a way of life...

Month: August 2019

Searching for the light

Searching for a table lamp to brighten a gloomy hall has been quite a challenge.

A recent visit to the newly opened shop at RHS Garden Wisley provided the perfect solution.

Here on display was this lovely 100% recycled glass bottle lamp with its orange flex and Cherry Blossom shade.

Teamed with a ceramic jug and bowl from Toast and scented candle from Neptune the entrance hall has become a very welcoming space.

The finishing detail, a handful of freshly cut terracotta pom-pom dahlias from Sarah Raven.

Blue Monday

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference and I was thrilled when I succeeded at dying a very tired candlewick bedspread.

Sadly I did not take a “before” shot so I can only describe to you the state of this item prior to its revival. It was a lacklustre shade of peach which, I suspect in reality, was a very washed out orange.

The reason I chose to regenerate it was because it was the ideal fit for the double bed in the attic room above the garage. I had bought a new cover from Ikea but it was not as voluminous as the candlewick “hand-me-down” and therefore never quite lived up to expectation.

Acting on the spur of the moment I headed to our local hardware store and rummaged through their rather untidy selection of DYLON products. I decided to buy two “pods” to ensure a dense and even coverage. I chose Navy Blue, confident that it would reform the counterpane.

Before embarking on the process of dying I machine-washed the item to ensure that it was free of dust and dirt.

The DYLON instructions read:

  1. Put damp fabric into the drum. Remove sleeve, peel off lid and put the DYLON colour pod on top of the fabric.
  2. Run full cycle (30° or 40°C).
  3. Run another cycle (30° or 40°C) – with detergent.

What could be more simple! At the end of the process I had a beautiful navy blue throw that looked brand new.

Navy blue throw

It now acts as a protective cover to my exotic Joules bed linen, as well as adding an extra layer of warmth if required.

Exotic Joules bed linen

Tracey Emin at Wisley Gardens

Meet me in heaven – I will wait for you
A work by artist Tracey Emin exhibited at Wisley.

The Welcome building

The new welcome building at Wisley Gardens was opened on June 10th by RHS Director General, Sue Biggs.

I visited a few weeks later when Wisley Gardens hosted one of their Wisley “lates” on the evening of July 26th.

Sadly, the weather was not great on either occasion but it did not spoil my enjoyment and I’m sure it did not deter the crowd that had gathered for the formal opening.

Avenues of white cherry trees

As I arrived early evening the first spots of rain could be felt as I made my way across the beautifully landscaped entrance. Making my way through the avenues of white cherry trees I headed straight for the café to grab a cuppa whilst allowing the rain to pass over.

New Welcome building

Here I not only encountered this beautiful airy space with both indoor and outdoor covered seating but I also set eyes on the surrounding retail space.

Retail therapy

Divided into various different “rooms” a closer peek was irresistible.

Des Pots in Homeware

Naturally, Homeware was my first port of call, rapidly followed by the Bookshop which claims to be the largest Horticultural bookshop in this country, possibly in the world.

Horticultural bookshop

A vast array of gifts, fragrances, accessories, and original works of art, could also be found in the shop and in the Wisley Gallery.

Sculpture Exhibition

Once the rain had subsided I ventured into the gardens. Here a string quartet played gently on the lawn to the strangest audience…

Little Girl, Little Girl II, Little Girl III, by Lynn Chadwick

Little Girl, Little Girl II, Little Girl III, a sculpture by Lynn Chadwick was just one of the works that made up the exhibition curated by Suzy Bacon which is on display at Wisley Gardens until the end of the year.

Three works by renowned artist Henry Moore were also on display.

Locking Piece

The first I encountered was Locking Piece. Gargartuan in size it could not be ignored.

Sheep Piece

Sheep Piece, was positioned beyond the Glasshouse. Again huge in scale its influence, was apparently, that of a ewe and her lamb.

Draped Reclining Figure

As I completed the sculpture trail the last Henry Moore work I encountered was Draped Reclining Figure supremely mounted on a stone plinth.

Later works by more contemporary artists were included in the trail but the ones I found most striking were those by Henry Moore.

View from inside the shelter

Walking back to the exit I wandered alongside the lily pond and through the viewing shelter. As I turned I noticed how these tree trunks were framed by its walls and roof and couldn’t help but capture the image.

I’m sure this was no accident but it just struck me how enchanting the gardens at Wisley are and I shall be sure to visit again soon.

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