Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

We have been lucky with the weather (although today isn’t looking so great), and we have been so fortunate to have a team of fantastic volunteers, who have worked extremely long hours in order to create a stunning garden.  Mike Russell has certainly designed the most amazing show piece and I am so grateful to him for all the time he has given, in order to achieve the finished project.


Fantastic plants and veg fill the garden

We are nearly there now – today will consist of all the finishing touches and fine detail extras.

Yesterday evening the water feature received some TLC and it now looks as though it has been established for years.  The wheel (which can just be seen at the top of the photo below), when turned, regulates the flow of the water – such detail!

Water feature

A well established water feature

The head sculpture, made from old Land Rover parts, has a character all of its own – it made me smile when I saw it – made me think of Wizard of Oz or, as someone suggested, a Tim Burton movie, take a look below.


He looks a real character

And so at 9am tomorrow morning judging will take place.  Results will be out at 11.30am and so I have everything crossed for all those who have spent so much time – most of it on a voluntary basis – to receive the credit and recognition they deserve!  I won’t be able to add to this blog until Sunday, but if you want to find out how we do follow @amanjon on twitter.  Or better still – come and see us at The Shrewsbury Flower Show – Friday 13 and  Saturday 14 August 2010.


Stained glass

The piece of stained glass featuring in the arbour


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Mike Russell and his team of landscapers have been hard at work in The Quarry – venue for Shrewsbury Flower Show, since the end of last week.

On my first trip to see them, the labyrinth was taking shape…..


The labyrinth is laid

At the weekend the most amazing arbour had been installed and the oak had been cut to form the raised beds……


Arbour & oak raised beds

Mike and his team are superb craftsmen, the finishes being applied to the oak sleepers is pure quality.  I don’t really know what I was expecting, but this isn’t just any garden, it really is a masterpiece.

Today the art boards have arrived!  And don’t they look magnificant?


The boards will run across the back of the garden

The water feature is looking good – Chris has made a stunning job of the wood surrounding it.

Any finally, a photo of the team – they have really put in the hours – working most of the weekend.  I am so grateful.


Team Shot!

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The art boards are finished – they will feature at the back of the garden – behind the arbour and the fruit trees, and slightly up the sides.  The clients at Headway Shropshire have spent an enormous amount of time creating these and they are amazing.

Painted Board

One of the Boards

They have created 12 boards in total – we are going to have some fun next week selecting which one goes where.

A board

A Real Splash of Colour

The boards will have a protective finish applied prior to facing the elements.  Obviously we hope for some sunshine as the metalic gold paint particularly will look so pretty with the sun glinting off it.


Metalic Gold Features on the Boards

This time next week construction begins, I’ll be posting photos of the garden as it starts to take shape for the Shrewsbury Flower Show on Friday 13  and Saturday 14 August.  Hopefully by the end of the day on Thursday 12 August it will be finished, the video will be completed and we’ll be ready to enjoy showing it off to the public, our friends and clients of Headway Shropshire – it should be an enjoyable couple of days.


Lined up Ready for the Show

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The clock is really ticking now, but our band of merry volunteers continue to work in their gardens in order to produce some fantastic produce for our Shrewsbury Flower Show show garden.

PI solicitor Dawn Humphries has been a star at keeping her garden journal, but take a look at this photo – such a stylish gardener!

Dawn Humphries

Dawn Waters the Garden

And here is her latest entry:

“I now realise that gardening, like life, is littered with highs and lows, and sadly the odd fatality.  It is with regret that I inform you of the tragic demise of a courgette, several cabbages, and four purple sprouting broccoli!

“As I write this dispatch, I am threatened by sustained and devastating airborne attack on my beautiful blue brassica’s, who now bear shrapnel wounds … (in remarkably distinct munch shaped detail of the white cabbage butterfly’s caterpillar).  I am having the dental records assessed.

“The after school snipers have been skilful in their stealth like attempts to sabotage my sugar snaps, but have been thwarted by my warlike cries of “bath time” and “homework”.  My leeks stand tall and are unaffected by the casualties of war.

“But, despite such devastation, my pride is the last standing Courgette, which is now in full bloom, and all being well, may be heavily laden by D day (I just wish it wasn’t Friday the 13th).”

Another solicitor has already had to harvest the peas!

Her feedback included “On last count we had 94 pots containing peas, beans, marigolds, another flower, name currently escaping me, lots and lots of brassicas, some parsley, chives and basil.  We had to harvest the peas as they were about to pull the plants over (they were very tasty), the beans are also doing well.  The marigolds and other flowers are thinking of flowering fairly soon. ”

Back at Headway Shropshire, Mike Russell has been along this week to check on progress.  Everything is growing well and looking healthy.  The painted boards apparently are looking even more magnificent than before – is that really possible!  I wonder if there will be interest to buy these – would raise some great funds for the charity.

