The final morning of the printmaking workshop was a frenzy of block cutting and ink rolling , the small press was in constant use with a queue of people waiting with inked blocks and paper at the ready. My prints in this final session fell into the category "learning from mistakes", but I'm sure that when I go through them in the quiet of my studio I'll find some techniques I'll want to use again. The most inspiring thing was working and talking with Richard Bawden and the other printmakers on the course – we all learnt from each other.
Broadland Arts Centre is in the little village of Dilham, it's only a few miles from the coast – so with the sun shining I decided to head east down winding lanes to the sea before heading home.
I found myself on the road to Happisburgh (pronounced haze-ber-rer – now that's a place name that sorts the tourists from the locals!) a charming coastal village with a red and white striped lighthouse and church with a tall tower which look out to the North Sea. Happisburgh is now well known as the village that is disappearing into the North Sea . . .
A few miles inland is East Ruston Old Vicarage and there was no way I was going to drive past the gate without going in! This has become one of Britain's 'must see' gardens – the owners, Alan Gray and Graham Robeson have created a wonderful pleasure ground of a garden from the flat exposed coastal fields. Over the years the garden has evolved and expanded, local landmarks – church towers and Happisburgh lighthouse – are glimpsed through craftily cut openings in hedges and sheltered from the on shore winds they have created micro-climates which allow tender plants to flourish. There are 'Wow' views at every turn, here are just three . . .
The Entrance Court gravel garden planted with tender succulents, the beautiful dark leaved ones are Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'.
The elegant Dutch Garden near the house, with box topiary and geometric beds.
The star of the Mediterranean Garden is Echium pininana, from the Canary Islands and planting the mauve flowered thyme at the base is pure genius!