Thinking about my previous comment on wet Summers reminds me about the incredible amount of moss I encounter when out on StillWalks production days. Admittedly a fair few of these have been in and around woodland so maybe that is to be expected but, despite the fact that our lawn is made up of more moss than grass, I love the stuff.
It’s when it sends up those little heads, the peristomes, that it is particularly fascinating.
If you want some fascinating facts about moss, check out info presented by Year 2 children (6 – 7 year olds) in this screen shot video from a woodland project I did with them a few years ago.
When we first moved into our current house, the garden was almost a complete blank. A flat rectangle of grass with a straight path down one side, an unused greenhouse towards the bottom end with about 30 – 40 feet of brambles and rubble all banked up behind it and chain-link fencing down the sides.
We spent our first Winter planning how we wanted it to look – not too ambitious to begin with, we simply wanted to get some plants in there and take away some of the straight lines. We dug borders and changed the shape of the path and my mother gave us a Flowering Cherry tree.
We were pleased to find out that, until about 12 years earlier, what was now grass had been filled with roses. This must have been quite something – the garden is approximately 50 metres long from the yard and about 5 metres wide and 50 – 75% of this was roses. Anyway, they must have done the earth a lot of good, and the earth kept that goodness all locked up until we came along and started planting. The result was that it seemed like anything planted grew like crazy. Actually, there are some things that don’t do well and, of course, some of the things that do grow well, we would prefer them not to.
Over the years we have managed to reclaim all of the area behind the greenhouse as well as using the greenhouse itself for a number of years for tomatoes, cucumber, basil, aubergine, etc. However, the greenhouse is no more – taken away when we built a studio at the end of the garden. We still try growing fruit and veg but these days the british Summer is more suited to moss cultivation than anything needing a bit of sunshine. Speaking of which, why not visit the Moss Appreciation Society on Facebook.
There are always improvements and changes we want to make to the garden but whether or not we get round to doing anything about them doesn’t matter to me, I still love our garden the way it is – never too much under our control!
. . . and the birds . . . I used to play birdsong recordings in the background on the computer sometimes in our previous studio – now I don’t have to. Even without StillWalks, they are always there in the garden, right beside me.
The Cherry Tree in full bloom through the patio doors
I guess I’m a bit behind with this but, gradually, I am getting better organised with things and will be trying to put up more regular blog entries as well as a Facebook page and more.
The news is that there are now links to the locations for some of the StillWalks. The full length walks (5 – 7 minutes each) have all got location links for anyone who is interested and these will take you to a Google map. In time, all of the StillWalks on the website will be full length and linked to the full HD versions on Youtube with smaller files available in a separate browser window for those not allowed to access Youtube – such as schools.
More new StillWalks are on their way but the weather here in Wales, lately, has not been what you would call scorching hot! Also to come is a more detailed description of what is involved in putting the StillWalks together – they’re not just a bunch of photos thrown together as a slide show you know!
Ok, so the sketches in the previous entry are there for you to see some of the background stuff that goes into StillWalks. The 1st walk that the sketches are from is now online and is the first one for Spring. There are others coming in the near future and some more recce images taken on my phone for other StillWalks I am working on.
I meant to do more sketch work as it is really helpful when it come to looking and seeing . . . and in that respect, I have been prompting the use of sketch work when doing the school workshops I have started. These are slightly different in that the StillWalks produced include overlaid text and voiceovers from the children which I do not want to use in my own walks but then, the aim of the school workshops is different.
This is where I want to show a different aspect of the walks I take to produce the StillWalks videos. Each walk starts with a recce during which I explore possible routes and look out for features of particular interest.
I had been taking snap shots on my phone to begin with but I am now starting to do some sketching as well. Below are a few examples of the kind of thing I hope to include in the future.