My aim with this website is to share my paintings and my gardens - past and present but mainly present. I've put my most recent paintings on a page called 'PAINTINGS SINCE SUMMER 2019', but if you're interested, you'll find the others by clicking on MORE. Under 'BURTON GRANGE GARDEN' you'll find a page called 'Opening for the NGS', which has the most recent photos taken in 2020. and also pages showing various projects that we've done since arriving here in 2014 to a garden with absolutely no flowers, borders or shrubs in it! Burton Grange is in Burton, just off the A303, by Mere.
If you would like to see the garden for real, we will be opening for the National Garden Scheme on June 13th 2021 and we would love to see you - teas, plant sale, social distancing if necessary, but most of all, the huge pleasure of having people in the garden! As you probably know, the NGS raises £millions each year for nursing and caring charities and is the largest ever donor to Macmillans, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carers Trust and Parkinsons UK. When we lived in London I opened our garden for the NGS, but this will be the first time we've opened in Wiltshire. I love opening the garden - half of the joy of having a garden is sharing it and especially with strangers. Gardening is a great leveller. In a former life I once listened, open mouthed while one of the UK's richest and most beautiful duchesses argued with a craggy old man who had an allotment in South London, about the best variety of potatoes. For me, that said it all!
Why do I paint and why do I garden?
I came to painting relatively late (aged 47) and I still feel something of a fraud. When a painting goes badly, it makes me weep - but when it goes well, I feel alive. I still play the piano better than I paint, but, whereas I don't play the piano as well as I did when I was 20, I paint better than I did last year.
Gardening is like painting, but very slowly, and with even less control. There are 3 gardens featured in this site. Crescent Lane, which, sadly isn't mine any more, but gave me huge pleasure and was responsible for getting me into gardening. It still feels part of my life, because I have some of its plants and many of their descendants in Wiltshire and Brittany. My French garden, Kerlaouen in Brittany, is a garden that teaches me to let go and not be in control. I can't, because I'm only there 3 or 4 times a year and this year Coronovirus has so far (September), stopped me getting there at all, so the garden is on its own. It's a good life lesson!
My third, and now most important, garden is Burton Grange, which was a totally blank canvas in 2013 and is now becoming a reality.