Art boards

Such colour

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It was apparent that the recent wet weather has been most welcome in the Headway Shropshire garden as the plants seem to have progressed in leaps and bounds!  Suddenly, everything has burst into life and had a growth spurt, from the tomatoes and courgettes, to the marigolds and sunflowers.


Brightly coloured Marigolds

Rachel visited the garden this morning and said she was amazed at how quickly the courgettes had appeared after only being re-potted several weeks ago during the horticultural workshop.  I didn’t know that they produce huge yellow flowers, which look lovely, however Rachel found out the hard way that their leaves are very prickly on the underside!


Flowering Courgettes

Apparently the sweet peas are all a beautiful pink colour and flourishing, the marigolds a vivid orange, and the carrots, sweetcorn and runner beans are all looking healthy and robust! So this is all looking good as Show Day is only 3 weeks away!

The art room is still a hive of activity (there is actually very little visible floor space!), the clients continue to make copper wire butterflies, and are covering them with angeline material.  Rachel took a photo of a book that was open on one desk with beautiful colour pictures of moths and butterflies ready to be copy sketched, so the theme is obviously a popular one!

Open Book

Ready for sketching

It is great to see just how this project has caught the imagination of the clients and staff at Headway Shropshire.  I am delighted that Lanyon Bowdler has been able to offer such a fantastic opportunity.

As we are now on count down to the Shrewsbury Flower Show – I’ve got to the stage where I just can’t wait to see the finished garden.

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I have mentioned in previous posts how the Art Room at Headway Shropshire is an amazing place, all those paints, fabrics and materials make me want to sit down and ‘get creative’.  When we started the project, I didn’t realise just how many fantastic ideas would come from this room.  We have the splendid, colourful backboards – there are shimmering butterflies and now a vine of copper leaves has been created.

Welding Leaves

Leaves being welded to make a vine

Once the leaves had been welded onto the stem, someone popped it in a tree so that we could see what it would look like!

Copper Leaves in a Tree

Getting the full effect

With only 34 days to Show Day – things are starting to rev up a bit, we have our Chamomile lawn being grown – courtesy of a very kind member of staff from Lanyon Bowdler.  The first draft of our flyer for handing out at the Show has been mocked up, which looks great.

The Quarry park in Shrewsbury will soon start to come to life with marquees being built – it takes several weeks to get ready for the Flower Show, let’s hope summer stays with us just a little longer.

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The rain clouds didn’t bode well for the horticultural workshop scheduled for this morning at the Headway Shropshire garden, however it didn’t put anyone off!  Rachel and I had gone along to Headway Shropshire to help Mike Russell, our show garden designer, with a horticultural workshop he was holding for the clients of Headway.  The idea of the workshop was to involve the clients in potting on the vegetable produce and companion plants currently being grown at Headway for inclusion in the Shrewsbury Flower Show ‘show garden’.  As gardening is renowned as being very therapeutic, it was also an excellent rehabilitative exercise for the clients.

Setting Up

Ready for the potting to start


Shelter from the rain

The workshop got started at 9.30am, with a gazebo being set up in the garden to shelter us all from the imminent rain, whilst Mike brought along tables and benches for the Headway clients to work at, together with numerous bags of potting compost and spare pots.


Getting stuck in

Several of the Headway clients then joined us and were soon getting their hands dirty re-potting plants, transferring seedlings, and digging the ground.  Rachel made herself useful by transferring marigolds from their seedling trays into large pots to enable them to grow on, she also made sure she seized the opportunity for plenty of photographs.


Planting seedlings

Luckily we managed to get the majority of the planting done before the rain started!

It was clear that the Headway clients thoroughly enjoyed themselves, especially as they came back after lunch to carry on with the gardening after the workshop had finished!

Today had also been about finishing off the filming for our Shrewsbury Flower Show commercial.  Howard was back, complete with his camera and all the tricks.  Having spent some time shooting footage in the garden, we went up to the art room to take a look at what was going on there.


Patiently worked on by clients at Headway

Headway Shropshire clients Paul and James were working on a couple of the panels for the backdrop of the garden.  Both are wheelchair bound – James paints by holding his paintbrush in his mouth.  To watch them working on the boards was really moving – it made me realise just how much effort has been put into these amazing pieces of art – Howard filmed James and Paul whilst they painted and I really hope it’ll appear in our finished commercial.

Finally I met Stuart – Stuart had suffered a head injury as a result of a terrible car accident.  Stuart has been the talent behind the copper leaves, he also worked in the garden this morning.  He said to me that the project has been wonderful and how much he has enjoyed getting involved.


Copper leaves created by Stuart

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