The trials and tribulations of
An independent designer.
An independent designer.
sn’t it strange how some things lead to other things?
I like to think that I’ve had a dynamic master plan all these years that will take me straight from A to B, and I always start out with that intention, but of course life’s not like that, is it? Well mine never seems to be, it’s more like being stuck in a pin ball machine, pinging off in all sorts or directions, some high scoring, others not so, proving over and over, that it’s never about the destination and all about the journey.
You’ll know if you’ve read any of my other blogs that, like a skylark, my life is governed by the season, by my garden, and what my bees are up to. I’ve spent 17 years, planting fruit trees, vegetable patches and herbaceous borders, planning what will be flowering this year and what will be there next, and as every tree and plant took root, so too did I. But, in the last 6 months, almost without warning, I’ve had to leave my beautiful garden behind. Of course, in comparison to world events it’s of no consequence, but on a personal level? It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, knowing that now, someone else will be enjoying the warm, Spring sun in the shade of a tree that I planted and witnessing the blooming of flowers that I chose to grow.
All great artist will teach you, that if you truly want to capture the essence of your subject, you must make your darks dark and you lights, light, only then can you convey the volume, depth and emotion in your image. And I suppose life’s a little like that. In order to appreciate the light, you must first have shade. And light, I’ve discovered, can take on a rich variety of colours and forms. This I have found in my amazing friends and neighbours, none more so than one such neighbour, whose family occupies a grand old house near to my old home, and who leant me a corner of an old walled garden to house one of my displaced hives then, went on to welcome me into her environment, providing me with a safe place to work from and, access to the most extra ordinary of worlds.
Before I left, I managed to take 3 plants: A scented, climbing rose, a pot of agapanthus, grown from seeds given to me by the beekeeper at Tresco Botanical Gardens, and some Iris which belonged to my Dad, given to him by his Mum, my Nan who, I rather think, “acquired” them from Saville Gardens in Windsor around the 1920s... she always maintained, “The King hadn’t missed them”. In keeping with their Royal heritage, the Iris are destined for pots in the walled garden. The other two are holding their collective breaths on the tiniest of balconies, all of us refugees from another life, waiting for the day when we are reunited on more permanent ground.
But for now? my bees and I work amongst the whispers of Victorian gardeners, beneath fruit trees that have seen a 100 Springs. Each day I walk down corridors, as shadows of scullery and lady’s maids brush against me while they go about their timeless tasks; and on, into music rooms where Edwardian ladies, in clouds of gossamer, tulle, swirl past to music barely heard between my heartbeats. Blink and they evaporate, absorbed by the present…but I fancy, when I’m gone, they dance on. This beautiful old house has seen many families, and generations, all adding a little to its depth, to its story, ever evolving, but somehow always the same. And I find it kind of comforting, looking through its’ bleary glass, onto a courtyard, where once grand carriage stood, knowing that over time, 100s of people would have witnessed the same scene. And now, thanks to this generosity of spirit, I am, for while at least, part of the laminate history of this unique existence.