Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Sock,Trollop and Reeley - Road Trip 2013

Flower filled pots at Whichford Pottery

 After the resounding success of last years road trip the Sock, LazyTrollop and Helen Reeley (who together comprise 'The Ladies who Launch' ) were inundated with requests for them to visit in 2013. All that was needed was to put together the right blend of fun people to visit with a few interesting gardens thrown in for good measure.

Most of what follows is a true account of this year's adventure.

It's been a tough year so we were much in need of japes and jollification.  Tossing our overnight bags into the boot of LazyTrollop's car (mine somewhat weighed down with a bottle of 'emergency' Prosecco and Helen's weighed down with a year's supply of emergency lip gloss) we set off for first stop - Whichford Pottery.  [Actually when I say Whichford Pottery, what I means is a pub nearby for a chatty lunch with twitter friend Harriet Rycroft who is showing us around there on her day off.]

Such is Harriet's loyalty to, and pride in, Whichford Pots that when I first 'met' her on twitter I assumed she was the owner! As it is, Harriet combines being Whichford's Head Gardener with blogging and tweeting about the Pottery in an interesting and personal way which few of those who appear on twitter promoting themselves/businesses manage. She must be worth her weight in gold! I haven't posted many pictures of the fabulous, flower-filled pots here as Harriet's photos on the blog will give you a much, much better idea.

Harriet at Whichford pots

I have always loved Whichford pots from when I first started seriously gardening.  No birthday complete without the present of a pot!  The one below is my first from about 20 years ago and has acquired the patina of age and wear beautifully.

After a slightly 'loud' lunch in what was previously a peaceful country pub we make our way to the pottery.  Obviously, before we can be seen again in public, Helen has to apply a new layer of lippy from her overflowing vanity bag.

Helen's overnight bags!

Sadly the battery ran out on Helen's rather marvellous compact with built in light (right) and the mirror has been discarded.

After we have spent five minutes advising Helen on the removal of excess lip gloss from her cheek, teeth, and tongue, we are ready and eager for our tour.

The pottery is quite fascinating and wonderfully 'hand's on' - a proper craftperson's place.
It never occurred to me that the clay was actually er... soil.

The raw ingredient!

Three different sorts are bought in and stored apparently the soil being better if left to age for years in a nearby field*  Then it is mixed into mud, cut into sheets

and 'spun' into shape

after which various moulds and inscriptions are made on them..

 These tools look just like pastry cutters!

We were hard pushed to decide which were our favourite designs

although these black pots with a salamander on the rim were pretty damn smart..

So many pots, so difficult to choose one but I went for one with tulip frieze in contrasting greyish green  colour, very chic.

 We somehow spent several hours perusing the pottery and were too exhausted to take Harriet up on her invitation for a cup-of-tea and nose around her personal garden (which I expect she was quite relieved by!).  Next time.  We drove off to our overnight accommodation at a rather nice Inn where Helen napped and re-did her lip gloss in time for supper, whilst Lazy Trollop and I made short work of the Prosecco.

Coming soon.. Sock, Trollop & Reeley Roadtrip Part II where we visit a posh village house and behave like elegant and cultured ladies, and a refined country garden where I fall in a hedge.


* LazyTrollop told me this so it might not be right.

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