Up the Garden Path

Another Summer has almost floated by and the Hampshire Open Studios has suddenly appeared, it feels like out of nowhere. Here’s some photos from the open studio set up with everything looking remarkably tidy! Once the schools had broken up the kids kept us busy of course… then there was one of the biggest private commissions i’ve ever had to create, the 200 x 100cm ‘Allotment Sunset’ canvas. But it’s been our garden project that has really taken up the most time; planning a new garden path and reshaping the green space in our back yard. The studio is very much part of that space and the garden is also a big part of the studio… so we’ve been working away landscaping different areas of it since moving in 5 years ago. This Spring I started (what will hopefully be) the final stage; digging out the bottom section which previously held an old grey patio and a concrete wall only a few feet away from the house. Time, cost and space meant that all of this needed to be done by hand. You can probably spy my very worn pickaxe in the photos. Once the earth was moved, I could build a new dry wall structure and steps up towards the studio. It’s been a real challenge and I wasn’t entirely sure i’d be able to accept visitors for the open studio event. Fortunately I had some extra muscle to help with clearance (thank you Peter!) and we managed to get the new materials delivered quickly… so that just left something like a giant stone jigsaw for me to complete! Obviously it isn’t quite there yet. At some point in the next couple of months we’d like to get the new patio laid and the steps firmly set in place. Looking at the photos in front of me I can also see fence panels to paint and borders to tend to, there’s always a list of jobs to be done! At least it has been accessible this week for studio viewings. Wish me luck on the next stage… and fingers crossed we can get it all done ahead of my next open event, a little Winter garden exhibition at the end of November. If you’d like to put dates in your diary, i’m planning for Fri 26 – Sat 28th.