I knew it: it slipped past me again. I’ve missed London Open Squares Weekend, which was 8-9 June. I went for the first time in 2007 and it was a real inspiration to see so many green oases in the midst of the concrete jungle, many filled with vibrant colour. For me, the most creative spirits belonged to the Thames barge owners who had created gardens atop their boats moored not far from Tower Bridge. The ingenuity - and engineering – required to create tranquil spaces floating on the water is tremendous, let alone their colour sense and plant choice. There were even fruiting trees aboard.
I must bookmark the weekend for next year so I can get to see more of the amazing roof gardens, which particularly fascinate me, which work on a similar principle to the boat gardens. I’m a great fan of the work of Nigel Dunnett, who’s done so much to augment the space available for wildlife via roof gardens and wild spaces, and whose recent RHS Chelsea show garden was much acclaimed. With so many roof spaces potentially available and Britain’s biodiversity rapidly decreasing, there’s no reason for society to miss the conservation boat. We just need to move the boundaries of gardens to a 21st century height.
As a ‘dyed in the wool’ spinner, if you’ll pardon the expression, one woolly-related boat I don’t want to miss is definitely on my calendar already. Wysing Arts in nearby Bourn are having their open weekend from 6-7 July. Central to the weekend is the exhibition of work by Jonathan Baldock, including large-scale felt sculptures and knitted and crocheted ‘sculptural growths’. The picture opposite has kindly been lent by Wysing Arts for which I’m very grateful.
Some of the elements of the Baldock exhibition will also be brought to life through contemporary dance under the direction of choreographer Henrietta Hale and the Dog Kennel Hill Project on the Saturday of the open weekend. More ingenuity and creative surprises to look forward to! I hope they choose some of the woolly elements to bring to life: that would shed a whole new light on the potential of the gentle material we spinners work with. Here’s wishing you a week full of new possibilities in whatever you do.