Tuesday 18 January 2011


I've been rummaging about in my workroom searching for some reference material. The room is such a tip that I couldn't find what I was looking for but I came up with lots of other things that I hadn't seen for a while, including these photographs of the garden at our previous house. I never planned to leave this space, where we had lived so happily and brought up our daughters, but bounderies were changed and the orchard and fields beyond our garden were sold for development. We moved house in the springtime with the garden looking beautiful. Just a couple of years later it had gone and four large houses now occupy the space that I loved so much.

One year Himself dug a pond as a present for my birthday.

It even had a jetty!

It was a luscious, undisciplined, cottage garden, very private and quite magical. A tree-covered copse to the north sheltered the whole area  

making it wonderful for growing fruit and veg.

The garden was the source for us both of  many prints, paintings and carvings and the space was a delight for all the family.

Today we are going to the funeral of the children's writer Dick King-Smith. He and Zona would look after our fox-terriers, Bella and then Maisie if we were flying off on holiday from Bristol airport and had to leave them behind. When I collected my dog on the first occasion she was somewhat plumper than when I had left her. Dick said very proudly that he had taught her to sit up and offer her paw. I was suitably impressed. How had he trained her so quickly?
"With digestive biscuits" he said.
Well, really! Had I been prepared to feed my dog sweet biscuits I think that I could have had her standing on her head and reciting poetry in no time!

A few years ago a new children's hospice was built for the terminally ill in the South-West and the fund-raising theme was 'Babe', the title of the film based on Dick's book, 'The sheep-Pig.' Dick commissioned Himself to make a carving of his story to give to the hospice.

Showing Dick the piece of wood chosen for his commission.

Himself polishing the coloured carving in his studio.

The finished carving was hung low down on  a wall in the hospice so that the children could touch it and search for all the little details from Dick's story.


  1. Another fine carving, Cher. Sorry to hear about your good and talented friend.

  2. Babe as in lalalalalalala? I love that story.
    I think one day I would love to touch that carving too.
    What happened to the garden when the land was portioned?

  3. The garden looks idyllic.

    At this time of year I forget how lovely the colours of foxgloves, lupins and tulips (and all the other flowers whose names I don't know) are. It's nice to be reminded.

    I'm sorry to hear about your dear friend - a wonderful story teller.

  4. Your garden looked so beautiful, hard to think it has gone now, you left a lot of love on that land for the four new owners.
    What an incredible gift Dick and Himself gave to the children's hospice, I love the thought of the little hands touching that carving, too often children are told not to touch.

  5. Bah-ram-ewe! I love Babe!

    My condolences on the loss of your friend.

  6. Sorry for the loss of your friend. I love the story of Babe.

    Your gardens are absolutely beautiful! Thank you for such a lovely story.

  7. Dear All, thank you for the warmth of your comments. I am not good at loss or change. Apart from in memory my garden has gone. Happily Dick will be well remembered because of his writing. We had a sunny day and a beautiful, and crowded, church in which to celebrate his life.