Archive for the ‘Art & Culture’ Category
Posted by editor on Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Falling Snow – by Alan Williams
See how they fall
An infinity of heavenly aspirations
Come to convert the world
With a deep and even purity.
Sent to nullify and cleanse
To enhance and beautify
To muffle and calm
With the tranquillity
Of a gossamer eiderdown.
To cloak in a mystery
Of endless variations
Of the same tonal theme;
To a glistening coalescence.
Tidying up the farmyard
Smoothing out the fields
Transmogrifying neglected gardens
Into dazzling showpieces,
Cluttered garden sheds
Into sparkling summer-houses,
Making abandoned bean sticks
As elegant as sculptured crystal,
And fondant death-traps
Of old familiar ponds
Enhancing the weary timothy
In the sad neglected churchyard.
Cheering up the stories
On the long forgotten grave stones.
Turning distant spires
Into alabaster space rockets
And drooping telephone lines
Into crystal mooring ropes
For ocean going bungalows.
The purification is complete, unblemished,
Save for the prints of wandering spirits
Fading in the gentle cascade.
Posted by editor on Friday, 22 October 2010
Following our amazing trip to South Africa where we visited vineyards and sampled some gorgeous wine, we would like to offer you the opportunity to come and try some fine wines supplied by Butlers Wine Cellar.
On Friday 29 October Henry Butler will be here to guide us ’round the world’ with eight different wines to taste from various parts of the world. This will include fizzy, whites and reds, as well as something sweet or fortified.
Henry will guide us through different grapes, countries, styles and prices. He has a fantastic range of wines in his cellar: he is a great character and passionate about his subject so this should prove to be a fun evening!
The Butlers Wine Cellar – www.butlers-winecellar.co.uk – is a family run, independent wine shop that was established in 1979. Henry Butler and his mother, Gillian, aim to provide knowledgeable, personal service and stock a wide range of interesting, affordable wines as well as wines for special occasions.
”We try to break down the stereotypical snobbish attitude that is often associated with wine by making our service informative and fun. Wines are stocked from most countries; we tend to focus on wines made by smaller producers as opposed to large brands – wines that excite us or have a story to tell.”
The cost is £20 pp, with the tasting session starting at 7pm until 9pm. Spaces are limited, so get into practice for Christmas and book early!
Posted by editor on Monday, 11 October 2010
I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unbidden to my tongue,
as words sometimes do, certain peculiar words,
like strengths or squinched or broughamed,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinch open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry eating in late September.
Galway Kinnell 1927-
Posted by editor on Wednesday, 25 August 2010
It’s on Saturday 4 September! Taste the food. Taste the wine. Taste the courses…
Celebrate your enthusiasm for horticulture. Kindle an interest in learning a new skill. Savour food from the fabulous Brighton-based vegetarian food restaurant Terre à Terre. Enjoy a glass of wine supplied by The Butlers Wine Cellar, a local wine merchant.
- Bridgette will be signing copies of her recently published book Allotment Gardening
- Terre à Terre: The Vegetarian Cookbook by Amanda Powley and Philip Taylor will also be on sale
- Buy spring-flowering bulbs from a wide selection of our favourites – seeds too!
Come inside The Garden Room and browse our resource library and its wealth of gardening books, magazines and reference material at leisure.
NOTE: The Garden Room can also be hired for both work away-days and dinner parties for special occasions, menus and prices available on request.
Our Taster Day is FREE - Saturday 4 September – we’d love you to drop in any time between at 11am and 4pm – bring a friend or two and enjoy the garden and all our fun events…we look forward to meeting you!
For further information contact: 01273 702840 | 0778 866 8595
Posted by editor on Sunday, 25 July 2010
Yesterday local artist and teacher Debbie Hovell lead a workshop in pen and ink drawing using the garden as inspiration.
Debbie took us through a range of inspirational works, from Beatrix Potter to Henry Moore, showing how different techniques suit different subjects or moods, and how different effects can be achieved by using a variety of pens.
