Tuesday…with giant echiums and ceramics

May 5, 2015

Filed Under : Art - My Garden - My Home - Open House - Spring - The Shed - workshops

imageLast week was a bit full on…I was organising the final stages of the Open House exhibition which started here at home over the weekend and will run for another 3 weekends here in Brighton…

So yesterday potting up giant echium ( or echium pininana ) seedlings felt like a bit of time out…
image Last year, the giant echium in the garden caused quite a stir…there was no frost that winter and it had flowered quite early and felt like I had a living sculpture in the garden… and although I didn’t know it at the time, had already started to inspire another artist…GardenOver this winter, which was harder than the one before, I really tried to protect the echium plants which had yet to flower, as I really wanted them to flower in May…image ( I actually kept this one which was a seedling last year, in the shed, in a pot, throughout the winter which seems to have saved it )imageI had big hopes for all of these…I had imagined 4 giant echiums as an impressive showpiece…image…propping them up and wrapping them up throughout the snow and frost…image…but the frost got into the top of this one, and although it’s trying so hard to be productive it will be nothing like the size I had hoped for by the size of it’s stem…imageimage …however, one of them is certainly making strides, but probably won’t flower for another couple of weeks…image…if I look after these 2 this winter, they will flower next year…image …and this one was doing fine, until something attacked the top…it was probably caterpillars which is so annoying, but also it’s those same caterpillars which have brought blue tits into the garden for the first time since I’ve lived here ( which is 15 years tomorrow! )

And here is an early seedling from last Summer…again if I look after it throughout the cold months, it will flower in the same spot as last year’s mammoth purple spire…imageSo, this year I wanted to pot up seedlings and really care for them early on, so that if anyone showed interest in the plant they could have one to take home…

…last weekend there were no seedlings to be seen and I was a bit disappointed, but yesterday they were there and I dug up and potted over 120!imageAt first they were quite tricky to find, and there is a similarity in look in the early stages, to forget-me-not seedlings…image…but the echiums have a slightly more pointed second leaf, are slightly spotty and slightly more furry…imageGiant Echium seedling…imageForget-Me-Not seedling…imageimageAs part of the Open House this year I had asked ceramic artist Frances Doherty to show her work in the garden, which you’ve probably already spotted…

…and this was one of the pieces she brought round last week; a giant, ceramic echium pininana, which she had created with metal artists Alan Williams...

It is such a show piece and quite a wonderful thing to have at home, especially as it was the plant in the back garden last year which had inspired its creation…
imageFran’s other pieces are just as fantastic and I’d basically like them all to live here…imageimageimage I love that these ceramic lace cap hydrangeas are placed right next to the living ones…just on the right in this picture, but are not yet in flower…image…and the shed has become a real retreat too, now that it’s had it’s May makeover, and I’m having a go at bringing a lot more colour into the garden this year too…

I’ve also decided to hold a sort of social media open day this Friday if you’d like to come along to see the exhibition, shed ( and table, even! ).

It gets quite busy at the Open House weekends and I thought it would be a nice idea to just give over time to people who love to take photographs and not to feel constricted in any way by other people around not taking photos…let’s face it, for all of us on Instagram and have blogs, it’s very liberating to be encouraged and actually told we can take photos!

You can turn up any time between 10am and 5pm, but it would be lovely if you could let me know if you’d like to come…3. IG PV Invite May 2015
So, although I’m still quite tired from everything last week, I am slowly girding myself for even more Brighton Festival arty pursuits, as I will be holding a 5ftinf Pop-Up Shop as part of the Brighton Fringe at Vine Street Vintage in the North Laines in Brighton in a couple of weeks…so it’s going to be really important to find more quiet moments with a cup of tea and a bit of gardening…image

One thought on “Tuesday…with giant echiums and ceramics

  1. confitures

    hello ! i will again miss your OpenHouse this year 🙁 but hopefully during the week of June 9th, you will have an Pop-up Shop somewhere in Brighto ?!
    A bientot,
    corinne

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