Friday, July 31, 2009

Of cabbages, kings and thrift shops!

From "The Pleasures of Gardening" by Angela Stanford

I love thrift, or charity shops, the pleasure of going in and never knowing quite what I'll find, the thrill of spotting something special (well special to me anyway), knowing that I won't be charged the earth for it and the little I do pay will go towards supporting a good cause. We have 2 or 3 in Kingsbridge and I patronise them all. Some very wealthy people live, or holiday, in the South Hams and so there are often real finds to be had.

I search for vintage textiles, old shirts, pillowcases and blankets, all of which can be cut up and remade into DevonBears products as I adore patchwork and applique and have recently been moving back towards "painting with fabric" rather than watercolours, after all, fabric has always been my first love ....

As well as textiles I adore books of all kinds and was fortunate enough to come across a real treasure in Oxfam earlier this week. It's called "The Pleasures of Gardening" by an enormously talented lady called Angela Stanford - and my copy is signed by her too!! Sadly, after checking on Amazon and the publisher's website it would seem that the book is out of print, and I haven't been able to find anything out about Angela, but I would urge you to look for this book - it's wonderful. I love the way she combines beautiful detailed watercolours with flawless calligraphy and still manages to impart some useful facts. The pictures below (and the one at the top of this post) come from the summer section ...

Not that I've been in the garden very much this month. June was glorious, but July has been every bit as bad as the last two years and I don't think we've been promised much improvement in August. The fig tree at the top of the garden loves all this warm damp weather though and is busy creating its own rain forest, together with the hydrangeas which are romping away and the rambling rose which has rambled over everything creating a sort of jungle effect. I really must do some pruning - last night Ben woke me up 3 times convinced there were tigers at the top of the garden - and who knows, he could well have been right!!

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