Plant of the Month
Despite all the extreme weather - freezing cold Winter, Summer heatwave and drought - nothing stops Cyclamen Neapolitanum and C. Hederifolium from appearing right on cue. I am slowly increasing my collection by introducing new colours, sparkling white and rich purple. They are all increasing in size - some of the original 40 year old corms are the size of a dinner plate! - They all self-seed and some are richly scented. After their flowering I will have a carpet of beautiful patterned foliage to enjoy through the Winter.
These are tough plants, much hardier than C. Persica which is the one readily available in the shops now. These can also be put out after flowering to use again next year. Leave them in their pots and lay them on their sides in a cool sheltered spot to die down. Bring them back into the house about this time of year when you see new leaves appearing. Stand them on a cool windowsill, give them some plant food and they will reward you with flowers and, possibly, perfume right through the dark Winter months. I have some favourite white highly-perfumed ones that I bring into the house every year to enjoy both flowers and perfume. Scented ones are mostly white, just sniff them out.
Artisans Corner News
I recently visited Broadway in the Cotswolds and, as usual, looked at current trends in the newly refurbished Lygon Arms Hotel and the excellent galleries there for inspiration.
I was delighted to see that watercolour flower prints have regained popularity, presented as smaller sizes in white or soft grey frames to hang in single columns or blocks of four or six.
I am introducing a new range of flower prints in soft white and light grey frames to complement this new soft, slightly shabby-chic Country House style furnishing with its traditional wood and leather-upholstered furniture, richer colours, woollen tweeds and other natural fabrics.
Penarth History Month
St Lawrence's Church, Lavernock
The Custom House, Penarth
September is Penarth History Month, celebrating the buildings and history of our lovely town. It is organised by The Penarth Civic Society of which I am proud to be an Honorary Member.
Last year we held an exhibition in Ffotogallery but this year we have many Penarth shops taking part with inspired artwork in their individual fields. At Artisans Corner we are all involved. Guy, Steve and I take inspiration from our much-loved town and enjoy producing our own personal art. We have examples of our work in Coffee#1 Penarth for this event.
I have produced two new prints based on my illustrations for the Society's Newsletter which I founded and edited for many years. The original illustrations were in black and white, many of them were also incorporated into the Town Trails, a joint venture with Penarth Town Council still available at West House. I have added colour.
The Custom House print records the restoration and refurbishment of the once derelict building. St. Lawrence's church is part of the Diocese of Penarth and Lavernock.