Those of you who are fans of Downton Abbey will know that the location used for the series is Highclere Castle in Newbury, West Berkshire.
This historic house also has famous gardens with spectacular beds of perennials and walled gardens. You can see some of the garden’s glory in the gallery on the Highclere Castle website here.
Pat Bootland visited Highclere Castle a few years ago and created a walled garden scene from a composite of two photos. Like all her original pieces it uses an amazing array of stitches densely layered on the fabric to create a sense of profusion and texture. There are also her signature ferns created with needleweaving.
We’ll start with the work in its frame
now closer up
The view through the arch – the lawn was created by using very small straight stitches. Pat laid down the straight stitches in one colour green and then repeated the process in four other greens until the whole lawn area was covered and blended.
The wonderful espaliered plum tree with its bullion leaves and padded stem stitch branches. The brickwork of the wall has been created using canvaswork stitches in a range of colours.
and here’s the beading which is so totally cool
then there’s this adorable puss
He was based on her daughter’s cat. Pat wanted to show its dark striped coat so that it had definition and presence but without being overpowering. The plant next to it was embroidered by first doing very long straight stitches and then wrapping them in blended threads.
Finally these cute hedgehogs and delicately woven ferns
Watching Pat at work is an amazing experience. She usually has a rough drawing of what she wants to do but no detailed plan. She starts and decides how she’ll do a particular bit. Then when that’s finished she’ll work out the colours and stitches for the next section and so on. It’s a very open and fluid creative process……and fast, very fast. She flies through pieces while chatting away and telling very funny stories.