Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Todays news brings a mixture of sadness, deep sorrow and tiredness. How can such acts of violence ever bring peace or order ? I cannot understand it.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Conversation, punctuation, strata.


The sculpted figures by www.ospreystudios.org have a conversation on this May morning. This moment in the Coal Tip Cloister Garden with iridescent beetle, blackbirds and a pointy dog is close to perfection to me.
Fresh green in the morning light - it is best seen from the kitchen terrace - and from the pergola in evening light.

So we learnt on GW last night that you have been influenced by Penelope Hobhouse and by Italian gardens. I in turn have been influenced by Italian gardens and the great romantic garden of The Veddw in Monmouthshire. As I have discussed in one of my early letters to you I was also influenced by the long vistas of Versailles which seemed to stick in my formative brain - I had never seen such a garden before, my experience of gardens had been small back gardens, rockeries and municipal parks.

I suppose that is why I feel so privileged to have even this modest space - space enough to create an illusion of an Italianate cloister. This garden is not about individual plants - but about placement and punctuation. A narrative, a conversation.

We are open over the weekend of June 10th-11th with the NGS. Teas and a few cakey things will be available along with the opportunity to purchase some original artwork.

Come on Monty - have a cup of tea.


Monday, 1 May 2017


 Dear Monty,

Tracery in the early morning light

A network of breaking buds
Nature's reward.
A song thrush pierces the air
Soft green leaves cascade from the beech buds.

The blackbird sits motionless in its nest
Beak skywards

Humanity wakes and thunders in the distance.

These hills could be Judean hills
This garden the garden tomb
The light around the sculpted woman
An angel appearing to Mary.

But this is Ystalyfera
The voices of a garden speak louder than words.