The day reminded me just how important it is to slow down and enjoy our garden spaces. Most activity centres around digging, weeding, pruning, watering – and so many gardeners I know say they hardly ever, or indeed never, actually relax and enjoy their garden.
But at any time of year it’s equally important to just sit and review, or capture the moment in ink, paint or on camera – so take a tip from us – summer’s here, slow down, put your feet up, and enjoy…
Posted by editor on Friday, 9 July 2010
The Garden House is once again opening its garden gate in aid of a local charity – this year we are raising funds for RISE (Refuge, Information, Support, Education), a local charity supporting women, children and young people affected by domestic abuse.
Join us for a brilliant afternoon! There will be stalls selling all sorts – including garden tools, jewellery, home made gifts, culinary delights, and a multitude of gardening items.
Tea and cakes will be on sale too, and we have our Grand Auction at 4pm! Auction prizes include:
- One week in a villa on Fuerteventura
- Large abstract painting by Sussex artist Bobby Boud
- Deckchair with customized patchwork seat
- Photo session in a local studio
- Patchwork quilt
- Coffee machine and coffee set
- Two complementary planted containers
- Voucher for a hair cut in a local salon
- Bridgette’s Friday gardeners – working in your garden for one day!
- And many other items, including ‘ingredients for a screaming orgasm’ (don’t ask!)…
Entrance fee: £2 per adult
We are also holding a Garden Dinner Party, which starts at 7pm. Why not book a table with friends? The cost of the dinner will be £20 for a delicious three-course meal and a glass of wine (we will have wine available for donation should you need extra!) – and during dinner we’ll be serenaded by live band Vinyl Riff!
- Starters: roasted Piedmont peppers, OR mushroom, sherry and walnut pate, OR watermelon and goat’s cheese salad
- Main course: organic Cheddar, zucchini and roasted red onion quiche, OR Malaysian fish curry, OR tortilla with fried beans served with guacamole and salsa
- Dessert: free-range homemade meringue nests with summer fruits, OR chocolate brandy refrigerator cake, OR fresh fruit platter
Contact us for more info: 01273 702840 / 0778 8668595 / email@example.com
Please come and bring your friends and help us to raise some money for this hugely worthwhile cause – thank you, and hope to see you then!
Posted by editor on Saturday, 15 May 2010
Dan Bennett, painter and print-maker, is showing at Studio 106, an artists’ collective based in a converted warehouse in the Poet’s Corner district of Hove.
Reflecting his love of gardens, Dan’s work beautifully expresses the colour, textures and form of groups and individual plants. This, combined with his respect for the pattern making of the Aborigine and of other indigenous global cultures, gives his work a unique and unexpected quality. www.dan-bennett.co.uk
At this year’s Open Houses Dan will also be exhibiting his rock paintings for the first time: “My art practice is currently undergoing a transition. Although I am still deeply inspired by the prehistoric symbols that can be found etched onto rocks by our global ancestors, I have recently become as interested in the rock itself. This interest expresses itself as a desire to climb and paint these ancient structures so as to better understand them. I have found that by physically moving across their surfaces I have gained a deeper intuitive knowledge about the world in general, in a similar way in which painting helps me understand the world. The mechanics of forces, levers, tension and friction which are involved in rock climbing have led to moments of inspiration which I am currently pursuing in my painting.”
There’s still time to catch Dan’s exhibition – Sunday 16 and the following weekend 22/23 May. Open from 11am to 5pm, Studio 106 is located at 106 Coleridge Street, Hove, BN3 5AA. www.studio106.co.uk
Posted by editor on Saturday, 8 May 2010
Visit Lindy’s house at 31 Preston Park Avenue, Brighton, and enjoy the work of several artists creating decorative and functional outdoor artwork and sculpture. Lindy’s house is an artwork in itself – an inspiring tapestry of colour, pattern, decorative home accessories and antique chinaware – even her garden steps are painted brilliant fuschia pink!
