Saturday, 23 July 2011

Pottery and Poetry?

A bit chilly this week, but lots of visitors. Many of them tell me what a lovely job I have - well yes... in the summer at any rate! I haven't finished planting out all the late-flowerers but the dahlias are definitely making their presence felt. My favourite at the moment is 'Swing' from the Melody series.

Dahlia Melody 'Swing' has swung into action. The bright foliage is Amaranthus 'Illumination'
Oi! I was saving that!
Mrs B is on at least her third brood - we can hear them chirping in the hedge. She comes to pick up crumbs at break and lunch time and I'm quite happy to share my lunch. We nearly had a falling-out, however, when I caught her in the act of swallowing the last ripe blueberry from the pot by the greenhouse door. Still, I suppose her need is greater than mine.

Got any more blueberries?
From bad to verse.
I woke up on Wednesday with rhyming couplets in my head, so grabbed a notebook and wrote this down to amuse the rest of the team at our staff meeting. I'm quite proud of it really, so I'll inflict it on you now. It is best read aloud at a brisk pace - but you may get some funny looks if you do so...

Whichford Pots - naturally the best!
Whichford Pottery - with love to the whole crazy, creative team.

Lily Pot with Lilium 'El Grado'

We make:
Big pots, small pots,
Tall pots and wall pots.
Pots for bulbs and pots for lilies,
Some are straight and some are frillies.
Pots with squirrels, pots with bees,
Pots for orchids and for trees,
Pots with swags italianate,
All stamped with our name and date.
Pots for Hidcote, pots for Kew -
We can make them just for you!
Pots adorned with basket weave,
More pots than you can believe.
Jars and barrels, bowls and urns,
Pots for hostas, lemons, ferns,
Square or oval, slim or squat,
Spinning Jenny, Pastry Pot;
Massive pots by Mr Keeling,
New designs we're just revealing.
Glazed pots for your indoor plants,
Inscribed pots for aged aunts,
Pots which mark a special date
Inscribed pot
Or pot games for your village fete.
Elephants and Green Man faces,
Pots for grand and modest places,
Big black pots with gilded crests -
Just the job to impress guests.
Strawberry pots and rhubarb forcers,
Cane tops, pot feet, snail traps, saucers...
Whether big or whether tiny,
Whether matt or whether shiny,
Each unique and all hand-made
In courtyard garden all displayed
At Whichford - such a pretty spot -
You will find your perfect pot!

It is the start of the silly season, after all.

The opening of the restored Plant Shelter at Hidcote Manor Garden last year,
with pots made specially by Whichford. You may have seen it on the television recently.

Part of our display at Chelsea Flower Show in 2008, showing off some of our ENORMOUS pots.
The gold is real gold leaf, applied by hand. Hilary has been trained to do this and the effect is stunning.

Two of Lynda's elephants, fresh from the kiln and ready to be packed by John and Dave
for delivery to their new home. Each one is different.

Tiny basket pot with handles and Echeveria.
 See for yourselves
Don't worry, I'm not going to make a habit of blogging in verse, I just thought it was about time someone celebrated the diversity of the Whichford product. The range mentioned in this little ditty is only the tip of the iceberg - you really do have to visit to appreciate the creativity that goes on here - our makers are an amazingly skilled (and noisy) bunch. If you visit during the working week you can meet them and see them at work.
Some of the makers will also be working next weekend at our Summer Garden Party. I won't be there because I shall be at a 90th birthday party (no, not mine) but I shall endeavour to have the Pottery garden and stockyard stuffed to the gunnels with planting ideas for you.

Right, no more waxing lyrical, because I want my blog to be an inspiration, not an advert. Next week normal service will be resumed, meanwhile I leave you with moth of the week:
Silver Y moth on a Zinnia in the Whichford garden

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