Today I was treated to a lovely trip to Mottisfont House with some friends. We were going especially to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition which is on there at the moment. But arriving a bit early we wandered the gardens to see what else was happening at Mottisfont this weekend.
We found a special Land Art activity being set up for families. Based on the work of such artists as Andy Goldsworthy, we were encouraged to collect natural materials to make our own “art”. Our results were not spectacular but we had fun and it helped us see our beautiful surroundings with new eyes.
We did eventually enjoy the inspirational work of Kaffe Fassett inside the House but when I returned home I stepped into the garden feeling the urge to play with leaves and flowers! It was such colourful fun collecting and arranging stuff on our old wooden seat. Who needs paints, fabrics or embroidery?! 😊
This blog, started in January 2012, was originally inspired by Writing our Way Home, and their idea of writing “small stones”
I usually write a month of small stones to kick start each year in January. However I am currently following WOWH’s email course of October small stones and am finding great inspiration for just sitting still, and paying attention to life in all its variety.
Today’s quote was from Henry David Thoreau
“You only need sit still long enough in some spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns”
I didn’t need long in the garden this morning (it was drizzling!) to find this inhabitant exhibiting itself to me and inspiring a small stone.
Tight buds hide centres
of yellow mathematical arrangement.
Opening to wind and rain, rusty petals
stretch random sequinned fingers
towards the clouds, defying greyness
with their fiery flowers.
Today we took the road up the east coast back north towards Dublin, calling in to see the beautiful gardens and amazing plants at Mount Usher near Wicklow. We walked the wonderful tree trail admiring old exotic specimens from around the world. What a collection of ancient unusual trees, with beautiful barks, strange leaves and flowers, lovingly planted and nurtured by generations of gardeners.
Then it was on to visit my father’s cousin Averil. We had met a few times in our lives before, but we had never visited her in Ireland. What wonderful warm hospitality! And we explored a collection of a different kind with her. Old photographs and letters from my great Auntie Birdie, showing the faces and families of my great grandparents and many others from past generations. What a treasure trove. We poured over it, trying to identify people and events from the past and talked till the small hours.
Whether it is trees, plants, photographs or letters, old collections can be such an amazing source of wonder and knowledge. Thank you to all those who have looked after them for us. Now we must continue the work…