Just another day at Chelsea….

This year I don’t just get to go to the Chelsea Flower Show once. I get to go three times….

So yesterday found me back again. With a load more people than were there on Sunday – and a perishingly cold wind.

If I’m honest I’d been a little disappointed when I’d had a quick look at the show gardens on Sunday afternoon. So I wasn’t expecting to be wowed. But I was wrong. I just hadn’t been looking in the right places.

The garden I had been most impressed by on Sunday was the Artisan Garden by Kazayuki Ishihara. It was small but perfectly formed, and I was really pleased when it won Best in Show for its category. It looked even better on second viewing.


Is there such a thing as ‘pot envy’? Because if there is I’m suffering from it. IMG_0687

These were on  the ‘Le Chene Vert’ Stand. I WANT ONE!

And Robert Frost’s garden for Homebase was simply gorgeous.


But my favourite of all was Chris Beardshaw’s garden for Arthritis Research UK. IMG_0728IMG_0733IMG_0732It had movement and life and vigour. The planting was exuberant and bold. The choice of sculpture and hard landscaping spot on. As I stood jostled by the crowds I felt breathless with admiration. Definitely my Best in Show.

Day 4 – Dancing with Sherpas

Another great day at altitude!


The thing about being on this trek is that there is such a constant stream of extraordinary things happening that it’s impossible to know where to begin to describe it all.

We spent the morning being tested and sitting on the terrace with this for our view.


After lunch we went down into Namche Bazaar for cakes and coffee. It is the most bizarre and wonderful place, living up to its name. A bustling town clinging to the mountainside, it’s narrow streets thronging not just with people but with cows and ponies and yaks. They just amble up and down like the rest of the folk.

In the evening we had a really cheery dinner – this group is getting on like a house on fire. And then we went next door – to the highest nightclub in the world – and danced with Sherpas. These were the members of…

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Suddenly I see…

… what the sketching is all about.

The tutors at KLC place a lot of emphasis on sketching every week, and keeping up with our sketchbooks. To start with I didn’t really get why it was so important. You might ask…. I certainly did… what sketching has got to do with gardens and plants?

But this course is about design. And design is about seeing. Sketching is a great way of helping us to see. To see how the ordinary and everyday things around us, that we all take for granted, have their own unique and individual form.

I’ve just been to see some great examples of the magic in everyday objects at the Georgio Morandi exhibition at the Estorick Gallery, a short walk from Highbury and Islington tube station. I’d seen a review of this exhibition by Andrew Graham-Dixon in the Saturday papers. If I hadn’t been trying my hand at sketching I would have glanced at it and passed on.  But it caught my attention… and I’m so glad it did.

Here form is created out of shadow. The artist achieves infinitely subtle variations of tone with the simplest of cross hatching. Objects and landscapes spring to life out of nothing more and nothing less than black and white, and light and shade. Lines on a page creating poetry.

Georgio Morandi 3 Georgio MorandiGeorgio Morandi

So I came home and had a go myself.


Ok so it’s not great….But I’m new to this sketching lark….And at least I’m having a go…Which is what this year is all about.

So go and see Georgio and be inspired.