Archive for May, 2012
Posted by editor on Sunday, 27 May 2012
It’s scary and not without failures, but many people swear by it – the so-called Chelsea chop is a pruning method by which you can limit the size and control the flowering season of many herbaceous plants. It is usually carried out at the end of May, roughly coinciding with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Done at the right time and on the most appropriate plants this will give you stronger, bushier and less leggy plants as the season evolves. It helps plants that might otherwise collapse outwards when the heads get over heavy (often a problem with the taller sedums), and helps save the need for too much staking keeping your borders more defined and controlled.
Suitable plants for the Chelsea chop:
- Anthemis tinctoria
- Campanula lactiflora
- Echinacea purpurea
- Phlox paniculata
- Sedum (upright, strong-growing forms such as ‘Herbstfreude’)
- And many others
The degree of cutting back is specific to each species but the closer to flowering time you prune, the greater the delay in flowering. This method can also encourage plants to flower more prolifically – but do be careful which plants you choose to prune at this time, get it wrong and you risk the plant not flowering this year at all.
Method (RHS website):
- Clumps of perennials can be literally be chopped back by one third to a half using shears or secateurs. This will delay the flowering until later in the summer and keep plants shorter and more compact
- If you have several clumps of one plant, try cutting back a few, but leaving others. This will prolong the overall flowering time
- Another method is to cut half the stems back at the front of the clump which will extend the season of flowering rather than delay it
Pep up the pruned plants with a little general fertiliser and a good drink of water.
Many early flowering plants benefit from a light shearing over AFTER flowering – for example aubrieta, achilleas, aconitums, alyssum, delphiniums, lavender, oriental poppies, Salvia nemorosa and many more – this method combines deadheading with light pruning. It will prevent leggy growth, keep plants compact and produce an abundance of flowers the following year – it may even produce a second late flush later in the year.
So why not proceed with caution and give it a go!
Posted by editor on Thursday, 24 May 2012
Last but not least, our final AOH feature highlights the wood workers, a fun (and slightly crazy) maker of flappers, a willow weaver, a jeweler, a maker of wonderful homeopathic skincare – and positively your last chance to pick up a secondhand book or two!
Circus Kinetica create amazing and delightfully eclectic recycled wind and kinetic sculptures – including mobiles and flappers – delightful for planting in the garden beds, as they catch the wind and the eye! www.circuskinetica.com
When working with wood Richard Keal aims to keep the making process as fluid and spontaneous as possible. Richard hunts for complementary shapes and hues – a curved branch for the curved leg of a chair. Sometimes the mark of the tool is important, or the obvious dowel or unusual joint – the touches that reveal what the wood has undergone to become the finished object. Irregularities are often an inspiration as they suggest questions that require solving in unexpectedly creative ways. www.kealwork.co.uk
Much Ado Books is an award-winning independent bookshop situated in Alfriston, East Sussex. Named Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2007, just three years after opening, they specialize in books by and about the Bloomsbury Group of artists and authors. At The Garden House they will be selling a wide variety of new and secondhand garden and garden-related books. www.muchadobooks.com
Annemarie O’Sullivan’s passion is for all things woven, knotted and netted. She makes baskets, but also loves to transfer the traditional skills of basket making into larger woven forms. Annemarie’s willow wigwams, and woven willow balls make practical and sculptural statements in the vegetable and flower garden. www.annemarieosullivan.co.uk
Amanda Saurin is the driving force behind Wellgreen Lewes, a range of skincare is made in a beautiful historic house dating from 1542 nestling right underneath Lewes Castle. Top quality skin nourishment full of lovely ingredients without any additives, harmful preservatives or artificial scents or colours – as much as possible locally sourced and selected for its freshness and quality. The flower-waters and essential oils are made by Amanda in her huge copper Alembic still – a truly stunning handcrafted delight! www.wellgreenlewes.com
Ian Swain collects and restores garden tools. He started acquiring and restoring more traditional equipment over 15 years ago when, while studying at agricultural college, he simply found many modern tools and gardening items unsatisfactory in use, and aesthetically unappealing. Most of Ian’s stock is from the mid 20th century, but he does occasionally have Victorian and Edwardian items. Their quality and design is often exceptional, and is unlikely to be repeated by modern items.
