About Me

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North Somerset, United Kingdom
My parents were worried when I ran around with scissors – now I play with fire and (intentionally) break glass! Based in the beautiful South West of England, close to the sea and often the scene of beautiful sunsets, I am inspired by the countryside around. Working with sea glass collected from remote beaches, soda lime glass from Murano, Italy, Europe, USA and beyond, I create artisan beads, for use in my own jewellery or for you to enjoy in your own creations. But I couldn’t stop there; continuing the theme from round rods to flat sheets, mostly from the USA, I break large sheets of transparent, opaque, multi-coloured and dichroic glass into much smaller pieces to make a kiln-formed range of bright, colourful jewellery and home decoration. Each piece I make is individually designed around the shape, size and beauty of the materials and intended to be unique, wearable, usable and affordable. All my glass work is kiln annealed for strength and durability and designed to give pleasure for years to come.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Spring has sprung ...!

But where are the daffodils?

For a variety of reasons our garden used to flood. Badly. We took steps to put in our own land drainage and eventually gave up on the lawn, nay moss border, and had raised beds made from oak sleepers, with a pond built in. Nothing really grew before so we invested in some new plants in the vain hope we could have all year round colour. My parents were brilliant gardeners, my father gardened semi-professionally and my mother could get a dead plant to flower. My sister has inherited green fingers. I fear I haven't.

On a trip to Cornwall 18 months ago I visited a daffodil farm and stocked up on all sorts of daffs. I love them for their cheery colour, something we were sadly lacking in our garden. We planted away, with a few tulips for good measure and sat back waiting for things to happen. Last spring we had a reasonable show of flowers, this year is disappointingly less. Only the bluebells show great promise, and they were here when we moved in, albeit under polythene sheeting to keep down weeds and plants under gravel. Transplant them to the middle of a bed and they creep back to the edges, these poor things think they are wall flowers. Yet again they may be my best effort for the year.

A few things are doing quite well for us. The double hellebore comes from a local nursery. I love hellebores (except the green stinking hellebore for obvious reasons) and happily pay money for them. So far this one has survived the last few weeks and I'm hoping will manage a little longer than the daffodils. Perhaps the daffodils are a summer variety!

The primroses hold a special place in my heart. My family came from Norfolk, with my grandparents and their grandparents living in Oxborough. A few years ago I went back to visit family and friends after a difficult chapter in my life and we visited Oxborough Hall, where my family had worked in the past. Having been visiting Norfolk and family for nigh on half a century I'd never been to the Hall nor the ruined church besides. As we walked around the church ruins and I explained to my husband what this place meant to me we saw that some plants were displayed for sale. Two words struck a chord with me: 'plants' and 'sale'. As I thought about how to spend the few pounds in my purse, a lady brought along a basket of primroses. As we talked she explained she lives in some converted workers cottages in the road where the 1881 census showed my grandparents and family living. These were from her garden and had always been there. Deal done. Pretty flowers from the road where my grandparents had lived was too hard to resist. Each spring they remind me of Oxborough, my family and a wonderful holiday.

Our new pond is in early stages; no fish - the cats would catch them in minutes and we already have enough problems with frogs being brought into the house from the ponds next door. Whilst we work out how to get around this we have planted a few things. I can't remember what this is, a yellow marigold perhaps, but it's showing more life than the water lily and yellow iris. In fact I think it needs either re-potting or a root pruning.

I think the star of the show though for long distance visibility is the cherry tree. At the far end of the garden, it can be seen from the kitchen window. Like everything else in my garden it's not without a story. The tree was bought back in 2001 when I lose one of my cats. Ginger was a stray who arrived one Christmas, gashed face and unloved and stayed 4 years before losing a battle to stomach cancer. He was gone before we knew it and we were devastated. We wanted something to remember him by and decided a tree flowering about the time we lost him would be fitting. The tree was a Prunus Mume 'Beni Chidori' chosen for it's spring flowers but aptly named because our other cat, Benny, constantly chided Ginger. Grown in a big pot, it moved several times as my life changed, never failing to have peach leaf curl whatever I did to help it. Then it seemed to grow another branch way down the stem, much stronger, healthier and no peach leaf curl. Soon the lower branch, not obviously from a rootstock but must be, took over and the original plant was cut off. The new plant is much more successful and happier with its surroundings. We hope it's symbolic of the changes in my life.

Meanwhile we eagerly await the bluebells, another month should do it!

1 comment:

  1. lovely post, bring on the spring! I have lost many plants this year due to the dreadful winter.