Posts Tagged ‘Burgess Hill’

A little bit of Africa in Sussex

July 29, 2014 2 comments


9″ x 7″ approx
There are things you want to buy when you live somewhere but don’t, things you buy and regret and then there are things you buy later because it would have been nice to have bought them at source. I read recently that we often buy things when in the throws of nostalgia. Afterwards you have to find somewhere to put them.

We bought this carving in Sussex in the days when a reasonable middling income didn’t attract higher rate tax but still allowed one some disposable income (that is all reversed now). It was an impulse buy; having gone past our turning we turned round in a driveway and saw among other statues they were selling this carved Shona woman. We have a little one in the same stone inside called “Granny” which was bought in Africa…on impulse- we thought she was £20 but that had been the jet lag doing the calculation…..still no regrets, we love them both.

This flower bed was pretty this year if a little sparse on the lavender…wonder that it survived that wet winter at all. I should take some precautionary cuttings to root and keep in drier conditions over winter. I will do the same for the cotton lavender and see if I can obtain the seeds for the perennial poppy in soft orange that was part of the original planting. Compare with the same bed (June 2010 picture 85 or thereabouts) when I sketched it before-while England lost at football, some things don’t change much.

Just spent Sunday going to most of the open gardens in Burgess Hill we managed 6/8….they vary as much as the people who own them.I was very taken by climbing hardy fuchsia Lady Boothby; bright upper and smouldering lower parts on five foot ruby stems. One small garden had been subdivided about four times making an entrance, a main room, a dining pavilion, and a lounging room off the main, hidden behind the bijou opulent dining pavilion was a greenhouse and water feature…I felt ashamed at the emptiness of my beds only the backdoor pots can compete. The owners of several of the houses seemed to have a real knack of cramming personal references into their garden, they were as gloriously abundant as a Christmas display in Harrods or Selfridges. I am afraid I decorate sparsely – more like a string of token tinsel about the greengrocers vegetables in my case!! Actually I couldn’t garden that intensively as it would be too much work, what a treat to see other people do it well.

I have however put the old broken cupids back in the pots by the back door (see above). The plants hide the broken bases, my grandmother forced these figures on me one day( “Here,have these you can patch them up!”), and, as I had not wanted them and they were badly broken, they sat in a box unloved and unused for at least twelve years. There was no chance of my mending them not having any handy machinery for cutting the green onyx or alabaster which had fallen off the plaster bases and where to get the hideous stone anyway? I like them waving or drowning in the annuals though.


Portland rose–a painting a day

June 6, 2010 Leave a comment

SOLD   size 3 in x 4.5 in 8cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Today I picked two and a half pounds of strawberries with help from No2 son. No1 son was tying himself in knots with quadratic equations. I know I used to be good at these but I can’t remember how without more concentration than I have to spare. Luckily for all of us his father is very good at maths. I had no problems with maths at O level as our teacher got us through the syllabus a year early and then made us do every paper from 1952 to the previous year; the exam was in no way terrifying after that marathon. Miss Delaney was tiny, a reformed nun and so Irish she had had to learn English at school as a second language. Her hero was Pythagoras who, she told us, had been a methodical thinker and she wanted us gels to be like him and think methodically. She had never got her tongue round the’ th’ sound and so what she asked us to do was to” tink metodically” She had a wonderful kind but sharp sense of humour in addition …she did need it with us.

Today’s picture is also tiny- about life size, it’s the lovely round or rather spherical (maths, it gets to you) buds of the Portland Rose. This is an old rose with a very bushy shape. It has a lovely smell and it loves the clay soil here, it has just got fatter and fatter.

I went into Burgess Hill today and visited some open studios, they were very kind and friendly and there was some good work there. I especially liked the felted image of the sky after the planes started flying again in Crescent Road and the lovely wooden bowls that had been turned at another house opposite. The houses had been busy today and yesterday; I only got round four but enjoyed meeting them all. It seems most places near here have open studio events but not here. Could I face having an open studio, could my family? I think on the whole it’s a very noble thing to do and pretty brave.


#69 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

Geraniums in the half moon bed,in the foreground G.Clarkei Kashmir white and purple,in the middle G.Patricia and all over the place G.pyranaicum.The taller pink flowers are the fluffy heads of Thalitricum aquilegifolium,the maroon is an aquilegia. This bed was dug out and planted up April/May last year.

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