Friday, 28 June 2013

Lots of New Ideas at TWIGS

The Open Day at TWIGS on the 23rd of June was as good as the promotional material promised.
There were willow sculptures made from Plaum's Pit willow, here's a large bird on an arbour:
And good ideas to be had, like this large planter made out of recycled decking, what a very good idea for using it up:
 With a coat of garden paint, this would look very smart.
The sunken meeting room is wonderful, what an asset to a garden, here's a view looking out:
And an embroidered wall hanging:
A couple more photos of the garden, including the domed structure which is so lovely:

And finally the courtyard where people were drinking coffee, eating cake and listening to music:
The plant sales were doing a roaring trade, and people were also buying second hand tools and finding out more about bee keeping. The next event I think is for National Gardens on the 21st of July, 1-5pm.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Plough Inn Looks almost Ready to Open

The Plough Inn, an Arkells pub on the corner of Devizes and Croft Road in Old Town looks almost ready to open after a complete internal and external refurbishment.
The stained glass windows were removed because they were very bowed; Richard Thorne our local stained glass expert took them away, straightened them out and can be seen below fitting them back into the window frames:
 Here he is preparing the window frames
And below fixing the repaired glass.

And the final effect:
It looks perfect.
What sort of sign will be painte don the sdie of the building?

The builders renovating the Plough were there today, a Saturday, so are keen to finish the job.

Maybe it's opening this evening, the 28th of June, here's a photo of the side of the pub with the scaffolding removed:
The Plough is now open, here's a photo of one of the walls inside, it's filled with wood.

And the external appearance is charming:
The two hanging baskets and window boxes add a bit of colour.

The Courts and Great Chalfield Manor are a Perfect Day Out

The Courts Garden in Holt near Melksham is a wonderfully well thought out garden with some very interesting species of plants, it has the bonus of a really good cafe on the site and good, reasonably priced plants from the garden for sale. If you chose the correct days, Great Chalfield Manor, a mile away on foot across fields is also a lovely place to visit, refreshments are DIY tea and coffee, so don't expect a feast there.
For more on the gardens visit the National Trust website:
Here's a sample of what both places have to offer:
 The plant above is luscious, large and appears in various places around the garden.
 Very forward examples above.
 Trained fruit trees look so good.
 The Courts Copper Beech has an amazing spread of branches and seems wider than it is tall.
 Above what looks like a Hawthorn is in fact a Cornus, detail of flowers below.

 Above one of the gorgeous long borders with a temple at the end.
 Grasses can be a bit plain, these were spectacular, above detail of the flowers and below the overall appearance:

 The labels this year were lovely, take a decent twig, slice a sliver off, write the name of the plant and varnish it.In this case Clematis integrifolia was a lovely plant. shown below.

 Above the back of Great Chalfield Manor
 Above and below, paving with plants growing between the cracks looks very good.

Another Brilliant Turn out for Swindon Open Studios this Year

Thank you to all those who have joined Swindon Open Studios this year, we now have 37 separate entries with a few more in the pipeline. This is a very exciting time for the three organisers, seeing our plans coming to fruition.
A reminder of the details:
The Launch of Open Studios is on Friday the 6th of September from 7pm at Artsite, followed by two weekends of Open Studios on the 7th/8th and 14th/15th of September.
The website gives details of artists taking part:
When we have gathered all details of those taking part, Jane Milner- Barry will collate the brochure which we aim to have available from 1st of August.
In the meantime, please spread the word about SOS 2013, there are still people around who don't know Swindon hosts an Open Studios each year in September..
Here's a copy of the poster, although it's too soon to display it.

TWIGS Community Garden Open Day 23rd June 11am-4pm

TWIGS has a wonderful range of events happening on Sunday 23rd of June, it's well worth a trip to see their wonderful gardens, with so many ideas for improving your own garden, or gaining more enjoyment from looking at gardens.
Here's a photo from last years event held on the 24th of June:
They say:
Join us for the Summer open day on Sunday 23rd June from 11am to 4pm. Adults £2, Concessions £1.50 and Children free.

The gardens, craft studio and wildlife haven will be open. Enjoy our new willow sculptures in the gardens and buy plant supports made with our own willow harvested near Plaum's Pit. Refreshments from Friends of Twigs make a welcome return. Enjoy our beautiful organic gardens and discover ideas to take home for your own. Our Plants remain at the same prices this year as last.

Here's a copy of their poster with opening dates for 2013:

TWIGS also open under the National Garden Scheme, as you can see from the above poster,on the 21st of July, and opened on the 26th of May. If you click on the link, do put in your postcode and find gardens open around your area.

Artsite's 5 Year Celebration and much more - 6th July from 12 noon onwards

This looks like a not to be missed event for those who can make it on the 6th of July.
Artsite was founded in 2000, and moved to the present location, the former GPO building 5 years ago, and now are unveiling three public art pieces in Theatre Square on the 6th of July.
They have come so far, let's celebrate!
 Please note, the day is in two halves: 12-4pm and 7pm onwards.

Saturday 6th July 2013 11.00am to 4.00pm

Artsite would like to invite you to the Launch of the Number Nine Gallery and the unveiling of the of three public art pieces in Theatre Square.

His worship the Mayor will be officiating the Launch at 12 mid day.

There will be a festival atmosphere with music and drop in workshops at No.9 for all the family to enjoy. We are also celebrating five years at the Post Modern with the an interactive exhibition called EVOLVE documenting Artsite's history from the year 2000.

If you feel you have been part of the history of our growth, come and add your statements/photos or memories to our timeline. we would love to see you.

Celebrations will continue at the Post Modern from 7.00pm with a BBQ and Music
Hope to see you all there.

Also why not try a Saturday drawing workshop?

Friday, 14 June 2013

A Different Sort of Day out in Bath

 This was a day of 4 elements, firstly a visit to the Larkahall allotments, set on a hillside with wonderful views around, the range of styles and plantings is fascinating.
Here's a link:
Next onto St. Mary's church at Charlcombe on foot from the allotments passing via Woolley on our left. St. Mary's, Charlcombe is a Grade II listed building of Norman origin, over 1000 years old and is the oldest ecclesiastical building in use in Bath.
Inside the church is compact, with lots of coloured light from the stained glass windows, here's the font:

 And a gorgeous stained glass window:
 And a sculpture dedicated to someone who died at 26.

The church maintains a “Quiet Garden” in which can be found the ancient “Holy Well” fed by a spring. The water is famed for being good for the eyes, but looked a bit suspect to me. 

Then back for lunch in Lower Swainswick, and then home via the Bell in Walcot Street, recently saved from the steakhouse fate of the famous Hat and Feather by the generosity and concern of local people including Peter Gabriel and Robert Plant, more here:


 What a great day out.

National Gardens Weekend - 14th/15th of June

For the first time, the National Gardens Scheme has invited as many gardens as possible to take part in a unique festival of great gardens, large and small to open for charity.
A total of 800 gardens are open all over the country, so wherever you are, there will be lots of choice of gardens to visit. Their website is:
If you visit their site and put in your postcode, you can find something like 29 gardens within a 25 mile radius open this weekend.
Meanwhile at home, would my garden pass the rigorous test to be entered for the NGS?
Aquilegias are in full bloom at the moment:

The pond is a bit new and bleak:
But there are fabulous poppies at the moment:

And a few vegetables and woodstores:

 The woodstore from inside the shed:

 And outside