn how children can be encouraged to go wild and sow seeds in paper pots to take home.

IMG_7560Anne Kelly, Textile Artist

Anne Kelly featured as our artist in residence in 2014 and was really inspired by her time in our garden. On Sunday  Anne will be joined by many of her fellow artists and contributors to the book and we will see the unveiling of The Stitched Shed . The shed will be travelling as part of a major exhibition being taken by Anne to The prestigious  Knit and Stitch Show in London, Harrogate and Dublin. Anne will be available to sign copies of her new book , and lucky winners in the Sussex Wildlife Raffle will be able to win an original artwork from Anne and others.

voucher30dayswildHalf Price Voucher

follow the link to this voucher to get half price entry to Sussex Prairies on Sunday 26th June   https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/admin/resources/swtprairegardenvoucher.jpg

 

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Anna Ray Artist in Residence 2015-2106 ‘RHS Chelsea Flower Show’ 2016 digital prints, acrylic, wood, paint

 

If you missed seeing Anna Ray’s extraordinary and  momentous artwork at RHS Chelsea Flower Show you now have another chance to catch it here at Sussex Prairies.The cube has now moved down here to its summer vacation site  and we have been Wowed and hope you will too !

IMG_7263Anna was the Artist in Residence for the Royal Horticultural Society in 2015 and 2016 and during the course of this residency she captured thousands of photographs documenting the people, plants and processes involved in creating the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015.

IMG_6992The images from this vast collection have been assembled into a momentous artwork. The creation of the piece was supported by:The Royal Horticultural Society,Epson,K2 Associates Ltd, and Chep.


IMG_7261BIOGRAPHY

Anna Ray studied BA (Hons) and MFA Tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art between1994 and 1999. She became a Lecturer in the department soon after graduation and taughtfor six years before relocating to London in 2006. She was artist in residence atWinterbourne Botanic Garden, University of Birmingham in 2004 and at FrancesBardsley School, Romford, 2006-2007.

From 2015-2016 Ray was artist in residence at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Through her teaching, she has raised awareness of newtechnologies and contemporary art and design practice with a diverse range of audiences through discussion and making. She has run workshops for major galleries, notably, TheNational Galleries of Scotland and the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. She has led workshops for ‘The British Art Show’, ‘The Big Draw’ and devised ambitious community outreach projects, receiving an Innovative Arts Education Award in 2001.

IMG_7265Ray has been granted major awards for her work; Scottish Arts Council Crafts CreativeDevelopment Award (2004), Scottish Arts Council Assistance Grant to an Individual Artist (2003), The Hope Scott Trust Award (2001), Edinburgh Visual Arts and CraftsAward (2006). Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally over the last twenty years in both applied art and fine art contexts. Recent exhibitions include ‘Collect’ Saatchi Gallery (2012) and the touring exhibition ‘Craft Generation’ St. Andrews Museum(2014-2015). She has been commissioned to make work for public collections: Paintings in Hospitals and Marie Curie Cancer Care. In 2014 the international law firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co acquired and commissioned a series of major works for their new premises in Birmingham.

Read more about Anna Ray on her website   www.annaray.co.uk and Facebook page Anna Ray Art

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IMG_0067This time of year – January  and February is the time of year when Paul and I start to burn down our Sussex Prairie garden and people are shocked and stunned and always ask us why . So it is time to tell the story.

IMG_5740Why do we Burn our Prairie ?

Big spaces require big solutions and our garden is no exception to this . We have probably now over eight acres of garden requiring to be razed to the ground at some point over the winter months. More traditional methods in your average garden would include cutting down with secateurs, scythe or strimmer. But we have a different solution because of the size of the task.

Burning is a quick , clean and dramatic way of clearing away all the dead last years growth and solves the problem of what to do with the mountain of material created in such a clearance.

IMG_1260Because it is Fun and a little bit dangerous !

Burning the garden on a big scale is a whole load of fun too and is one of the tasks our volunteers love to lend us a hand with . Everyone loves a good blaze after all .

IMG_5854How do you do it ?

In ideal weather and ground conditions we prefer to be able to leave the garden standing all winter and allow the winter frosts and winds dry the stems,stalks and leaves to a crisp.This would mean that on a windy and dry day we could burn the garden in situ without further ado. A dramatic and scary solution !

This year has been a bit of an exception with major wet  and warm weather leaving many plants green in many parts and this means that they  will not burn fully whilst standing in place. So we have created the bonfire burn this year . This involves building mini bonfires throughout the bed on the pathways and  we have had to cut and burn as we go.

However the big clumps of grasses have been burnt in their place and what a roar of flame and crackle of fire ensued!

IMG_5847But what about the plants ?

people ask do the plants get damaged ..?. well they don’t because we do this at a time of year when the plants themselves are dormant . Their roots  and buds are safely underground and are not damaged by the fire which moves quickly overhead (thats why we need a windy day to carry the fire quickly and ferociously over the top of the plants) A good Wind and Dry weather is the key !

 

 

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ohbeehivecardOh Beehive !

Feel the buzz and make a bee line for Sussex Prairies from 1st June  when we shall be celebrating our love of bees ! Pollenicious baby !

DSC04666Our whimsical celebrity, Austin Flowers ,will be creating a buzz in the largest beehive in Sussex. Find him bee- hind you in his foppish attire and count his collection of pin badges and  jewellery as part of the bee quiz .Will you be bold enough to feel the bees in his bee box ?

BisforbeeYou can also follow the bee trail of bee factoids around the garden.. you will be able to answer such questions as -what does a Queen do ? how fast  can a bee fly  ? how do bees communicate ?how long have bees been here  ?  how is honey made ?

and finally make it to the teashop and the  Queen Honey Cake Tower   ! and sample some of our cakes made with honey , herbs and flowers.Bee – licious !

alisoncatchlovebeeWe shall be joined by local beekeepers and a local blacksmith and green woodworker making bee related items on Friday 5th , Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June 2015. The sculptor Alison Catchlove will be exhibiting her bee sculptures in the garden..

Dates for the Chelsea Fringe Oh Beehive

Monday 1st June             1pm -5pm

Closed Tuesday 2nd June

Wednesday 3rd June     1pm -5pm

Thursday 4th June         1pm – 5pm

Friday 5th June               1pm – 5pm

Saturday 6th June         1pm – 5pm

Sunday 7th June             1pm – 5pm

Venue : Sussex Prairie Garden , Morlands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road (B2116 ), Near Henfield, West Sussex , BN5 9AT.

Tel 01273 495902 email morlandsfarm@btinternet.com website http://www.sussexprairies.co.uk

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sussex-Prairies and Twitter @sussexprairies and on Pinterest- look out for the board celebrating Oh Beehive !

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