7 Sept 2016

The Stitching Botanicals’ Secret Garden

Laura Jones

The Secret Garden, illustrating the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett in stitch, has been taking life over the past few months in our Science building at the top of the hill, where the Stitching Botanicals work each month. It was created for the Swansea Festival of Stitch and first displayed outside at Swansea Museum.

It has now returned to its place of creation, and is well suited to its new home; nestled within the slips of the outer and inner wall of the Double Walled Garden. Each part has been carefully stitched, sewn, crocheted and knitted into form; giant foxgloves, a robin with a beaded worm, the protagonists of the book… every aspect showcases the craft and ability.

The stitchers are nothing if not a productive lot though. When you visit you can see a whole range of their impressive work spread throughout the Garden. In the Apothecary Hall you’ll find stitched illustrations of medicinal plants, grouped on their usage with different bodily systems. Through the dark of the From Another Kingdom exhibition are three-dimensional fungi, sprouting from their fabric squares. And of course, in the Great Glasshouse is the South African Plant panel with plant recreations that are so good, the bees get tricked.

The group has also been illustrating the results of our honey bee research by creating hexagons for each plant foraged on, which we identify from the DNA in the honey. Continuing the theme, pollinator groups is the plan for ongoing projects; with hoverflies, solitary bees, bumblebees and butterflies all on the agenda.

New members are always welcome and anyone wishing to join the group should contact volunteer coordinator Jane Down at jane.down@gardenofwales.org.uk or call 01558 667118 for details.