It's taken a while but finally and in time for the Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope's Leeds show - we have a finished Lilliput Lane model of Lawson Park, their vision of how it will be. This model along with the Japanese house will be editioned as a joint multiple of 21. The Japanese house will then be used in the village in Japan where the village will produce models for the gift market - an alternative product for the village, craft based and a bit different for Japan and hopefully a start of something new in terms of product. Lawson Park model will also be produced, not exactly sure what we will do with it to give it some bite, we will think of something, available on the honesty stalls soon.
I had kind of forgotten that art people find these things gross, the idea that some aesthetics are not acceptable seems strange now, these models just make me think about what it is that appeals so much, the smallness, the change of proportions, the image of the rural, of heritage, of life style fantasy. The magazine that Lilliput Lane put out (50,000) has many testamonials from buyers, touching explanations of the joy these things bring to thier owners, often linked to death, a vision of heaven. Laugh if you must.
Visited today by the grandson of the man that used to own Lawson Park back in the 1930's. He not only donated a Sycamore bowl he had made for the collection, but also had this photograph from 1937 of the house, an item that he and his family have treasured - a heart warming day
Peter Hodgson is a local man that works with horn, he makes beautiful spoons and other bits and pieces all of which have been selling very well through the honesty stalls, particularly the London one. He also makes these lovely funny drawings of animals which he sells as postcards. We thought it would be nice to make some simple cups for him to do his drawings on, so here's a few examples - £5 each off the stalls or direct + £2 p&p eveyone's a one-off.
Garden is closing up for the year, somone stole the money box from the honesty stall last week, which is the first time so not bad really - here's an image of a happy summer and a film star good looks carrot. First frosts this week so mushrooms are really over, a disappointing year, but after last year we can't complain.
Instead of joining the hordes shuffling round nearby villages, Team Grizedale spent the Bank Holiday strimming and a-raking our 3 acre wildflower meadow. Or at least some of it....
Bank Holiday takings = £9.78
We just got accepted for the NGS open garden scheme! We first offered ourselves up a few years ago, but were scuppered by the dodgy access issues and -ahem- lack of hard landscaping on the site, making it all a bit hazardous for the typical NGS mature visitor!
This time however, the building works are on track so we plan to open late August 2008.
Meanwhile we have planted - exploiting the sodden August weather - our bog at last with a yellow colour scheme throughout: Primula bulleyana, primula sikkemensis and the splendid yellow and purple veined iris 'Holden Clough' with a few carex grasses and evergreen ferns intermingled.
Lawson Park Garden has just been accepted into the prestigious National Garden Scheme, or 'Yellow Book' as its called by those in the know. The scheme raises money for charity by opening mainly private gardens to the public, and usually offering teas and plant sales alongside. Grizedale sees its participation as part of its education and outreach work, communicating its overall aims to new audiences through the garden and land programme.
We haven't yet confirmed the open date but it's likely to be late August 2008.
Whilst the local NGS coordinator braved the sodden garden, George got on with the long-awaited planting up of the new bog garden. I joined him for the afternoon, at which point the general dampness turned into a steady downpour. However, though this may be nasty for humans, for the bog plants - Primulas, ferns and irises - it was perfect.
Though I've spent a fair amount of time in Japan in the last few years, I sadly didn't manage to meet any of the country's many highly skilled gardeners.
'Niwaki' by Jake Hobson (Timber Press) is thus a godsend for the gradual Japanification that is happening in the garden as much as in the kitchen here.
We have plans to place a Japanese Tea House in our meadow, and to form a bridge between it and the native plants all around I decided to prune some of the very characterful ancient hawthorn nearby in the 'Niwaki' style. Of course I forgot to take the 'Before' picture, but here is the 'After'. The process basically means pruning, tying down and staking trees to 'fake' a kind of premature aging, concentrating on encouraging horizontal growth, 'pads' of foliage, and opening up views into the bark and limbs of the specimen. With already ancient trees like this one, the process is a little easier and faster than it might be with, say, a new bonsai - which is more or less the same process but smaller.
No idea how these self-sown trees will take to this treatment, so watch this space for a 2008 report.