Amongst a group of textile artists, ceramicists, painters, mosaicists and jewellers, Lindy also shows the work of several artists whose work adorns the outside space. Chris Murphy makes ceramic bird houses, feeders and ornamental garden conicals, Jo Brook makes ceramic garden pots and birdbaths, and Sue Samways makes mosaic lawn dials and garden tables.
Decorative garden ironwork is made by Steven Betridge (wonderful for clambering Clematis), and deckchairs customized with patchworked fabrics are made by Lindy Craig-Hall herself (wonderful for lounging!).
Special note: Jewellery-maker Val Shore is also showing at Lindy’s – Val will be leading a jewellery-making workshop at The Garden House on the evening of 14 June. Check the DIARY on this website for details.
Address: Lindy Craig-Hall, 31 Preston Park Avenue, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 6HG
Open: Weekends of 8 & 9 May, 15 & 16 May and 22 & 23 May (11am to 5pm).
Posted by editor on Wednesday, 5 May 2010
You know how sometimes you look intensely at a flower and just can’t believe the colours are ‘made by nature’? Few artists so completely capture the depth and vibrancy of natural plant forms as successfully as Frances Doherty.
Frances is the second artist to be featured in our celebration of local creators whose work captures the beauty of plant- or garden-related subjects. We love her observational style and ability to capture and exaggerate the sculptural forms of seed-heads, pods and fruiting bodies.
Working in stoneware, Frances uses richly iridescent glazes chosen to compliment the form, making the pieces glow with colour. Her work is high fired so that the pieces can go into an interior or exterior environment.
“My inspiration comes from flowers and plants that we see all around us, in gardens, fields, even cracks in the pavement. I particularly love the secret worlds inside these flowers, in the patterns and textures hidden away that give a continuing sense of promise and renewal.”
The images shown here were taken at the Life Cycle Sculpture Trail at the Ventnor Botanic Gardens, Isle of Wight, during summer 2009.
As part of the Brighton Open Artists Houses festival Frances will be exhibiting at 31 Havelock Road, Brighton, part of the Five Ways Artists Group. www.fivewaysartists.com
During the festival, Frances will also be showing some of her sculpture in the front gardens of Havelock Road, starting from Mrs Moles Flower Emporium and then going up Havelock Road at numbers, 13,14,18,29,31 and 64.
See more of Frances’s work at www.francesdoherty.co.uk
Check out all this years Artists Open Houses at www.aoh.org.uk
Posted by editor on Thursday, 29 April 2010
If you’re not already a fan, the Brighton Artists Open Houses is a must – it is probably Britain’s biggest free visual arts event. It is. Over the first four weekends of May, a record 243 venues will open their doors to exhibit the work of over 1,000 artists and makers.
To celebrate and contribute to the event, we thought we would highlight a few of the local artists and sculptors whose work has a place in the garden, or who specialize in painting or creating plant forms.
Jo works mainly in British limestone, the subject matter often figurative or based on forms from the landscape, using words and poetry to highlight particular thoughts, events or celebrations. Her bowl forms are particularly striking. We also love her small pebbles, carved with hearts, feathers or letters.
Jo works and teaches at Skelton Workshops at Streat, near Ditchling. She also runs classes from her own lovely studio at 72 Ashford Road, Fiveways, Brighton
Just to note: On the weekend of 3/4 July Jo will be holding another Open House at 72 Ashford Road, exhibiting the work of eight local artists. Plus you’ll be able to see the newly designed garden created by Plantsman and designer Paul Bradford, with plants supplied by Miss Moles Emporium. See more of Jo’s work at www.josweetingsculpture.com
Check out all this years Artists Open Houses at www.aoh.org.uk
Posted by editor on Sunday, 25 April 2010
To introduce the annual Garden Gadabout, the organisers have put together a real treat – Question Time for Gardeners…
If you are wondering what to plant, considering growing your own vegetables or need to identify a pest or disease, then come along and join what promises to be a fun and enlightening evening. Thursday 13 May 7.30pm – 9.30pm.
