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DSC01407or rather, Pocket sized propagation of plants in Bhutan .

This post is all about the ingenious ways we saw plants being grown on a small scale in Bhutan . It was not so much about formal fancy gardens , but more about  reusing what you could find as a container , thus reducing waste and promoting recycling and creating your mini garden around your house or appartment.

DSC01480Gardening for decorativeness is not high on the agenda  of many Bhutanese who let it be said ,are more concerned with the greater importance  of living day to day and eking out a living from either their small shops , businesses , plots and fields clinging to vertiginous slopes and  the ever so demanding landscape.

DSC01947So it was with a strange fascination that I started to photograph the many ingenious and curious ways in which flowering plants were nurtured and obviously enjoyed by the Bhutanese around their homes.

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A popular vessel was the ever rubbery car tyre .. A staple and popular plant pot around prayer wheels.. often cunningly embellished with a painted design but tin cans ,oil containers,plastic bottles also proved useful  and were all stripped down and made into pots for plants. Geraniums did feature highly on the list of favoured house plants with many still flowering gamely at incredible altitudes and in all sorts of dusty corners.DSC01962

DSC01693There was obviously always someone with a soft spot somewhere keen to prettify their space or home with flowers and foliage. I rather liked their reckless and fanciful combinations too and a spare corner or space could prove useful for that prize cobbled together collection .Here is a group of plants at the village prayer wheel . This plant hoarder even risks having his collection  being knocked off by  an over exuberant prayer wheel turner !

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Artists ! Your garden needs you !

Felt like there was always an artist hiding inside you bursting to get out ? now is the time to free yourself of your inhibitions, let out the artist ,and run with the prairie dogs ! It’s art, and certainly not as we have known it before !

Big Gallery in The Garden Art Competition

Sussex Prairie garden is going to be a part of the Chelsea  Festival Fringe Brighton event in 2014 . During our week of paper related events and happenings  (31st may until 8th June) , we are inviting entrants to our Little Paper House on the Prairie Big Gallery in the Garden Art competition and we are looking for you all to be involved in probably the biggest outdoor paper art exhibition that has ever been seen on a prairie before!

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The competition: Nitty Gritty

We are inviting artists from the ages  of 0 to 106 to submit A4 sized pictures of houses and their gardens around the world (e.g. . igloos, yurts, tepees, tents ,caves, castles, terrace houses,cottages,tree houses, mansions  ) which can be painted ,or  drawn with felt tips, crayons, coloured pencils or whatever medium is preferred. Each A4 design should be clearly marked on the back with the artists name, age, address and contact details .All artwork should be the artists own work.

All artwork should be sent to Sussex Prairies, Morlands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9AT by April 30th 2014.

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How the outdoor garden gallery will work:

We will laminate each piece of artwork and then it will become part of the Little Paper House on the Prairie Big Gallery in the Garden Exhibition, where it will be on display to the public from 31st May until 8th June during our Chelsea Festival Fringe week. The artwork will be outside for a week accompanying the paper house and prairie garden on wheels which shall be moving around the garden .Although artwork will be laminated, we cannot guarantee that it will not be damaged by the weather whilst it is open to the elements!  . Artwork can be collected from the garden after 8th June .Sadly we are unable to return artwork by post.

The winning entries will be featured on our website and Blog.

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Prizes: the winner of each age group will win an art set as well as a Golden Sussex Prairie Garden Family Season Ticket for the 2014 season. The Season Ticket allows entrance to two adults and up to three children during the opening season of the garden 31st May until 12th October 2014. Sussex Prairies will be open every afternoon, 1pm until 5pm, six days a week in 2014. We shall be closed on a Tuesday.

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Age groups for the competition:

Age 0 – 5, Age 6-10, Age 11-16, Age 16-106

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Little Amsterdam

which is of course for gingerbread !

after an evening of hellish heat in the kitchen I am left with a motley assortment of pieces of gingerbread which I have to assemble Somehow into a sweet little gingerbread cottage. Alongside the cottage I was rashly encouraged by my new Martha Stewart Special Holiday handbook (thankyou for that Tara) to make some miniature dutch gingerbread house biscuits. Halfway through this enterprise, imagine trying unsuccessfully to download templates from Martha Stewart on a recalcitrant laptop balanced precariously on  a bag of flour and with hands covered in gingerbread.Not that good for the keyboard I imagine as I think there is something wrong already with the letter G.In the end I just improvised and the resultant biscuits look like some rickety old shanty town from a third world country and not the sharp, crisp upmarket town houses that would grace any dutch township. Maybe the icing will make it all better !! Anyway an inspirational picture attached of what they should look like !! Next letter I… for icing, icicles,igloos and incompetence !

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