• ...when you go to the studio after a day in the garden with great intentions of doing accounts, and end up shuffling more paper flowers than numbers.  Maybe tomorrow....
Enjoy your weekend everyone🍁🍃
  • Arlo inspecting the last of the dahlias a week or two ago. They've blackened over the past few days, turning from brilliance to mush. They're not a plant to age as gracefully as others. They live life to the fullest while in bloom then go out with a sudden bang with the first decent frost.
We don't have many in the garden, though I am gradually collecting. I've never been a fan of the rigid dahlia forms you see in church hall flower shows, they seem almost too perfect as though forced to be something other than themselves - I guess they have. I do though love the simple daisy-faced blooms of the self supporting dark leafed cultivars like the Bishops and Home Run and the varying seedlings that have popped up, like this pink one. I'm dying to get my hands on some of the beautiful big blousy and romantic Cafe au Lait.  If anyone has any to sell or swap for something from my garden, I'd love to hear from you!
  • More native botanicals in the studio today. Piece by piece this paper garden is growing!
  • Our ant sculpture by my friend and sculptor Peter Worsley @sculpturesbypeter, strong against the intense copper of miscanthus, no filters! 
Peter exhibited this ant at our duo exhibition Unfurl @cornerstoregallery in 2018. It was the inaugural show for both of us. 
I couldn't resist the connection this piece has with my own work, on a much larger scale. I often talk about gardens as storytelling places, this philosophy underpins my work, and collected pieces like this one are a perfect example. Far more than garden art, this work reminds me daily of special friends, the beginning of this artmaking path and the daunting though rewarding leap taken two years ago. It's a treasure!
  • Leafless Rock Wattle, an extraordinary Australian Acacia with a sculptural form and yes, no leaves! Part of a bundle of Australian native plants being explored for a current commission, which will ultimately hang in a residence within one of Australia's exemplary native gardens.
  • Brrrrr, the temperature has plummeted and the mist is rolling, the perfect day to cosy up in the studio. It's an ice box at first, just to keep us on our toes, so these mornings often begin with layers of beanies and coats at the studio table until the heater kicks in. I've sometimes wondered about getting some fingerless gloves to defrost my hands while working. Then I wonder if I'd end up like one of those Mr Bean scenes with paper stuck to my hands and an endless hopping transfer of bits stuck in one glove then another hands flapping madly and blood boiling. I already have a problem with tiny bits of paper landing in my hair, often unfound until after I've been in town and stood in post office and supermarket queues. "That" woman I can imagine them saying, the one with the confetti hair. Oh well, one of the joys of being over 40 (and considerably closer to 50) is the dimming of concern about what others think about these things. There could be worse things than having paper in your hair, after all it's a mark of creativity, a personal statement...and removable.
  • There have been a couple of fabulous @cultivating_place podcast episides recently all about roses. Beautiful, luscious, glorious roses. Jennifer Jewell interviews Michael Marriott @michaelrosarian from David Austin roses and Fallon Shea @fallonsheaa about their life with roses, and hallelujah, debunks some rose growing and pruning myths. 
Here in Australia we have gradually learned that our love for the classic English garden is increasingly at odds with our environment, even in our cooler climate here in the hills. Roses though, are an exception.  They're tough, relishing the dry heat that blankets much of our land and withstanding drought. Some of the most maginificent roses I've experienced were during our many years living in dry, western regions. The gardening women of the dry outback are among the best rose growers you'll meet.
Many David Austin roses fill my garden, and during the relentless drought of recent years, didn't miss a beat. I only ever feed organically with compost, manure and seaweed solution, give them little supplementary water, and cut blooms to bring inside to keep on top of deadheading.  I've even used hedge shears to prune at times and they don't seem to mind. 
We're at the end of our blooming season, though many of my roses will keep spot flowering on bare stems until the late winter prune.  These flowers are every bit as lovely in decline, petals faded and falling and hips swelling. 
Tough, resilient and beautiful.🌹