Face to Face Topiary

This week I was asked to do a bit of topiary: creating a face in a hedge.

The hedge was left uncut this year to produce some extra growth to give me something to work with. This is my first ‘cut’.

hedge topiary 1 hedge topiary 3 hedge topiary 2


It is still work in progress. The whole thing needs at least another season’s growth to be able to develop the nose, ‘harden off’ the edges, and develop some more detailed features. The eyes also need some work to make them a little less sunken and mask like.

Give it another 2 months and I will clean it all up. By this time next year it should look like a friendly face.

Spitfires and Hurricanes

I love old machinery and equipment with a story. Things made to last, not made to a penny.

blacksmith leg vice standBlacksmithing allows me to do my bit in this story. Everything I make is probably made from twice as strong/thick steel as is specifically necessary. But then it will do its job well and likely be around in 100 years.

Read down my blog and you will see the story of a leg vice I bought from a local reclaim/bric-a-brac shop and then refurbished. I have since been looking for a suitable stand for it. Last week one appeared on ebay and amazingly it was only 5 miles away from us.

It turned out to be a part of a workshop clearance. The workshop owner having recently died at 98, only 2 weeks before having purchased a new buggy to ‘soup-up’. At 78 he was pulling engines out of Jaguars and rebuilding them. My kind of man.

He had owned his workshop for decades, initially setting it up to repair parts for Spitfires and Hurricanes.

So now, this stand, that has such a wonderful history, is supporting my leg vice. Priceless.

Branching out

figs for sale 1Today we have added plant sales to our honey with some fig trees taken as cuttings from our very large fig tree on our south facing wall.

figs for sale 2