The panel of horticultural experts is second to none:
- Graham Gough – who, supported by his partner Lucy Goffin, created the magical garden and nursery at Marchants Hardy Plants in Laughton, Sussex.
- Ed Ikin – head gardener at Nymans Garden and a strong advocate of biodynamics, planting according to the lunar calendar.
- Liz Dobbs – London-based gardening writer and editor of Gardens Monthly, whose books include Garden Makeovers and The Essential Garden.
- Julie Hollobone – is assistant editor of Gardens Monthly, a horticultural lecturer and author of an excellent book on propagation, Propagation Techniques.
- Robert Hill-Snook – head gardener at the Brighton Pavilion, and responsible for the restoration of the Regency gardens following organic and nature-assisted principles.
- Jim Miller – horticulturalist and lecturer at Brighton’s City College.
This event promises to be a great introduction to the Garden Gadabout – when, over two weekends in June/July, over 70 private gardens from Shoreham to Lewes and everywhere in between throw open their garden gates in aid of the Sussex Beacon charity. www.sussexbeacon.org.uk/gadabout
Box Office: 01273 736222 / Box Office Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm www.theoldmarket.co.uk
13 May 7.30pm – 9.30pm / £6.00 (£4.50 Concessions)
Location: The Old Market, Upper Market Street, Hove BN3 1AS
Posted by editor on Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Plant Portraits opens on 2 April at Brighton’s Booth Museum (until 24 September 2010).
Botanical artists can create images of extraordinary beauty - images that convey a plant’s technical form and structure in ways that a photograph cannot. This exhibition, curated by The Botanical Art Society of Sussex in conjunction with the Booth Museum of Natural History, highlights the importance of art in understanding and communicating the natural world and the plants that are fundamental to our survival.
Paintings include flowers, fruits, vegetables and fungi; enriching images supplemented by magnificently illustrated botanical books and specimens from the Booth Museum.
The Botanical Art Society of Sussex was founded in 2003 to bring together Sussex botanical artists. Botanical illustrators today are not just flower painters, but inheritors of a legacy of historical importance going back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. To be successful they have to be technically highly competent in drawing and painting, with some knowledge of botany and the ability to convey the sense of wonder of the plant world.
The Booth Museum was founded in 1874 by naturalist and collector Edward Thomas Booth. The Victorians were passionate about natural history and Edward Booth’s particular interest was ornithology, the study of birds.
In 1971 the Booth became a Museum of Natural History. It is now home to a staggering collection of 525,000 insects, 50,000 minerals and rocks, 30,000 plants and 5,000 microscopic slides.
Today the museum retains its unique charm of the quirky and eccentric with its focus on Victorian taxidermy and fossils, bones and skeletons. And yet it is also firmly focused on modern day concerns of conservation and protection of the planet.
It is truly a fascinating and unique place to visit…
Booth Museum of Natural History, 194 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 5AA
Tel. 03000 290900 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by editor on Thursday, 25 February 2010
The weather is warming up and soon we will be able to get into our gardens and allotments. For some of us this will involve preparing new beds by digging – hard work but therapeutic. I love this evocative poem by Seamus Heaney as he relishes the picture of his father digging.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun.
Under my window a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down
The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.
By God, the old man could handle a spade,
Just like his old man.
My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, digging down and down
For the good turf. Digging.
The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.
Posted by editor on Thursday, 18 February 2010
Join us on our visit to South Africa, 1-10 October 2010. Spring – when the Cape is covered with field upon field of flowers in bloom – is a wonderful time for gardening enthusiasts to visit…
Key aspects of the visit are highlighted below, for full details: email@example.com
- Ten-day trip
- Direct flights to Cape Town (overnight)
- Four nights at The Vineyard Hotel & Spa (www.vineyard.co.za a beautiful hotel set in its own glorious gardens)
- One night at the Paternoster Lodge (www.paternoster-lodge.co.za)
- One night staying at Clanwilliam, staying at St DuBarrys Guest House or Clanwilliam Lodge
- Two nights at the Aquila Private Game Reserve (www.aquilasafari.com)
Travelling at all times with horticulture specialists, and an experienced and registered local guide.
