Copyright © Gill Bloom 2011

I draw great inspiration from my garden which is a great home for all kinds of weird and wonderful wildlife. Birds feature highly among my artistic subjects as I have a great fondness and some might say addiction to owning and breeding birds. My other great subjects for my work are flowers. Not the stiff, formal ones you find in florists but the graceful, natural ones found in my cottage garden — Day lilies, Morning Glory, Fuchsias and many others have already been used in my work. I take pride in my work and there are no two of anything I make. Everything I make has been lovingly cut out and sewn — there are no mass production to be found here! I enjoy what I do and I hope you enjoy what I make!

My garden has been run organically for the last 18 years, so it tends to be a bit untidy around the edges which seems to suit the wildlife. The cottage and land used to belong to the Georgian house next door and was lived in by the gardener, so there have been many generations of green fingers tending the soil.  It has mature oak trees and holly hedges surrounding it , which means there are lots of safe nesting places for birds.  I have a wildlife pond which attracts the usual amphibians - Frogs, Toads and Newts. These have increased so rapidly over the years that they end up fighting for space during the spring - the Newts and Toads have had to spread to the Goldfish pond, they seem to cope with the Goldfish!  During the summer there is an impressive array of Damselflies, Dragonflies - including some of the large ones which hawk over the meadow and a good selection of Butterflies.  There is also an colony of Pipistrelle bats that appear during the long summer nights and on warm days you will occasionally see a Grass Snake basking on the gravel.

There are Weasels, Rabbits, Moles, Hedgehogs and, over the garden fence, Foxes in the meadow.

There are quite a impressive array of avian visitors. The usual Wrens, Dunnocks and Sparrows and an occasional Goldcrest.  The Song Thrushes make short work of any snails in the garden and usually nest in the wisteria by the front door - this year they manage to raise three fledglings despite next doors' cat!  There are Tits including a band of Longtailed Tits which can at times take over the peanut feeder.  We also have various Finches, including Goldfinches and Bullfinches which like to come to look and sample my fruit trees. There are Pheasants, Partridges, a Little Owl, Sparrowhawks, Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Magpies, Jays and Collared Doves.  Spotted Flycatchers are regular summer visitors and  in the winter we have quite a number of Fieldfares and Redwings.  There are a number of orchards nearby and they come for the windfall apples.  Perhaps the most unusual and exciting visitor was a Kite being mobbed by Crows as it passed over the garden.

            “The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration."

                                                                 Claude Monet