When I finished writing may last blog about the Pythouse Walled Gardens, I was browsing their website and I came across their own blog A Year in the Life of Pythouse Walled Garden. The blog is being written for them by Sally Page. As soon as I saw the name, I went to our bookshelves and pulled out 3 books, all written by Sally.
When I saw the first book "The Flower Shop" - A Year in the Life of an English Country Flower Shop, in the National Trust Shop a few years ago, I knew I had to have it.
Sally has a passion for flowers and flower shops, which is very obvious from her book.
A quote from the sleeve of the book: "If you have two pennies, spend one on bread and the other on a flower, says a Chinese proverb. The bread will sustain life and the flower will give a reason to live."
Trained as a florist, she had a flower shop in London, before moving to the West Country, where she worked as a florist for Ted Martin Flowers in Tisbury in Wiltshire - "The Flower Shop". Sally and her camera recorded the life in the shop month by month. The book is not only about flowers, but also about stories around the shop, its customers, about Tisbury; beautifully photographed and including some florist's tips.
So when I saw Sally's next book, I did not hesitate.
"The Flower Shop Christmas" - Christmas in an English Country flower Shop.
The book is a record of the magical 12 Days of Christmas in the flower shop.
Again, beautifully written and with stunning photographs. It is the book to pick up in the run up to Christmas, to get inspired and to get into the mood. I love this book, I always find some new idea for Christmas decorations.
I don't have (yet) the next book Sally published. It is called ""Flower Shops & Friends" - A Year's Journey around English Flower Shops, in which Sally and her camera travelled around beautiful parts of the country, again it is record of flower shops and the communities around them.
The third book is a small book "Flower Shop Secrets".
In this book Sally shares tips and hints of a florist, some from her previous books, some new, from what type of containers to use to how to stop tulips from getting droopy.
All profits the publisher makes from the sale of this book go to MSAADA, to help women and orphans of Rwanda.
Which brings me to a note on the publisher.
When Sally finished her first book, she could not find anyone who would publish it (!!??)
So her and her partner formed their own publishing company Fanahan Books, which is now publishing all Sally's books.
But Sally is not only florist, writer and photographer. She is also a painter, something I discovered when visiting her website and suddenly I was looking at beautiful paintings.
This is one very gifted lady.
One more quote from her book:
"A flower gives more then a reason to live - it gives us a means to adequately express the full range of our human emotions."
These books are beautiful to give and to receive, to get inspired or to just browse.
A copy of Sally's first book travelled to Scandinavia with me, a present for my Swedish friend,
who loves flowers, but she also liked the "Englishness" of the book.
Now you could say that this post has noting to do with my stitching. Perhaps.
But inspirations for our creativity is influenced from many directions and by many people.
Whenever I see something beautiful, I want to go and make something. I might not have the time or opportunity (or enough talent), but it does inspire me, and this is what enriches our lives. I am sure you will agree.
I will leave you with a couple of pictures I took at Barrington Court yesterday.
There is another story of inspiration I would like to share with you, next time....
Have a good weekend!