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Archive for the ‘Sussex’ Category

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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We have been forging new frontiers – Thursday was  a Lock,Stock and two smoking Trowels day !

Some of our  pioneer plants that have a bit a chip on their shoulder rode into town and rode out again into our New Frontier Border next to the house. These are the thugs and the reprobates of our garden . The ones with a swagger and a bad case of droopy jeans and gringo moustaches. You know ,the no-good  guys in the westerns, the ones with the bad ass attitude and a tendency to cause just a little bit of trouble.

Well we decided that these bad guys should have their day and fight it out at the high noon under the poplar trees, in the driest most inhospitable wasteland badlands. It is a dry , stony , arid strip and the tumble weed will blow through in the dry summers. Inattentive groups from coach parties may well trample them as they descend from their buses and a multitude of dogs may poo and pee on them .Can these plants survive , fight each other for supremacy and establish their mighty kingdoms ?  We have taken the worst of their kind -the big seeders , thugs, ne’er- do- wells , cads and colonisers and put them in a border together to fight it out . Who will win , who will get the upper hand ?

Who is on the Outlaw Roll call ?

These are the awesome eight plants that we have chosen for this stage  of the experiment –

Verbena Bonariensis ,Thalictrum Lucidum,Lythrum salicaria,Erigeron Annuus ,Knautia macedonica,Cephalaria dipsacoides, Foeniculum vulgare purpureum,and Echinops exaltatus.

Is this what they call a Matrix Planting ?

well matrix is as matrix does ! certainly the plants are in a random interlaced pattern of sorts. But the theory is ,and this is the exciting bit which should come to pass in time ,they will make their own pattern and hierarchy as they fight it out for supremacy.The strongest will no doubt survive and the weakest shall fall ! Let the fun commence !

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027not any old poo .. dog poo .

It is a rare garden that happily invites dogs and their owners into the garden together to share the space and an afternoon. I know this because I have a dog too. Vigo. Here he is above with our nephew ,Alastair.

And it is tricky to find attractions taking dogs and happy to do so. These gardens are rare because there are those that are creating wars and those that have to fight them. I am talking about Poo Wars and the victims are revolting.

 

IMG_8273There are a few issues involved in having a garden that welcomes dogs and does all it can to make this a good experience for one and all .And when we thought about doing this,  I thought -hold on- let’s provide dog waste bins for owners to dispose of the poop and for once, lets also provide the bags in which the aforementioned waste  can be collected.Simples ! which is exactly what we did.

IMG_8275It wasn’t difficult to do and now we have five bins spaced around the garden at suitable points allowing at any point in time for (a) a big dollop of poo to be picked up in a bag (supplied by us ) and (b) the squidgy package of poo to be deposited in the bin (c) jobby sorted. And you can simply walk away – with your dog !

So one would think that all our responsible dog owners would be able to cope with this . Sadly this seems not to be the case. Now … lets look at the facts ..

1. We ask for  dogs to be kept on a short  lead. You surely cannot miss your dog having a smelly moment near you -unless you are in a world apart, enjoying the view , talking about particle physics ,very short sighted or an idiot ,so what is so difficult about picking the shit up ?

2. it got me thinking .. why is it difficult to do this ? well it’s not the happiest of tasks of course .. picking up someone else’s shit is not the best thing in the world , smelly – yes,disgusting – could be – depends on the consistency of course.But it is YOUR dog and by implication YOUR shit

3.. if you were in your own garden would you leave all the shit  around for someone to stand in ? yes ? love the odour of fresh dog poo on the parquet ? crisp dog poo on the doormat ? killer shit on the kelim ? so why do it here ?

Come on folks ! shit happens so please deal with it !

 

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009Big is definitely more beautiful – of course it is .. especially when the big grasses are part of the picture. In our Sussex Prairies garden  only twenty five percent of the garden is grasses but at this time of year the grasses definitely take front of stage with their impressive stature, dominating presence and architectural splendour.

002Is it the metallic sheen on the grass flower heads that gives that ethereal quality to the whole, or is it the heady wispiness and romance of the flowers that creates such a spectacle ? is it the arching fronds that brush and tickle you as you pass by ?or is it the firey flashes of brilliance in the leaves or seedheads ? it is all of that and more and set in dream partnerships with the later perennials they are crackers !