We will also have a specialist field guide walking us through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
- Cape Town orientation tour – includes cable car to Table Top Mountain, District Six and Museum, Company Gardens
- Peninsula tour – includes a guided tour of the stunning Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
- Winelands tour – includes a visit to KWV Emporium for a cellar tour and tastings!
- Community tour of the Cape Flats – visiting the community food gardens at Langa Township
- Drive up the West Coast through Namaqualand’s amazing wildflower fields, to visit the West Coast National Park
- Visit to Elandberg Eco Reserve for a Rooibos Tea Tour
- Visit the Rock Art trails and the Wine Estate in the Matzikamma
- Evening game drive at Aquila Private Game Reserve
- Morning game drive at Aquila Private Game Reserve
Just a brief summary of this exciting Garden House tour, 1-10 October 2010. Contact us for the full details firstname.lastname@example.org . All costs are included, bar a few meal times when you are free to wander and make your own local choices.
We do hope you’ll be inspired to join us!
Article image by Daan Loth - Image © DaanL aka Daan Loth 2009
Posted by editor on Thursday, 4 February 2010
We just love it when we see children being inspired to garden and grow! Top of our current list of inspirational children’s ‘gardening’ books is The Giant Carrot, a collaboration between Allan Manham and Penny Dann.
Penny is a well-known and highly talented children’s illustrator – she also lives in Brighton, and happens to be a great friend of The Garden House! You may recognise her name from her very successful Secret Fairy book series which sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. www.pennydann.co.uk
Penny will be signing books, reading excerpts and doing the odd drawing if asked (definitely ask!) at the Book Nook in Hove on Saturday 13 February at 11am.
The Book Nook, First Avenue, 1 St Johns Place, Hove, BN3 2FJ / 01273 911 988 / www.booknookuk.com
The Giant Carrot is published by Orchard Books, and is also available to order on www.amazon.com.
Posted by editor on Saturday, 14 November 2009
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery – 3 October 2009 to 14 March 2010. During World War II, over 200,000 women joined the Women’s Land Army. The heroic image of the land girl standing tall in her corduroy breeches, green jumper and brown felt hat, fork resting over her shoulder, has become an iconic symbol of the triumph of wartime agriculture.
This exhibition highlights personal stories, propaganda, paintings, posters and photographs. It reveals the experiences of women as they leave their pre-war lives to learn milking, rat catching, threshing and tractor driving. At the heart of this story are the surviving items of their distinctive uniform – where it was made, who wore it, what they did, how women felt about wearing it and the reactions they encountered.
Posted by editor on Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. Saturday 14 November. A talk by social and cultural historian Sarah Tobias. Find out how people celebrated Christmas when money and luxuries were in short supply and food was rationed. Includes ideas for thrifty retro gifts and decorations.
Tickets £12; booking details on http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/Museums/brightonmuseum/Pages/home.aspx
Posted by editor on Thursday, 5 November 2009
get out of my area
you’re even scarier
if a little less hairier
(if spines are hairs that are dense)
than Cirsium arvense
that grows ever more dense
as it creeps along my fence
and spoils the aesthetic sense
and gives me the fear
unlike Senecio jacobaea
that can almost appear
like a little yellow cheer
unless you’re a steer
in which case you’d better steer clear
because it will kill you.
Then into this milieu
comes Rumex obtusifolious
that is almost the holiest
for an Urtica sting
it will do its thing
and soothe your skin
in an act akin
to self sacrifice.
some weeds are nice…
Poem by Renee McAlister (gardener, and Garden House friend)