Tuesday, 17 August 2010

100 things I love 61 - 80

61. moonlight
62. silence
63. the ocean at night
64. cherries
65. home grown vegetables
66. optimists
67. french knots
68. the company of friends
69. textured wallpaper
70. turkish delight
71. baby chuckles
72. my mother
73. textured wallpaper
74. summer breezes
75. handmade pottery
76 .lavender
77. knitting interesting stitches & patterns
78. walking through the woods
79. wandering around garden centres
80. wood carvings

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

100 things I love: 41 - 60

41. the colour turquoise
42. orchids
43. candlelight
44. my grandchildren
45. skype
46. silence
47. texture
48. Joni Mitchell's music and lyrics
49. stained glass
50. subtle lighting
51. slate
52. empty beaches
53. mountain streams
54. the electric blue Mazda MX5 Anniversary edition car I drove in 2003-2005
55. iridescence
56. drinking from fine china cups or mugs
57. rose wine
58. linen clothes
59. sharing food with friends
60. rockpools

Saturday, 10 July 2010

100 things I love: 21-40

Here are 20 more of my favourite things:

21. margaritas
22. getting lost in creating art
23. cooking for those who appreciate it
24. picnics
25. laughter

26. lizards
27. my netbook
28. oak
29. clear glass Christmas ornaments
30. old buildings

31. the feel of fine bedlinen
32. Hendricks gin with Fevertree tonic, ice and a slice of lemon
33. old jewellery
34. the sound of acoustic guitars
35. old doors

36. home made juices
37. voices in harmony
38. taking photographs
39. honesty
40. the dragon my son carved for me

Thursday, 10 June 2010

100 things I love: 1-20

Inspired by Curious Lisa (whose blog I love!), I thought I'd list my favourite 100 things. I'll do 20 at a time, so as not to overwhelm you! In no particular order, and mostly focused on my garden on this occasion:

1. dewdrops
2. broad beans eaten in the garden, straight outof the pod
3. the smell of tomato plants
4. the sound of bubbling water
5. frogs

6. the scent of lilies
7. the scent of old fashioned roses
8. jasmine
9. relaxing in the sun with a glass of rose
10. hanging baskets

11. birdsong
12. hostas
13. breezes
14. the sound of wind chimes
15. summer rain

16. the sound of pebbles crunching as I walk the path
17. ferns
18. Acer palmatum
19. apples fresh from the tree
20. clematis flowers

Thursday, 13 May 2010

National Botanic Garden of Wales (5) - indoor art

The great glasshouse is full of beautiful plants, but scattered amongst the plants are pieces of art, which are typical of the continents the plants come from. This little arrangement reminded me of Arizona and Mexico.

A close up of the 'seed pod'.

In the Australia area, there are painted stones, reminiscent of Aboriginal art, but not so detailed - a beautiful lizard -

- a kangaroo -

- a turtle -

and others which you will have to visit the garden to see for yourself!

As well as the art in the great glasshouse, there is a gallery in the cafe and shop area, which has several interesting exhibitions each year, and glass corridor between the gallery and shop which houses some more permanent pieces, including several hanging stained glass panels with a botanical theme.

These large vessels, made from a mosaic of crockery pieces, is quite spectacular.

The current exhibition, running until 25th May, is absolutely unique and the pieces on display are stunning. Each piece is created by a jeweller, who incorporates botanical elements and metal in the pieces. I would have been happy to have taken any of the items on display home with me!

A 'ring' made from a skeleton seed pod.

Fabulous 'trees', made from lichen, mounted onto textured silver 'hills'. Beautiful.

This neckpiece is made from nylon line, and has seaweed 'pods' attached to it. Amazing!

I love the tree topped hill pictures, and the matching sculptures on display below.

A closer look at the 'trees' and rocks.

These rings were all made with cubes of lichen. Click on the photo for a better look.

Each of these brooches is made from glass mounted onto a disc of wood in a silver bezel, and a tree image. They are beautiful, but sadly (for me, not for the artist!) they had all been sold.

This final piece is about 2 feet wide by 3 feet tall, and is a beautiful pattern in a frame. Closer inspection reveals that the pattern is made from wild flower seeds...

The gallery at the garden has some pretty amazing exhibitions, I have seen art made from printed aluminium drinks cans, and also elaborately decorated and designed 'clothes' made from layers of paint and paper. I must go back in June to see what's on next!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

National Botanic Garden of Wales (4) outdoor art

In a pool alongside the main path, sits a water lily. No ordinary water lily, but one sculpted in metal, about a metre in diameter.

In the walled garden, a series of pieces, some more solid than others! This is a beautifully airy piece - an arrangement of white wood stems with white feathers tied to the top.

Nearby is a similar arrangement of natural coloured stems tied against a wall, with more feathers , ready to support a growing plant.

This ball of spheres within spheres creates interesting shadows, and invites the viewer to try rolling it!

Entwined bodies carved in stone - displayed on a pile of building blocks. It is beautiful enough to deserve a proper plinth!

Pram wheels held together with sculpted hands.

There is more art in the garden - both in the great glasshouse and in the gallery - and I will post about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

National Botanic Garden of Wales (3) - water features

The National Botanic Garden of Wales has many lakes, pools, ponds and water features. This is a spectacular indoor/outdoor water feature in the entrance foyer of the gardens. It must be 12 feet from top to bottom, and as well as looking very attractive, it lets light into the building.

A little way into the garden is the first of the lakes - there were either 7 or 13 originally, but they were filled in during the second world war, as German bomber planes were using them as navigational aids during bombing raids on nearby Swansea. The Garden has restored the first 3 lakes, and hopes to restore the remainder in due course. There is landscaped terracing with seating so that people can sit in a sheltered area to enjoy looking at the lake and the life within and upon it.

Somebody got a bit enthusiastic with their gesturing - this bracelet is on the lake bed, about 6 feet from the shore!

The main path through the garden leads from the entrance to the education centre, cafe, gallery, theatre and exhibitions. It is slightly sloping, and has a pebble lined rill snaking from the top of the hill where the buildings are to a pool with fountains near the entrance, a distance of around a quarter of a mile. The rill starts from a small pool at the top of the hill...

... runs past the education centre...

...on down the hill...

...where the water disappears underground....

... and bubbles up from another hole...

... before running down to the fountain...

There are several other formal water features in various locations around the garden - in the double walled garden, in the great glasshouse, along the main pathway, and this one near the cafe.

The garden also has sculptures, and art on the gallery, but more of that in the next post.