The Orange Tip

details in the dirt

Garden featured in ‘Great Gardens of London’

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Really pleased to have had the garden photographed and featured in this fantastic book. I feel very honoured to be included alongside such iconic London gardens as Lambeth Palace, Winfield House, Hampton Court and even 10 Downing Street..

The book was written by Victoria Summerly and included photographs by the fantastic, Hugo Rittsen-Thomas. It’s available from Amazon.co.uk, and here’s a sneak peek..

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Ivy Cities Journal

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During the course of my time at the garden in Richmond I’ve recorded notes, thoughts and reflections on this blog, however I’ve also been keeping a physical diary. Spanning the five years I’ve spent developing the grounds, numerous notebooks have been (almost) daily filled, with not just the mechanical day-to-day lists and reminders of a working garden, but with observations that recount everything else that comes with working in an outdoor, and often wild environment.

In late 2015, I spent some time putting together a journal which I’ve named, ‘Ivy Cities’. The journal comprises diary entries, photographs and workings selected from my notebooks, and serves to preserve, in a small way, some of the memories and experiences that went with caring for this wonderful garden.

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In putting together the journal I was fortunate enough to be able to enlist the help of Good Empire: for styling and paper sourcing, and Maria Nilsson: for her wonderful illustrations.

Ivy Cities has had a limited print-run and copies are available for order. I ask for a donation of £8 per copy, which covers printing and postage. Please contact me at: matt@orangetip.co.uk for orders and further information.

 

Suburban Hawk

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Every now and then one spots something in the corner of the eye when walking; something taken to be immobile, inanimate. Only, in that same moment the mind registers life, and it sends a bizarre kind of shock down the spine – this object is a living thing, despite what your eyes are telling you.

I’m fond of these moments, however unnerving the surprise and infrequently they occur. The shock is a thrill, like plunging into cold water. Spotting a lime hawk moth sat motionless in the road in front of me today brought the same chilling excitement as that which accompanied the stag beetle on my desk, the eagle in the acacia, the grass snake in the pond.

Caldey Island

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Three nights on Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire, West Wales. More information and images on the ‘Away’ page: away

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Soft light

Wild Columbine

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New Orange Tip Podcast: Peter Cross

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I went to meet the illustrator of a much-loved and treasured book from my childhood, Peter Cross. Peter’s drawings capture the back-garden, natural-world with exquisite, precise and entertaining botanical detail. During my recent correspondence with him, Peter noted that his garden was in fact his greatest work, and kindly agreed to discuss both his artwork and his outdoor-influences with me at his home in Surrey. From the perspective of both gardener and nature enthusiast, it was a great privalige to meet the man behind this unique book.

You can hear this short podcast on my ‘Listen’ page: Listen

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Collected things.

Collected things.

Kingcup

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Marsh Marigold flowering stoically in the pond. The more this area of the garden develops (now in its 6th year since filling and planting up) the more I’m drawn to it. Garden ponds, no matter what the size or scale, are forever an eye witness source of evolution. You begin with a few periphery plants and before you know it you have all kinds of aquatic growth appearing from water mint and iris to frogs and damselflies. Marsh marigold however (Caltha palustris) is the true beacon in the bog, so to speak. It’s one of our oldest native wildflowers in fact, having pushed its little yellow light bulbs up through the thawing ice-age.

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Pond’s Eye View

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The Frogs Know

..when it’s spring.

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