Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival

January 23rd, 2019

I am very involved in the Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival that will take place on 16 & 17 February.  This is the third year of the festival, it celebrates the life of James Allen, the first man to hybridise snowdrops.  The festival is held in the Market Place and church although there are 100′s of 1000′s of Galanthus nivalis planted around the town (three years of community planting).   The festival includes specialist snowdrop stalls (Avon Bulbs & Triffids Nursery), workshops for children and adults , arts & crafts in the church, a gardener’s question time panel, a lecture on Galanthophiles, walks, poetry and photography competitions…

Sunday at 3pm at St Paul’s School there will be a lecture on Galanthophiles , tickets £8

Gardener’s Question Time at Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival in the marquee, Market Place, Sunday 17th February 11am – 12. Free event. 4 local horticulturists on the panel: Mickey Little from Avon Bulbs, Chris Inchley from Kilver Court, Christo Nicole from Wyld Wood Garden Services and myself.   Questions can be emailed in advance (to admin@sheptonsnowdropfestival.org.uk) but we will take questions from the floor also.

For a full programme visit http://www.sheptonsnowdropfestival.org.uk/

Dahlias trending in 2019

January 23rd, 2019

“Dive into Dahlias” is a lecture by Noami Slade taking place Saturday 9th March at 11am at St Paul’s School, Shepton Mallet.  Everything you want to know about Dahlias including a propagation demonstration that I will run after the lecture.  Tickets £8

Pruning Clematis

January 3rd, 2019

Since the weather is so mild and the ground firm underfoot, I have been tempted to get ahead in the garden.  Normally I prune my Clematis in February / March however I started today on the Clematis tangutica that winds its way up the cherry tree.  The prunings are attractive so I usually make something with them despite them being rather unruly.  Today I just quickly wound them up into a ring that will look like a straggly nest for the weather-vane.  Tomorrow I will tackle the Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’.


Group 2 Clematis are pruned in February March for more details this is the link to the RHS website

Winter exhibition ‘Chill’

December 4th, 2018

I have put together a new collection of work combining ceramics and natural materials to form part of the winter exhibition at Heritage Courtyard Studios in Wells. My interest in starling murmurations continues particularly given the time of year. As a focal point I have created a large willow murmuration form inspired by the complex flight patterns of flocks of starlings. Other materials used with the ceramics come from the garden such as Narcissus, Sisyrinchium and reed foliage twisted into cordage.

The exhibition is open until 19th December Tuesday – Saturday 10am-4pm

I will also be having an open day at Pilton Cider Saturday 15th December 10-5pm

6 Heritage Courtyard, Sadler Street, Wells, Somerset  BA5 2RR

Fire I Sky I Cider Open Studios 2018

October 6th, 2018

Miriam Sheppard and I created a pop up studio at Pilton Cider, this is a fantastic space which served as a very quirky backdrop to our work.  We all had a successful Arts Weeks 2018 making lots of new contacts as well as sales.  Here are a few photographs.

Porcelain bowl and Sisyrinchium cordage gone to a new home in Devon


White stoneware, green glaze & reed cordage

Painting by Miriam Sheppard, my new ceramics & willow


Murmuration forms in willow, ceramics and garden plant cordage


White stoneware, Sisyrinchium cordage


White stoneware, Narcissus poeticus cordage

Fire Sky Cider

September 13th, 2018

I was brought up surrounded by ceramics, my father, Peter Morley, made tableware and was very influenced by Leech pottery and Michael Cardew. My mother made, and still makes, fine stoneware sculptural pieces. As a child I was never interested in clay nor pottery, my interest was firmly focused on the native flora in the surrounding countryside.

This changed three years ago, when I signed up to a pottery evening class, since then I have been learning about the vast world of slips, oxides, glazes and hand building enjoying the link back to my parent’s world and my world of horticulture.

Over the past year I have been working to combine plant matter such as willow and homemade leaf cordage with my clay forms. I am showing the fruits of this work alongside landscape paintings by Miriam Sheppard at Somerset Arts Weeks 2018 at my husband’s cidery, Pilton Cider.

Somerset is well known for its cider and creative communities, by bringing the two together we hope to challenge visitor’s preconceptions of the use of natural materials in sculpture, landscape painting and Somerset cider. The location, in the grade II listed Anglo trading estate also raises an awareness of the industrial history of Shepton Mallet and offers a quirky backdrop to our work.

Somerset Arts Weeks 2018 starts on Saturday 15th September and runs until the end of the month. We will be open 11am – 6pm daily.

Somerset Arts Weeks pop up studio at Pilton Cider

July 29th, 2018

Somerset Art Works Open Studios 2018

I am pleased to announce that this year I will be taking part in Somerset Art Works Open Studios 2018. I have joined forces with Miriam Sheppard and Pilton Cider to create a pop-up studio at Pilton Cider’s cidery. Offering art and cider tastings, what more could you wish for!

Miriam and I will be working daily giving a rare insight into how we work; our practice and inspirations. We are also offering concertina book making ‘have-a-go’ sessions for children and cider tastings for adults.

Our pop up studio will be open 11-6pm daily from 15-30 September 2018, do come and see us.

Before and after – Somerset

July 26th, 2018

I don’t usually post before and after pictures however some clients sent me some pictures of their garden a couple of years on from initial planting.  They also had just opened their garden for the first time as part of the village open gardens event and sent me an email full of enthusiasm:

…”Having not had any previous experience, we were a little apprehensive as to whether people would be interested.  As it turned out our fears were unfounded and we received very favourable comments from most of the 280+ visitors.
In order to explain the story of this comparatively recent garden, we produced a manual with “before and after” pictures. It also contained photocopies of your planting plans and the alphabetic plant note pages. We also had a copy of your letterhead to show that we had had professional help….”

The garden is full of texture, colour, movement and interest now.  There is less grass to mow creating more time and space for a bit of vegetable growing.

Green and white

June 25th, 2018

This is a friend’s garden – long and narrow creating an immersive experience with deep borders of tall herbaceous borders either side of the grass path. The garden is dominated by white flowers through the summer, here the oxeye daisies catch the eye but there is also white Hesperis matrionalis, Digitalis, Astrantia, feverfew, Centranthus, Philadelphus, Thalictrum, Ammi, Orlaya and Cosmos. Green and white creates a very relaxing feeling in a garden and can be lifted with spots of lime (e.g. Alchemilla mollis) or blue (Nepeta).


Walking in the Picos de Europa

June 15th, 2018

Last week whilst the UK has basked in a mini heatwave, I was walking in the Picos de Europa (northern Spain)  enjoying the wild flowers of alpine meadows.

The mountain weather was much cooler than here and trees were only just coming into leaf.  One high altitude walk was curtailed by snow and cloud and our alternative lower altitude walk was through a hail storm.  However I spotted wild Narcissus I have never seen before, notably the tiny Narcissus asturiensis (the size of a Euro coin), a lone Narcissus bulbocodium, lots of Narcissus triandrus and on the last day, high up valleys of Narcissus pseudonarcissus.

Other highlights included orchids, especially the lovely pink butterfly orchid (Orchis papilionacea) and Erythronium dens-canis.

I love walking in the mountains as you see so many plants that we grow in our gardens,  it reminds me of the 19th century plant collectors and the task they set themselves of getting what they thought were interesting plants, safely back to the UK down difficult rocky paths with mules.

Lithospermum diffusum grows almost everywhere on free draining rocky land whilst Primula veris

It is a fine way of learning and appreciating native habitats of our garden plants.