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Posts Tagged ‘prairie’

bn5frontcover 1A garden wardrobe revealed here on the front cover of our local BN5 magazine, Paul , Pauline and our WRAGS student Denise.

I have just read a wonderful piece about gardeners workwear in the Telegraph… and it is extraordinary the lengths some people seem to be going to create that perfect tousled, seemingly unkempt  gardeners look. Not the fancy  Australian workbooks for us , not the fanciful dubarry boots or wild west chaps and stetsons. No catwalk fantasy , fancy pants or Ferragamo frills on the prairies . We are wearing real stuff, :clothes from the ghetto of the second hand shops, the reject buckets, the down and out rails of the high street. Clothes in which  you can wrestle with sheep , clothes that pigs can ravage, clothes that brambles tear and terrify. Clothes that can be discarded and left for days out in all weathers and can then be put back on again. Clothes that have no name , no home and no family.. wilderness wear !

so let’s see what the best prairie gardeners are wearing today….

Today Pauline is modelling the layered look… a vibrant green ralph lauren cashmere jumper (Ralph Lauren factory shop reject .. no one wanted that virulent green at any price) layered masterfully with another red cashmere cardigan M & S .. riven with moth/fire /puppy claw holes and missing odd buttons.. splattered in mud.. topped off by truly authentic romanian shepherds jerkin… (sporting stains- various) …trousers , Levis ,are courtesy of Paco , a crazy, lovely and eccentric spanish student … hems tattered  and free form, tears in knees and elsewhere ,undeliberate and adding character and ventilation…. and red wellingtons ….

Paul prefers that  farmer preppy combo of cord trousers (sporting another Ralph Lauren classic pointer dog motif if you look closely ) and barbour jacket , deputy dawg ear flap hat and fluffy fur lined wellies….a winner in every way !

Wild West it isn’t ,although we now have some gorgeous secateur holsters courtesy of some mystery gift giver… try us on the quick draw at your peril !

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Chelsea Fringe -The Headline Acts

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The Paper House herself

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With the paper garden in tow and now its attendant art gallery coming along for the ride !

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The gallery includes some amazing pictures which were so kindly sent to me by a teacher Lisa Wee and her class of pupils from a school in Nairobi ,Kenya… so here they are being exhibited in the garden.. the paintings will also join Anne Kelly’s exhibition in our grade room for the rest of the season.

When we thought about our week (31st May until 8th June 2014)  of paper related happenings,workshops and exhibitions  for the Chelsea Fringe down on the prairies ,we knew we would have wealth of stars to help us get into that groove and here are the best stars we have been able to line up for you

Pages by Stages : Alison Crosthwaite

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Prairie hens in paper kilns : Sabine Dahn

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alongside these stars are their co-stars

Anne Kelly : our talented textile artist  in residence who will be inspiring us with her textiles ,and guiding craftwork in paper ,textiles and beyond from the prairie wagon in the garden room

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Jill Tattersall  : an artist with an eye for paper making who will be helping you send out postcards from the prairies and who will be constructing concertina books to baffle and bamboozle and she will be showing you how to make your own Matisse masterpiece

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Jill Staples : a lovely local photographer working with images applied on to Japanese papers.She also makes beautifully colour co-ordinate photographic books

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Paul Cox: sculptor extraordinaire turning his hand to big paper sculpture

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Lydia Crook: paper sculptor whose work we shall be exhibiting via our virtual online gallery

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Julia Widdows : writer extraordinaire who will be promoting her books and will be running a win a book competition

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the ways of paper are many and mysterious.. And it is time for you to experience their many layers and latitudes..

And don’t forget the strangely challenging and wonderful Paw People exhibition by Tom Barker now showing in a marquee in the garden.

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002It all started with a pair of papier mache tiger hooks  bought under the shadow of the fort in Bundi , Rajasthan… (scene of the gun toting monkey shooting rapping roof top cafe owner )

Paper -such an astounding medium …!.and then it seemed a natural progression to think about working with paper in our garden and  Making a Little Paper House for the Chelsea  Fringe event .And if you have a paper house you must also have a paper garden of course !

img259Another influence of course was the Laura Ingalls Wilder book Little House on the Prairie. And I discovered another unexpected and tenuous link to us as the daughter of Laura , Rose Lane, supposedly left the Wilder estate ,and so the copyright of the books ,to a certain Mr Roger Lee Macbride. This story is not without controversy !