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High Five !

Here at our top five  grasses for this year-

1. Miscanthus Malepartus

big bold and dark purple flowers  .. towers in at a heady 8 ft tall

2. Miscanthus Zwerg Elefant (dwarf elephant)

flowers unfurl like a curled elefants trunk and then  emerge like crinkle cut chips

3. Sporobolis heterolepsis

grass with presence and fragrance .. imagine freshly cut coriander on a summers day

4. Panicum Frosted Explosion

a real firework of an annual grass but misty and moving at the same time.. a perfect grass as a dream partner in the garden

5. Miscanthus Ghana

feels like a bonfire burning…with all the the firey colours of autumn and the zest and zing of gunpowder.

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The Enormously Great Unusual Plant & Art Fair – 31st August 2014

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We are getting very excited about our upcoming Unusual Plant and Art Fair this year as we have a wealth of great exhibitors coming to spoil you with their incredible selection of plants and art works.

Here they all are listed below . If you would like to read more about any of them please do go to our website ,under the Event Plant & Art Fair ,where all the exhibitors are listed with links to their websites.

NEW ! Plant & Art Creche !
This year the local scouts group will be providing a Plant & Art Creche for all your purchases, as well as a handy run to car service for a small donation !

plantfairimageteatime

FOOD
We shall be offering a great range of homemade food with the ever popular Shetland Lamb Burgers featuring on the menu, homemade soup and filled ploughman’s rolls. Delicious homemade cakes, scones ,teas ,coffees and Ice creams will of course be there for you to enjoy as normal !

Entrance to the Fair and the garden on that day is £6 adult, £3 child. RHS members are kindly asked to pay £4.80 for entrance to the Fair that day , Season Ticket holders can use their season tickets to come in for free !

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Plants: The ABC of

Great Nurseries
B :Beth Chattos nursery,Blue leaf Plants, Borde Hill,Bulls Green nursery,
C :Charleshurst Farm Nursery,Chris Ghyselen,Camolin Potting Shed, Copton Ash Nursery
D: Daisy Roots, Decoy Nursery,Diane Cole Hardy Plants,Dysons Nurseries
E: Eastcroft Roses, Essex carnivorous Plants, Evolution Plants
F:Forget me Not Plants
H:Hardys Cottage Garden Plants, Herbal Haven
K:Kevin Hughes Plants, Kings Barn Trees
L:Little Omenden Farm Nursery,Longacre Nursery
M:Madrona Nursery
N:Nymans Nursery
P:Penny’s Plants,Philip Johnson, Phoenix Perennial Plants, Pineview Plants , Plantbase,Plants from Venus, Plant heritage
R:Rapkyns Nursery,Rose Cottage Plants, Rotherview Nursery
S:Special Plants, Swallowfields Nursery,Sweetbriar Nursery.
T:The Garden House Brighton, The Plant Specialist
U: Usual and Unusual Plants
W: Wildflower Lawns & meadows

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Art and Crafts :The ABC of Art & Craft
A:Adele Scantlebury,Alison Chesman, Angela Evans,Anne Kelly Textiles, Annie McMullan
B:Bev Burt Ceramics
C:Ceramic Gardens, Chris Burchell Collins,Coalshed Pottery
D:Dave Unsted, David Meed,Debbie Siniska
F:Fibreactive, Fibrefrenzi
G :Garden Art & Sculpture,Gillian Hills, Glass Follies, Grenville Allen,
H :Handmade in Surrey,Hot Metal Works
J:Janine Creaye,James pilston Decorative Arts, Jill Stringer,Jola Spytkowska, Jose Heasman
K:Keith Windsor
M:Michele Carnie
P:Paul Cox, Pumpkin Palace pots and Slow Sew
R:Rachel Swift
S:Sue Samways Mosaics,Sarah Design,Sharon Norman,Studio 28 Mosiacs, Studio Shards, Sue Petty
T:Terry Guile, the Luddite, Tom Critchley,True Fair Trading CIC
W:Woven Oak

we shall also be joined by some super charities too – Sussex Gardens Trust, the RSPB , Sussex Wildlife Trust and HART

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