I’m really excited to launch my new range of five cards under the theme of ‘A Garden for Wildlife..’ The cards are all about plants & flowers that help wildlife to flourish. They feature bee-friendly foxgloves, leaf piles that give homes to hedgehogs, weeds that are essential for butterflies, evening-scented flowers that attract moths, and seed-heads for goldfinches to feast on.
I designed these cards as a tribute to my parents who were both wonderful gardeners. Through their hard work and passion they created little wildlife havens in our back garden. Both of my parents passed away while I was in my twenties and I wish I’d taken the time to absorb more of their knowledge about gardening. I remember long summer evenings when they would both be in the garden until the dusk was too heavy to keep working. Even then, my dad would still stay out sitting on a bench and listening for the high-pitched squeaks of the bats swooping low over the evening-scented flowers. Some of my earliest and clearest memories are in the garden with dad. I remember when he scooped up a mole in a green basin and called my sister and I over. The mole was fluffy and chocolate coloured with perfectly clean little pink feet. I was enchanted. I also remember the torture of being sent under the netting to pick the strawberries; the fun of helping to separate and replant daffodil bulbs; Dad’s pure joy at the first of the new potatoes each year, served with just butter. I remember being lifted up to peek into a blackbird’s nest, with three perfect blue eggs nestled inside. I remember wellington boots, the smell of creosote, the rumble of the wheelbarrow. My dad was a gentle, knowledgeable man. When I think of him, I think of him in the green corduroys that he wore for gardening, threadbare in the knees, shirt sleeves rolled up. I wanted to create a range of cards that he & mum would love.
I decided to design these cards when I heard about a big fundraising appeal at our local hospital, the Borders General Hospital. Mum & Dad both received treatment at the BGH, and mum in particular spent many years being cared for by the excellent staff at the Macmillan Centre. The fundraising appeal is for the refurbishment and expansion of the Macmillan Centre. The updates will make a huge difference to cancer patients in the Scottish Borders. You can learn more about the plans here. The firm who prints my cards, Footeprint, based in Jedburgh, have very generously donated the first 1,000 cards. That means that 55 pence from each card will go straight to the appeal for the thousand cards. Thereafter, at least 10% of each sale will be donated to the appeal.
Through mum & dad’s illnesses, I realised there was a shortage of beautiful cards that were appropriate to send to someone in hospital or at the end of their life. I wanted this range of cards to be appropriate for all occasions, for the joyful and the tricky times. The cards are colourful & beautifully detailed. The designs are printed across the fold so they wrap-around both sides of the card, creating a small piece of artwork. They bring a little bit of the outdoors inside.
In the new year, there’ll be a raffle to win the original artwork, alongside lots of other beautiful prizes donated by artists and makers in the Scottish Borders. If you’d like to ensure that you hear about the raffle, please subscribe to my newsletter. In the meantime, you can find the new cards here.