I have always been a crafter but only in a random and spasmodic way depending on my mood at the time, from patchwork quilts (which will always be a passion, but oh so time consuming) to spray painting plant pots to match my décor, so I was delighted to receive a book to review, ‘The Crafted Garden’ written by Louise Curley and published by Frances Lincoln, that perfectly complements my obsession with my garden and expands on ways to bring indoors the glories of nature.
A knowledgeable book that takes you through the seasons based on what you can grow yourself, or forage for, and ideas on how to create displays with your gatherings. Ideal for the novice gardener as it takes you through the stages of growing plants but also for the experienced gardener with ideas of what to grow for different crafting activities. The ideas range from a woodland display to terrariums to making an alpine theatre. In fact so many lovely ideas from the simple, that are ideal for children, to more complicated projects.
I love this driftwood planter filled with succulents (I do have a soft spot for succulents) and it’s so easy to make, and again, knowledgeable information on growing succulents.
The section on winter crafts almost makes me feel it is a season to be jolly, with ideas for berries, twigs and seed heads and there is a good section on forcing bulbs for winter flowers which always bring cheer on dark, dismal days.
My particular favourite has to be these vases, made from gourds and filled with dahlias, so gourds will definitely be on my ‘to grow’ list for next year so will be following Louise’s advice on how to grow them. I’ve always fancied having a selection in bowls but never thought to make vases from them.
None of the projects are too difficult or time consuming but all have a beauty and authenticity about them that will appeal to even the most novice crafter and great projects to introduce children to the joys of growing plants and nature. On a timely note this blog post by dovegreyreader discusses the health benefits of crafting and creating (akin to meditation, apparently) and how it clears the mind of worries as you concentrate on the task in hand. There is also much research being done on how grounding and therapeutic nature and gardening are in our digital age. Definitely a book to appeal to a broad range of ages and skills, and with a timeless appeal.
Photography: Amelia Brooks/ Styling: Amelia and Jacqui Brooks
‘The Crafted Garden- Book Review’ written by Jacqui Brooks
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