Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens

I have discovered a new type of place that I love to visit. When I go somewhere new I find myself actively searching for sculpture gardens! I have visited three to date and loved each one. They have all been completely different and wonderful in their own ways. The latest was Wyndcliffe Sculpture Gardens, near Chepstow.

Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Garden, Chepstow

The wonderful thing about this venue is that they curate and exhibit the sculptures in three different shows throughout the year so the work is always changing. Entry is only £4 per person and you can come back as many times as you like in one year. They exhibit a great variety of work and unlike the other gardens I have visited, most of the work is for sale.

Dilys Jackson, Coned Pollen Form, Bronze

Coned Pollen Form, by Dilys Jackson

Fronteras by Robert Harding.

Fronteras by Robert Harding

I fell in love with these seed heads by artist Jenny Cole and brought one home for my garden!

Seed head by Jenny Cole

Jenny Cole, Seed head

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René Geissler’s Cacti & Succulent Nursery

Matt knows just how much I love cacti and succulents. So at the end of our holiday last week he did a bit of research on the internet and found out about a wonderful man called René Geissler. René has been growing cacti and other succulents from seed for over forty years and has an amazing nursery! We rang to make an appointment and I couldn’t wait to meet him and see all his wonderful plants.

Rene Geissler, Cacti and Succulent Greenhouse, Slimbridge

On one side of the greenhouse is René’s personal collection, where there are so many amazing, mature plants. The other side has rows upon rows of plants which he has nurtured from seed and which are for sale. I spent quite a while looking up and down, seeing so many varieties that I had never seen before.

Rene Geissler, Cacti and Succulent Greenhouse, Slimbridge

René Geissler, Cacti and Succulent Greenhouse, Slimbridge

René was so generous with his time and gave me lots of handy tips for caring for my own cacti. He told me that he gets visitors from all over the world, who come to see his amazing collection.

René Geissler, Cacti and Succulent Greenhouse, Slimbridge

I picked two plants and Matt picked two as well. It would have been easy to spend hours there and I would love to visit him again. Thank you for your time and valued advice René!

René Geissler, Cacti and Succulent Greenhouse, Slimbridge

The British Cactus and Succulent Society has a great website, where you can find out if there is a branch or nursery near you. All photos were taken by my husband, Matthew Cleveland.

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Gardenalia, Bath

On our way to Wales last week we stopped off in Bath. I love this city, the architecture is so beautiful and there are lots of independent shops. We were just leaving and heading north when I spotted a very interesting looking shop! We parked nearby and wandered back to Gardenalia, which describes itself as a gardening shop with a difference! There were so many fascinating things to look at, including gardening tools, both new and old, plants, reclaimed ornaments and hundreds of plant pots. They even have a succulent selection! I would definitely recommend a visit and if you can’t find what you are looking for they will endeavour to find it for you!

Gardenalia, BathGardenalia, BathGardenalia, Bath

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A week in Wales!

Matt and I spent last week in a lovely cabin, in an orchard in Wales! I found Lichen Cabin on a great website called Canopy & Stars, which has all kinds of quirky places to stay, from tree houses to converted vehicles. We stayed in this beautiful cabin, which had a log burning fire, huge windows and a sculpture garden just two minutes walk down the track. I spent a blissful evening stitching away on my heirloom quilt and enjoying the marvellous views! We visited some amazing places whilst we were away, I will be sharing them here over the next couple of weeks!

Patchwork in Wales

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A lovely week ahead

Tomorrow Matt and I are heading to Wales to celebrate my birthday and our first wedding anniversary! We plan to go on long walks and explore the countryside. I’m going to take my heirloom quilt with me too, I have some new fabrics to add in and I might even find some new cottons on my travels. I will be back writing next week, I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you soon!

Heirloom quilt materials

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The central panel grows!

I have picked one of my favourite dark blue floral fabrics to completely surround the central panel of my heirloom quilt. I wanted this section to stand out and I’m really pleased how it turned out! I think I’m going to continue around this with more flowers made from hexagons. You can see how this panel started out below and how it has grown!

Heirloom quilt central panel

Paper Pieced Patchwork Workshop

Heirloom Quilt

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DIY : French knitting flowers

French knitting is a lovely way to use up little odds of wool and the perfect portable project too. This DIY will show you a simple way of using your French knitting to make flowers!

 DIY : French knitting flower

To make your very own garden of knitted flowers you will need some small balls of wool, a French knitting dolly, a darning needle, a tape measure, a pair of scissors and some buttons.

DIY : French knitting flowerPick some wool and make yourself a length of knitting that is approximately 50 to 60 cms long. Measure this piece from the top of the dolly to the bottom of your knitting, not including the tail of wool at the end. Cast this off as normal. If you need a refresher on French knitting you can find my tutorial here.

DIY : French knitting flower

Thread your darning needle with a matching length of yarn. I’ve used a dark blue in the photos below so that you can see my stitches. Fold the end of your knitting over and secure in place with a stitch. Keep folding loops and stitch them into petals. When you get to the last one, join the last to your first. I like six petals but five looks nice too.

DIY : French knitting flowerChoose a lovely button to go in the middle and stitch into place. You could stick a circle of felt on the back to finish it nicely and then add a brooch back or even a lolly stick!

DIY : French knitting flower

If you fancy making some French knitted flowers then you can buy some useful supplies from Amazon. If you purchase anything through the links in my post you are helping to support my blog as I get a small referral fee from Amazon. Thank you!

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Loving seed stitch

Seed stitch is one of my most favourite embroidery stitches and I seem to be using it on lots of my projects at the moment! I have used it to embroider a wedding present, some simple cards and also in my square for the Victory sail. If you would like to try out seed stitch you can find a simple tutorial here on my blog.

How to sew seed stitch

Seed stitch number

Handmade wedding present



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Yarn Shop Day at Make & The Craft Kitchen

To celebrate Yarn Shop Day 2015, Nicky at Make & The Craft Kitchen plans to make a big display of knitted and crocheted flowers in the shop. I volunteered to help out, so at Slice of Make last week she armed me with some wool and I started to plan what I would knit. I looked in some books and found plenty of great online tutorials for knitted flowers, but after some research I decided that the time had come to learn how to crochet flowers! I have been meaning to learn for so long and as they much quicker to make than knitted flowers so I could make a good amount to help the display grow! I feel like I’ve  mastered the simple 5 petal flower and now I’m looking for my next pattern!

Crocheted flowers

Crocheted flowers

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A great big elephant sale!

In February I held a great big dinosaur sale on Instagram and it was so brilliant that I’m going to do the same with my plush elephants! There will be eight different elephants, made from fleece, with hand stitched felt ears and big button eyes. The sale will start next Thursday the 30th of April at 7pm. They will be £15 each, plus £3.50 postage. Simply pop over to my Instagram account  (@georgina_giles) to see all the different colours. Please leave your Paypal email address in the comments under the one you love the most to purchase! See you there! Elephant plush toy Elephant plush toy

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