Anyone familiar with Michele’s jewellery will know that one of her main sources of inspiration is nature. She loves to surround herself with nature and when she’s not making jewellery in her workshop she spends lots of time tending to her garden. Having developed her current garden over 40 years a beautiful space has been created, boasting an impressive variety of plants.
Documenting the progress and changes is also important. This spring she wanted to share some behind the scenes footage with our followers. You can find these updates on our twitter feed and on our Instagram page Micheles Garden story highlight. Read on for the highlights of spring in Michele’s garden.
Spring Flowering Favourites
Spring is such an exciting time of year as the weather starts to become milder and the first flowers begin to pop up. One of the first signs is when the soil is blanketed with the blue of chionadoxa.
In early April the Sanguinaria Candensis is one of Michele’s favourite plants and each flower lasts for only a couple of days.
As April draws to a close the paeonies start to emerge, tree and herbaceous varieties, filling the garden with pink, red yellow and white, both double and single flowers.
Mid-May brings beautiful irises, Michele particularly loves the bearded irises and elegant Sibirica which comes in many gorgeous colours.
And to top off the delights of Spring, the foxgloves start to pop up. These have been a bit unpredictable in Michele’s garden in the past, but they are looking great this year and will provide a continuous wash of delicate pink and white until the Autumn.
Top Tips for Spring
Having been an avid gardener for many years, Michele has lots of advice on how to make the most of your garden.
Pest Control: The photo below shows Michele’s use of egg shells as a natural slug repellent on her erythroniums. Simply break up your used egg shells and sprinkle them around plants which need protecting. By avoiding use of chemical solutions and recycling your food waste, this is an environmentally friendly approach to treating pests.
Maximising Space: Michele recently developed a roof garden on top of a World War Two air raid shelter at the front of her garden. This has not only beautified an old building but is also a great way to optimise the use of space in her garden, ensuring every nook and cranny is bursting with life.
This year Michele embarked on an exciting new gardening adventure. She has started acquiring and growing various arisaema, also known as cobra lilies or jack-in-the-pulpit. Found most often in China and Japan, this species is rarely found in the UK.
Michele’s arisaema bed has developed considerably since she started planting out in early March. Now there are nineteen varieties growing! Some are very different from others, they are tall and short, featuring very large or very small leaves, some with flowers and others without.
‘It is a whole new world for me and extremely exciting to go out each day and find a new shoot appearing.’
National Open Garden Scheme
Every spring Michele opens her garden to visitors for the National Open Garden Scheme, which raises money for nursing and health charities. This year Michele was delighted to welcome around 40 visitors into her garden.
Spring VisitsMichele says,
‘I always used to think of my garden as predominantly a spring garden. This encouraged me to buy more summer and autumn flowering plants. Because people generally buy plants in flower or at least at their best, this entails visiting rare plant fairs at different times throughout the year.
In a normal year I also visit gardens throughout the season. This has gradually turned my garden into one which looks good all year round. Presently I have a good selection of flowering plants looking great.’
Nature Inspired Jewellery
Michele has always been fascinated by trees. When she sees one which particularly piques her interest she will often make a piece of jewellery based on it.Between lockdowns during summer 2020 Michele stayed near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. She saw the famous Sycamore Gap and was inspired to make this brooch. Silver wires and 18ct gold pieces form the trunk and branches while oxidised silver forms make up the leaves and grassy landscape.
You can read more about Michele’s tree-inspired jewellery in our Year of the Tree blog post.
If you enjoyed learning about what’s happening #InMichelesGarden this spring, please stay tuned for further updates during the summer.
We would love to see what you’ve been growing in your garden this spring – tweet us or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your photos and comments.