We are looking for contacts, local community groups, interested individuals, routes into funding, places to exhibit, support, volunteers, publicity and people to network with in order to develop our projects.
Please contact us by emailing milesanddacombe@virginmedia.com.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Birds of summer

Today was our final public workshop at the Green Patch. We were really pleased to welcome back Lily and her mum again, and 3 new families joined us too.

Lots of activity today, we had signs to finish off and the children really enjoyed painting them.

We also made birds, upcycling plastic packaging into beautiful colourful bird collages which we will perch in the trees around the Green Patch.

Quinn enjoyed exploring and playing on the mud piles!

and everybody sat on the blue mat to make their birds.

Here is the team with their finished birds!

Carole and Jo also did some more work on their installation for the summer house.
We are designing some new windows for the summer house, and Jo had made a prototype. It fitted perfectly! Next, we started thinking about how we might redesign the windows in the door panels too.

Carole had been busy making other parts out of acrylic for the installation too, and had been finishing off the bunting made in our earlier workshops, sewing down the edges and putting on the backing fabric. They're looking really stunning now!

Well, that's it for our public workshops for now, because we need some time to get all the work made in our workshops installed around the Green Patch site! And we need to make some more work of our own - so keep following the blog for more updates soon -

 - and of course for news of the final celebration when we will invite everybody back to see all the work hanging, installed and bringing colour and art to the Green Patch!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Happily Crowded Summer House

Last week Green Patch gardener Merle spent a morning with us preparing and priming wooden signs, 

today she returned with her sister Mollie to paint designs on the signs. 

Mollie told Michael, who was back to help dig in some plants in the very hard ground, about her son's adventures as an engine driver and promised to return with some photographs

The sisters are an inspiring pair, full of kindness, intriguing stories about their experiences, practical information, growing tips  and a huge love of life. 

If the morning had been relatively quiet, the afternoon was a whirl of people and activity! 

We were joined by several new family groups, 

some of our regular participants and four of our Light Walkers.

Two new Green Patch volunteers arrived with three broken wheelbarrows

which were up-cycled into planters

A gardeners' hands with beautiful Turkish rings!

There was a lovely atmosphere with small groups painting signs, making more bunting and trying out the wax resist paintings. Parents were able to relax and explore their creativity with their children out in the fresh air. The children went to visit the ducks and chickens, ran up and down taking away old cardboard boxes, washing brushes and everyone sat on chairs, floor or grass talking happily and helping each other.

Gillie and his brother made beautiful signs, one for the Bees

one for the tomatoes .

Through the wonders of Twitter the lovely Shena Cooper founder of the Secret Seed Society came to visit Lucy and the Green Patch Team. Here she is with Gillie and his completed sign. The Secret Seed Society "believe in engaging young children with the natural world, and understanding where their food comes from want all children to experience the magic of growing vegetables from seed, and making edible concoctions with what they grow." They produce lovely illustrated books featuring Rio Rocket, Carla Carrot, Chrissie Cress, Rudie Radish, and Mingo Mug that come with seeds to plant and are a wonderful introduction the the fabulous world of growing, they also have the Seed Agent Club and great growing and cooking tips of adults and children!

Monday, 20 August 2012

A New Monday

It was a beautiful afternoon at the Green Patch, the overcast morning sky was replaced by soft clouds and gentle shades of blue. Our early arrivers happily set about watering the young trees in the new orchard and as more arrived the raised beds were also given some attention. The ducks and chickens were visited and Emily, the Green Patch cat was given plenty of fuss.

This also gave participants an opportunity to explore the Green Patch growing spaces and choose plants or elements they would like to draw during the course of the afternoon.

As the afternoon was mild and breezy we decided to forego the gazebo

There was a great sense of peace and relaxation

We worked with fabric dyes and wax crayons to create bold resist paintings

all age groups from 3 upwards enjoyed the activity

and there was plenty of time and space to make more than one image.

Esther's pencil sketch of the landscape as viewed from the Summer House

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Day 5 - sun, signs and a ceiling

The end of our first week at the Green Patch, and it has been busy!

We had more visitors today, despite it being scorching hot! But our trusty gazebo gave us shelter. A very pleasant day making more bunting and printing signs.

Bunting: a scarecrow, a ladybird and a cat

We also did some more work towards our installation to go in the summer house. The idea keeps on developing, this time we masked out shapes on a panel to be mounted on the ceiling.

Work resumes again on Monday! 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Day Four - a weather installation

Today we started making parts for our weather installation for the summer house at the Green Patch allotments.

Weather has been a big feature in our residency so far, it's a physical struggle at times to create work in gusty wind, sudden heavy rain and hot sunshine, all of which we have experienced in one week! Of course weather is important for growing and the allotment too, and every day we are all hoping for enough rain to refill the depleted water butts, followed by hopes for enough sunshine to ripen everything, wishing for that perfect balance and making constant adaptations here and there to protect plants from drying out or from becoming waterlogged.

Therefore we felt that we should create an installation in the summer house to reflect aspects of weather. We spent the day cutting, heat bending and machining pieces of acrylic sheet. We'll start installing the pieces tomorrow.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Day Three - Ideas and Unpredictable Elements

Today was a work / site exploration day for Miles & Dacombe and we began by setting up sewing machines under the gazebo at the entrance end of the Green Patch which gave us a view of the soft fruit garden and the new play area. We whizzed through the bunting designs from Monday's workshop and then went back to the summer house to do a bit of DIY whilst waiting for our visit from Rachel McGrath from Northampton Community Foundation.

After the visit we had lunch in the summer house, listening 
to  rain falling on the roof, watching the parched earth relaxing

We discussed ideas and made plans, painted the ceiling blue

Tricky in such a small space

Made plans for pan lids

Admired a quiet corner

Got a bit hampered by the weather

Got quite wet 

which Carole enjoyed 

almost as much as the plants!