Flowers for Picking, a Summer Salad and an Artist Visits
It’s July and the glorious mid-summer sunshine has brought out an array of flowers throughout the garden. We have a beautiful bed of blue, pink and purple cornflowers alive with busy bees; a swathe of perfectly pink sweet William; and every shade of sweet pea you can imagine scrambling over hazel wigwams. All available for you to take home and brighten a room, for a small donation.
Our early potato harvest is well underway and a great way to enjoy them at their best is in a delicious summer salad. Bring the potatoes to the boil in a pan of salted water, and simmer them for ten minutes until tender, before draining and leaving them to cool down. Make a dressing by whisking together 100ml of rapeseed oil, 20g of English mustard, 1 tbsp. of white wine vinegar, and half a tsp. of honey to sweeten. Halve the potatoes whilst still warm and mix through the dressing. Now add in whatever crunchy vegetables you have available. A red onion, some radishes, a cucumber and a small handful of dill all suitably peeled and chopped. And there you have it, an attractive and flavoursome salad to make the most of the season.
Over the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of being visited by local artist Lisa Hawkins and would like to share her account of what our Garden Gate Project has come to mean to her:
“I started to explore the garden during the hot summer of 2020. This was after a surreal spring when the severity of the pandemic had been impressed upon us, and our movements had been restricted to our own homes and little else. When we had just started to emerge into the world again, I was drawn to the beauty of the garden and also the symbolism of an enclosed space, outside of the material world, and away from all its troubles. It is a place where time slows and the only things that matter are the birds, bees and the plants. I began to go when it was quiet to draw and paint. Intense drawing is an act of communion; there are times when the concentration is so great that you feel as if there is no distance between the object and the subject. The drawings developed into a series of oil paintings.”
“There is something undeniably special about this garden in particular; the inclusive nature feels wholesome and healing. I now volunteer two afternoons a week, an activity which I fit around a part time job at a prep school and my painting practice. It feels good to give something back and be a part of their ethos of organically nurturing, both of the plants and the community. I learn gardening skills, and I get to know the amazing people that the garden attracts. If you can believe a landscape has a personality, a genius loci, the spirit of this place is one of gentle love and respect for the land. As time goes on and I am starting to know the garden better, each season continues to inspire and delight the senses. The Garden Gate is a never ending source of inspiration for artists and nature lovers alike.”
“Paradise is seen as a garden in many religions and for good reason; you are nearer to God in a garden, than anywhere else on earth.”