One thing leads to another….
I’ve been in my lovely studio, in the garden of my home, for about 15 months now and it has made such a huge difference to not only the way I work, but also to how we use our garden.
Prior to having The Schtudio (as it is known) I worked from what was the study. I took that over, installing my kiln along with all the other paraphernalia associated with glass fusing, and forced my husband to use our bedroom or the dining room table whenever he worked from home (on average once a week). Our study is quite small and it wasn’t very long before I started spilling out into the spare room and it seemed my glass work was slowly taking over the whole house. As much as I loved my hobby becoming my work, it felt as if I never escaped from it. So it was with huge relief for everyone when my husband suggested we build something in the garden.
We decided on a log cabin, with a verandah. Neither my husband nor I are really gardeners and we chose to house the cabin in an area of the garden we didn’t use. It was mainly lawn with overgrown shrubs on the boundary, along with a fair few brambles. I called the chap who has been looking after our trees for the past 20 years and asked if he could tidy the boarder up for us. He agreed. Well, to cut a long story short he discovered most of the shrubs were dead or dying, the brambles were more prolific than originally thought and it ended with virtually everything being ripped out. All of a sudden we were faced with a blank, muddy canvas that looked a little like Glastonbury after a rainy weekend
Now there are few things as scary or as exciting as a blank canvas. Whilst we waited for the cabin to be built we started planning. We decided we wanted a cottage garden feel, with plants that would attract bees and butterflies and a wildlife pond, and that is where the real fun started.
I love research, but more than that I love a spreadsheet! I spent many happy hours looking up plants, bulbs, shrubs and flowers, then entering all the details on my spreadsheet. In the meantime the cabin was built and my husband decided the grass should be cut into what he calls “a mazy meadow path” round my new studio. Once he’d done that I got in touch with our neighbours’ son-in-law, who is a gardener, and he dug and built the wildlife pond. He also started on the planting and has advised on the best place to buy plants.
We now have a small table and chairs behind the cabin and close to the wildlife pond (which had a newt in it within minutes of it being filled), as well as on the verandah. Last summer we enjoyed many an early evening drink either sitting on the verandah and just enjoying looking at the garden, or at the back of the cabin eagerly making plans for our cottage garden. I am genuinely excited at how the garden is going to progress and can’t wait to see what wildlife the pond will attract. On top of all of that I have the most wonderful, calm space in which to work. It has enabled me to offer glass fusing workshops and it also doubles as an exhibition space for events such as Warwickshire Open Studios. And who knows, my schtudio may also make a gardener of me yet.