Emma Willcocks uses hand worked techniques in her jewellery making – mark making, hammering, impressing, etching and melting – processes that give her a sense of connection to people from other times and cultures, but also to the natural world. Emma lives in Brighton and is a member of Phoenix Brighton, an artist led studio group, where she has taught jewellery making and art courses.
Posted by editor on Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Next weekend, 26-27 May, will be the last opportunity to see the wonderful artists and makers whose work is on display at The Garden House. In another of our series we feature the work of the artists – painters, a botanical illustrator and even a glass artist!
Sarah Burges is a Lewes artist painting vibrant flowers, figures and landscapes in oils. Sarah has shown work in a number of local exhibitions, including Art Wave and Battle Contemporary Art Fair, and is co-founder of the Lansdown Studios & Gallery. www.lansdowngallery.co.uk
Leigh Ann Gale trained at The English Gardening School, Chelsea Physic Garden, and since graduating in 2004 has become a Fellow of the Hampton Court Palace Florilegium Society and an RHS medallist. Leigh Ann’s work is influenced by colour, texture and form.
She says “I love detail in plants, flowers and leaves and I always promise myself that my next project will be better than the previous one. I’m still trying to keep that promise, as each time I complete a job I see room for improvement in the next.” Leigh Ann now teaches botanical art throughout Sussex, Surrey and south-east London. www.la-botanicalart.co.uk
As an artist, rather than specialise in one particular field, Lez has always preferred to explore different genres – from film and animation to illustration and graphics. In 2011 she completed a horticulture course with Stanmer and Plumpton College and during this period becoming interested in the illustration of plants. The paintings on display at The Garden House are mixed media on card. The frames are made from reclaimed timber by homeless people in Cape Town – the money made from the frames goes towards providing a sustainable income for these homeless people.
And finally, an inspiring stained glass artist. Annie McMullan creates glass sculptures and hangings that beautifully combine colour and texture, painterly pieces that catch the light magically especially when used in a garden setting. Annie’s signature is the fused glass insert of a flower or a tree that highlights her work. www.anniemcmullan.co.uk
Posted by editor on Friday, 18 May 2012
In another of our series looking at the artists and makers showing at The Garden House, we feature a stone-carver, a painter, a mosaicist and two potters – all showing wonderful work ideal for a garden setting.
Olly Dawson has been working as an artist in clay for most of his life - his work ranges from large-scale outdoor pieces such as benches and large ornaments to small-scale production thrown work including tablewares and one-off works of art. firstname.lastname@example.org
Stone carver Peter Price is particularly influenced by the Medieval. He has been carving stone for 20 years, and has developed a method of rapidly encouraging algae and moss growth which gives his work an aged patina and ensures his carvings blend wonderfully into any garden setting.
More light-hearted perhaps, Kathy Rowland’s painted pebbles each has a delightful and colourful personality! Kathy is inspired by colour, shape, pattern and by the landscapes that she loves – Connemara in the west of Ireland where her family are from, Australia where she spent a year travelling, and of course, by the beach and the downs surrounding Brighton.
Sue Samways is a self-taught mosaicist whose subtly colourful mosaics enhance any garden space, being both functional and beautiful. Sue’s passion is for creating new from old, using pieces imbued with history – her favourite commissions involve taking people’s much-loved but broken china and creating new and unexpected treasures.
Jeremy Sharp works and teaches at the Camelia Botnar Foundation in Cowfold, Sussex. The Foundation provides residential training and work experience, helping young people to learn a skilled trade, embark on a useful career path and successfully make their own way in life. For the AOH Jeremy is showing a wide range of durable and traditional terracotta garden pots. www.cameliabotnar.com
A freelance artist/art educator Sue Woods trained in ceramics at Camberwell College of Art and has a particular interest in creating sculptural forms for outdoor use. This year her theme is light and reflection in the garden, with splashes of colour inspired by her Mediterranean travels. www.suewoodarts.co.uk
Posted by editor on Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Showing at The Garden House’s first Artists Open House, are several very talented paper artists.
Jo Coles creates highly detailed mini sculptures carved from the pages of books. Also delightfully whimsical figures and miniature installations created from found objects, both natural and man-made. www.jocoles.com
Jane Robbins led a very popular workshop at The Garden House earlier this year. Jane works in paper collage, combining a life long interest in flat pattern, patchwork and found objects, and mixing them together to produce new decorative images. With her printmaker’s eye she find patterns everywhere – magazines, packaging, even the insides of envelopes but mainly in newspapers.
