The UK squares arrived at the Garden just before Christmas, and are now installed in our Art Gallery, arranged on the walls in 8 vibrant colour blocks, ranging from blues and purples, to pink and scarlet, then greens, yellows and whites. The mixture of themes, techniques, designs and skills is extraordinary, and has inspired all of us here who have been involved with organising the display, and encouraging visitors to come. In addition to the wall hangings, we’ve added a couple of display cabinets to show examples of botanical illustrations from the Garden’s library, and to show a new patchwork of whorled caraway Carum verticillatum, Carmarthenshire’s county flower. This was made by Garden volunteer Marilyn Caruana, who also helped to install the show.
The local textile community has been invited to special stitching sessions during January – we’re expecting around 20-30 stitchers per session. Resource materials for textiles, stitches, flora and inspiration will be available as will fabric, threads and basic sewing equipment. We have also prepared a guide to those submissions with a special Welsh interest, e.g. the rare and the familiar.
It is hoped that we might create a permanent stitch collection at the Garden to illustrate our living plant collection, the natural flora of Wales, and plants relating to our main conservation events – Wales Fungus Day, Wales Wild Flower Day, Welsh Tree Festival and Medicines in May.
The exhibition is free to view, and there is free entry to the Garden throughout January, except for the £2 charge on weekend days when special events are being held. Normal admission applies in February. The exhibition catalogue is a colourful and a well presented reminder of a wonderful idea which has inspired so many to create such beautiful work.
We hope that the National Botanic Garden of Wales will have the opportunity to display the pan-European collection in the future.
Margot Greer, Garden Volunteer