Apparently we were lucky to see it – it was only brought in for a week!
Wallace, Gromit and Feathers McGraw bought smiles to thousands of faces during the summer. It was fun to see some of them on the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail in various locations in Bristol and see the reactions of others following the trail.
One of the Wallace benches was placed closed to my Avatar, so this simply had to be photographed. Then my husband made me giggle with his impression of Wallace when he sat on it.
I didn’t realise at the time (there was a queue of people so no time to examine the bench closely) that this particular bench was Nick Park’s tribute to Peter Sallis, the unforgettable voice of Wallace. I loved it was Sallis’s pronunciation of ‘cheese’ that inspired Wallace’s wide mouth. This bench also ‘spoke’ – press a button and out came the voice of Wallace. When I pressed, it said:
“Hey lad, it’s you.” which made me giggle.
Last week I went with a friend to see all the Wallaces, Gromits and Feathers McGraw displayed at Cribbs Causeway. It was a last chance to see everything for a last time and to admire the detail and imagination which went into each piece.
A couple of days ago everything was auctioned off for charity and raised over a million pounds. Two of the Wallace benches raised £55,000 apiece; the tribute to Peter Sallis and another of my favourites, Wallambard.
Tonight the prize draw for one of the Gromits takes place. I have my fingers crossed!
It means the bench is out of bounds for a while whilst she sprawls about and makes herself comfortable.
Update: I’ve always been a bit uneasy about a rose which has 3 different colourways on offer in the catalogue. According to the RHS, the pink version is ‘The Fairy’ and I see the online offerings now show this as ‘Red Fairy’. Looking at my rose and their photos, I think I may have a case of Rosa mislabelledanthicus!
I first came across this bench when Diana shared photos of it sometime last year. I loved its redness amongst the soft wispy grass, and I never dreamt I’d get to see it for real.
Fast forward to this year’s Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin, Texas and there it was waiting for discovery on Saturday morning. We were visiting Colleen Jamison’s garden – which was gorgeous – but it’s what she’s done with the median strip outside her house which merits attention on this particular blog.
Not only is there the sassy red bench, there are plenty more, with most of them primped with inviting bright cushions. I was concerned about theft, and Colleen assured me there has been very little since she’s tended this strip of land.
It’s now Colleen’s favourite area, because “people seem to really enjoy it!” She also describes it as the most challenging part she has to garden because “the space had terrible soil, no irrigation, and was covered by weeds and browsed nightly by deer. I wanted to see if I could garden successfully in the worst of the worst conditions.” … “Little by little, a garden emerged.”
It’s a triumph. At the end of our visit it was fitting we Flingers chose this inviting area to gather and chat whilst we awaited the return of our tour bus.
A walk back from town in the spring sunshine last week provided the ideal opportunity… and the discovery of a flash of butter yellow cowslips to brighten my view.
Looking at the previous photo, it’s interesting to see how the bench’s surroundings have changed. When it was an ex bench there was lush growth around it. Today’s bare ground and a stray pop bottle suggests it’s well used.
It’s that usage which probably allowed the cowslips to re-emerge or take hold for the first time. Around here they thrive and provide delight where the grass is kept relatively short.