“I might use a picture of a flock of birds to cut out the shape of a cloud or a skyscraper might become the veins of a leaf, a check shirt may become a building. I often forget what they were originally – they take on a new life of their own.” Jane sells original works, giclee prints, greetings cards and posters at exhibitions and shows around the UK. She also works to commission. Some of her most popular work features her take on the Sussex landscape.
Rebecca Spence is a maker of elegant embossed greetings cards. Her simple white or cream cards and notelets are ideal for any occasion – birthdays, thanks you notes, invitations, christenings/naming days and weddings etc.
While Nikki Ward’s greetings cards feature beautiful plates from a butterfly identification book published in the 1970s. They are hand-made with delicate hand-cut 3-D elements, and are created by Nikki’s company, Pullo, based in Brighton and dedicated to making up-cycled products. www.pullo.co.uk
Posted by editor on Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Today we’re highlighting three blacksmiths showing at The Garden House every weekend in May. We love the way in which their work complements the garden scene, whether as plant supports or architectural components, both practical and decorative…
Chris Burchell-Collins works in metal or wood, making practical, fun or decorative pieces influenced by nature’s many wonderful shapes and forms. www.blackandgreensussex.co.uk
Lorraine Philpott’s domestic sculptures focus on forms derived from nature, usually vegetables and flowers. Her naturalistic ironwork pieces can be used to support growing plants during spring and summer, but also provide striking sculptural forms through the bare winter months.
Lorraine’s work is made with mild steel; it’s rusted patina blends beautifully into the garden. www.firleforge.co.uk
James Price is a blacksmith/designer; he forges contemporary metalwork using ancient metalworking techniques combined with the best of modern technology. Much of his inspiration comes from the construction and joining methods that feature so strongly in the blacksmith’s craft. His clients include architects, interior designers as well as private individuals who appreciate craftsmanship and have an eye for detail. www.blacksmithdesigner.com
Click here for more info and our full list of artists and makers. ALL MAJOR CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED (not AmEx)
Posted by editor on Monday, 7 May 2012
Over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting the wonderfully creative artists and makers showing at The Garden House every weekend in May; our first are textile makers Mandy Murray and Janie Jones.
Mandy grew up surrounded by the fabrics of her parent’s upholstery business, later becoming increasingly interested in textile history, particularly the functional textiles of ordinary women. She started collecting patchwork quilts, finding more beauty, poignancy and meaning in simple red and white blocked quilts made from flour sacks, than in the more intricate embroideries of the parlour.
The social history behind these and other hand stitched objects fascinates her and inspires her own textile work created from old printed cottons and inspired and influenced by all those nameless women, by folk art, and by the beauty of, and her love of, gardening…
Mandy works with old and new fabrics, patchwork, applique, machine and hand stitching, recycling old stitching into her designs.
Janie Jones work is inspired by antique books and vintage images – hand printed cotton twill, cards, notebooks and silk ribbons – all created using much loved collage techniques and French typography. Find Janie’s work on Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/madametreacle
Click here for more info and our full list of artists and makers. ALL MAJOR CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED (not AmEx)
Posted by editor on Friday, 4 May 2012
Dear friends – we are really excited about taking part in the Brighton Festival Artists Open Houses for the very first time. We have always been passionate about art, craft and garden-related inspirations, so this is the ideal way to bring all these elements together – in fact we can’t believe we haven’t done so before!
The Garden House is on the Beyond The Level Trail, so you can visit us then walk along to some of the other nearby art houses.
- Dates: 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 May
- Opening times: 12.00 – 18.00
- Location: 5 Warleigh Road, Brighton BN1 4NT
With the theme of plants and gardens in mind, we’ve selected a wonderfully eclectic group of artists and makers for you to meet. Click here for the full list of artists.
Located in a former market garden, The Garden House offers a unique setting for the decorative and practical pieces of work by blacksmiths, a mosaic maker, potters, a basket maker, paper artists, wood workers, sculptors and painters.
We are also selling a wide range of inspiring plants, seeds, books, and vintage home ware. Bring some friends and join us for lunch, afternoon tea or an early supper! The menu changes every day – delicious home-made seasonal soups, dips, salads and cakes at great prices.
Pick up our new brochure with a great range of art, craft and horticulture courses for you to enjoy over the next few months. We look forward to seeing you!
Tel: 0778 866 8595