England’s South-West Coast Path is one of the world’s great walking routes, stretching from Somerset in the North, around the tip of Cornwall to the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.. We are lucky to have some 300 miles of that route here within Cornwall.
Recently, Alex and I took advantage of the glorious weather to take a walk along part of the Cornwall Coastal Path that was new to us. The stretch of the Path between Tintagel and Trebarwith Strand is typical of North Cornwall with it’s rugged rocky cliffs. That ruggedness is made even more dramatic here due to the scars of old slate quarrying. This is such a feature that the area is known as the “Slate Coast”. In fact, the coast path here is largely created from the old paths that the quarry-men used to access the mining sites.
We started our walk just to the west of Tintagel. Looking back to the east we could see the island part of Tintagel Castle, while a little further on we passed the fabulously situated Tintagel Youth Hostel.
If you live in Cornwall you are used to seeing seas in shades of dark brooding greys. With summers we are having now however, there are more and more days when you can see the waters in clear, almost mediterranean blues and greens.
As Trebarwith Strand comes into view along the walk, one can see the huge scars that historical slate mining has left in the cliffs.
A feature of the quarry sites are the great rock pillars left undisturbed where the miners hit unsuitable rock. These now tower over the old quarry beds.
All the waste rock from the quarries has led to many variations of dry stone walling.
Alex and I made the most of the sunny weather by visiting The Garden House, a ten acre garden near Yelverton, in Devon.
The original house was built for the vicars of the parish, including the former Abbot of Buckland Abbey, who became vicar after the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1500s. A modern vicarage was built in the 1920s and The Garden House was sold as a private dwelling.
When the house and gardens came on to the market again in the 1940s, they were purchased by Lionel and Katharine Fortescue, who created the gardens whilst running a thriving market garden business. After their deaths, the Garden House was bequeathed to a charity to maintain their legacy.
The Garden House features both naturalistic planting and more traditional arrangements, making it a beautifully varied place to visit.
Here’s a sample of what was on offer (click to enlarge):
Hello everyone, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted but I’m looking forward to blogging more frequently from now on.
Since I last posted, I’ve been enjoying retirement – lots more time for creativity, gardening, friends and family!
My daughter, Isla, has been dealing with a difficult health condition and has started her own blog where she talks about her experiences and posts her own artwork, you can find her at Medically Unexplained.
I spent a week staying with my son a few weeks back, and visited Hillier Gardens in Hampshire. The seasonal planting displays are stunning and I’m feeling very inspired by all the colours and patterns.
I have not got around to posting anything for a while but I thought I should share a photo of the cake my husband Alex decorated for our daughter’s birthday last month. She planned to have friends old and new come to her flat for tea and cakes.
When I mentioned making a cake, Isla said that her real favourite was gingerbread so I made an iced gingerbread cake for her.
Then Alex got in on the act. Isla is a great Studio Ghibli fan and has some Totoro cushions. So Alex painted the cake with an image based on the film “My Neighbour Totoro”.
The cake was a surprise and went down well with all her friends. So much so that it very quickly disappeared!
A few nights ago I watched a wonderful documentary on Hokusai. Since then I have been working on pieces inspired by Mount Fuji, not only the Fuji from Hokusai’s prints but my own memories of the mountain from when we visited there a couple of years ago.
Here are a couple of brooches with a Mount Fuji inspiration.
Last week I delivered a new batch of work to The Devon Guild of Craftsmen gallery in Bovey Tracey, South Devon. I have been a member of the Guild for many years and always have work on sale there. Through June I will be a featured artist in the Guild shop and my work will be on offer at 10% off. I will be doing a day of demonstrations on my work there on June 24th.
Here are a few of the new pieces featured this month.
If anyone can make it to Riverside Mill in Bovey Tracey on June 24th I would love to meet you and give an insight into how I make my work.