When my Dad and Lady B came to stay back in May, one of the lovely day trips we took was to Salts Mill in Saltaire. My Dad is a David Hockney fan and as it's only a short journey away from Atticland it seemed like a great idea to hop on the train and go to gaze at some artwork.
I really love Salts Mill, I've written about it before on my blog when I've been with the Little People. It's hugely inspiring, with an atmosphere that is both refined and exuberant. The building itself is really amazing, as is the artwork (I am also a Hockney fan) but it's the merchandise which blows me away every time. There is soooooooo much Good Stuff for sale here! Art materials, cards, stationery and a truly jaw dropping selection of books, all beautifully displayed and utterly desirable.
Even if you end up keeping your purse firmly shut in here (near impossible), it is still hugely enjoyable to spend a good hour or two browsing. Ahhhh the joy of browsing....not quite so easy with a three year old. But actually, to be honest Little B was remarkably well behaved in here, and he loved looking at all the books.
I had a frothy cappuccino and some rather delicious toasted crumpets slathered in butter and Tiptree jam. The tension slipped away and I felt refreshed and revitalised.
After finishing round two of browsing in Salts Mill and after I had made one or two purchases (nope, my purse did not stay shut, it refused), we went out to stroll in nearby Roberts Park.
This was back in mid May and the blossom and magnolia trees were in full magnificent bloom. It was so pretty!
Our walk around the park ended in an impromptu detour to the decking of the Boathouse Inn right beside the river. I don't usually drink in the daytime, but having my Dad there made it feel like I was on holidays so I ordered a beer at the bar without even thinking about it. Goodness me, it felt rather naughty to be sat beside the river sipping ice cold beer in the middle of a School Day afternoon! Naughty but rather nice. Mmmmmm, happy memories :o)
Anyhow, sorry, didn't mean to get caught up in Memory Lane. I have to show you what made me open my purse in Salts Mill...........
It was this. Port-a-Plant. What do you think? Isn't it just a delight?
Look! Plants you can't kill, and no watering or sunlight required! Instant, virtual gardening, and in full colour too.
I've been waiting for an opportunity to bring my Port-a-Plants to life, and with me not being able to crochet at the moment, today seemed a good day to get creative with cardboard instead.
All the components (pots, plants and leaves) are printed onto sheets of card and pre-cut, so all you have to do it press out the pieces and slot them together. No cutting, no gluing, just happy, mess-free assembly.
Oh I had the best time growing my plants!
It was really great fun. A little bit fiddly at times (my leaves did keep popping off), but with a little bit of concentrated effort I was soon well under way.
Oooooo I like this kind of gardening, I like it very much. I like how instant it is, and how insanely satisfying and nostalgic.
I think the finished results are great, well they pleased me enormously at any rate. Simple but effective.
I think they look very at home on top of my studio shelves, they've delivered some big happy smiles today for sure.
If you'd like to try this sort of indoor gardening (and I can highly recommend it), here is where you can equip yourself....
On our way home from the studio this afternoon, Little B persuaded me to walk back "The Tricky Way". This involves walking down Back Bridge Street and then along a precarious narrow path with no fence and a sheer drop straight down into the beck below. The path finally (with a huge sigh of relief) comes up a steep flight of old stone steps to emerge on the canal tow path. It is a short cut of sorts and very picturesque, but boy oh boy, I swear I hold my breath the whole time and almost feel like I want to pee my pants with nervousness. Anyhow.....walking along Back Bridge Street, I was completely captivated by this gorgeous garden outside a small run of town houses there.
I just loved the exuberant climbers under-planted with a mixture of plants and flowers and crucially the way it looked delightfully low maintenance.
This is definitely giving me some inspiring ideas for my own little back yard. I would love a more permanent set up with much more greenery. Maybe some raised beds for climbers that I can under-plant with shrubs, bulbs and perennials. Perhaps not this year, but I would love to alter the way I garden so's that I can remove the annual guilt factor. I think this year I will mostly be a Virtual Gardener. A Planner and a Dreamer in readiness for next year.