It all started with Ron drawing up the plans for the construction….

003and always, I had luck on my side with many things falling into place to make the fabrication and papery construction possible. First of all a chance donation of a veritable library of back copies of the RHS magazine by a very good friend ,Maggie … ie . The raw materials.. and secondly the skills, dedication and wonderful enthusiasm of two of our volunteers Ron and Libby who would take the idea from paper drawings to paper house reality.

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and thus a paper house was born and now awaits its final outing into the big wide world. During our first week of opening catch the prairie house in its perambulations and see how it can withstand the best the British weather throws at it !get inside the house and see its papery skin… know its beauty ! know its wonder ! come tweak the tigers tail of garden craziness !

The Little Paper House on the Prairie will be out on the prairie from 31st may until 8th June- one week of paper related pranks,exhibitions,workshops , drop in sessions and papery daring do with a myriad of talented artists ,sculptors and creatives ! The garden is open every day except Tuesdays – 1pm until 5pm.

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This week Paul and I are very honoured to have been asked to help The Sussex Beacon gardening team with supplying Sussex Prairie plants for a mini prairie  bed in the wonderful Beacon garden .Located high up on what must have been a former fire beacon position the unit snuggly nestles into the hillside and curves around its slopes . The garden is set at its heart.

Having met with the volunteers we worked out our plan of action  ! Firstly Paul and I will design a simple planting scheme using some of our signature prairie plants that would fit the garden perfectly and then the plan is that the team will come out to us and help propagate the plants that will go into the border . Propagating from our immense plant stock here in our garden we will have a choice of  super varieties. Having set them going in our polytunnel we will then plant up the space in early spring hopefully in time for a bit of colour to be emerging in readiness for this years Garden Gadabout in June and July.

The Sussex Beacon is a dedicated HIV centre , which has been at the forefront of specialist HIV service delivery since 1992. The ten bedded unit cares for people recovering from serious HIV related illness and supports those initiating new drug therapies or struggling with the extreme side effects of antiretroviral medication. And at the heart of the unit is a calm restful haven : the garden. Green space and the peaceful courtyard will be the perfect place for the plants we love to encourage bird and insect life into the garden. The gentle noise of grasses moving and the soft colours will be beautiful there.Paul and I are really looking forward to this project and getting to know further the wonderful volunteers who are working to make the whole place such a success.

 

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what do all these things have in common ? one common denominator – -moi !

the orange cake had just been popped in the oven, I was stoked up with enough painkillers to stun a horse (terrible toothache !) and looking forward to watching the Apprentice .. all running to time ,when frantic ringing of doorbell and ashen faced lady explained they had just met a pig on the road , the B2116 ! our pig of course (the same villain which featured in a blog oh so recently !) dusk falling and clad in a very fetching pinny I sallied out to try and catch said porcine pest.. after frantic flagging down of bemused car drivers, running up and down through stinging nettles and much swearing and helpful suggestions from my assistant pig catchers like “can you not catch it by the ear and drag it ? “er no .. the thing is going to shrug off any such lightweight tactics with no trouble … more frantic running,shaking bucket,throwing bucket , tripping on bramble,(me not pig) swearing sotto vocce as realise nice impromptu pig catchers might disapprove of  bad language , pig finally escapes into my mums veg plot through hedge and thence back to its woodland glen where I fill troughs with enough food to feed them til next week…therafter begins the thankless task of bashing in pegs to all the fencing on road side to stop any further escape manoeuvres… with a trusty head torch I stumble along the fence line , sometimes torn at by brambles, stung so many times by nettles I am devising a new nettle therapy ,cars whizz by no one cares.. pigs annoyingly club together and grumble and pester through the fence wondering what I am up to… our good life has gone horribly askew… fall into bed plotting new pig retaining fences to be installed tomorrow..

and the cake of course burnt to a dreadful cinder !

butter wouldn't melt ...

butter wouldn't melt ...

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