A Birthday Celebration

The axiom that "time flies by when you're having fun" rings very true for us at Cabbages and Roses. We can hardly believe that we are almost 18! We feel very fortunate to have shared so much with you during the past 18 years and look forward to continually doing so as we ascend into adulthood. In celebration of this landmark year, as part of our series of happenings that started with the launch of our shiny new website, we are very happy to introduce you to one of our favourite artists, Heidi Venamore.

Quince Study

Ms Venamore is a highly regarded botanical painter whose work revolves around the intersection of art and science. She is inspired by the great botanical painters and plant collectors of history. Ms Venamore is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, a painting member of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society, London, and an Associate Member of the Society of Botanical Artists, UK.  She paints plants from private gardens and plant collections, and has exhibited in London, New York, Australia and the Middle East. To help us commemorate 18 years of Cabbages & Roses, in conjunction with the Chelsea Physic Garden, we warmly invite you to join us at a showing of her paintings at 121 Sydney Street. Space is limited but, if you would like to attend, please R.S.V.P. to info@cabbagesandroses.com.

Acanthus Mollis

In the interim, to learn more about Ms Venamore and a bit about why we adore her, please read our interview below:

First of all, can you tell us a bit about what you do? 
I’m a botanical artist, painting plants and flowers in watercolour and graphite. 

If you didn’t do what you do – what would you like to be – anything in the world?
A helicopter pilot.  

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
My mother has been a bottomless pit of kindness to me (and many others) throughout her life.  I can’t hold a candle to her selflessness.

Your earliest memory?
Twirling for endless hours on a swing my father put up in a loquat tree.

Your proudest moment?
Bringing my two little girls into the world. Nothing comes close. 

Your last supper?
MMmm… homemade raised game pie or corn on the cob or Musakhan (chicken roasted with sumac spice and onions and olive oil) or banofee pie or fried halloumi on a bed of rocket or fresh pomegranate juice or fresh hot Arabic bread from the oven or chicken in tarragon or homemade pate with toasted sourdough and cornichons or elderflower presse or homemade spinach and ricotta ravioli with burnt sage butter or anything with rosewater.  Oh, or my mother’s cheese boreg with cream cheese in the pastry.   But what about cheesecake?

Your perfect dinner guests – dead or alive – you can choose 8
A.A. Gill, Georg Dionysus Ehret (botanical painter 1708-70), Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), Saladin (1137-93), Vivienne Westwood, Kylie Minogue, Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), Madeleine Albright 
(and Christina Strutt and me!).

The naughtiest thing you did at school?
I was never, ever naughty.  Teacher’s pet.

Where did you grow up? 
Toowoomba, Australia.

What/where is your favourite place in the world? 
My home in Wiltshire.  It’s divine, a dream come true.

If you were stuck on an island for a year and could only take one book with you what would it be?
An empty sketchbook, as long as I could have a pencil too.

What annoys you most in the whole world? 4 things 
Pointless bureaucracy.  Using the non-carbon side of the tracedown paper when I’ve spent hours transferring a sketch to watercolour paper. Unnecessary or difficult packaging.   Patchy internet service.

What makes you happiest?
Seizing a halcyon day for a spontaneous picnic in the garden with my girls.

Where would you most like to be right now?
At home, in the studio or the garden.  Or the kitchen for that matter.

What is your most treasured possession?
A ring I wear every day, a Ceylonese sapphire, bought from an estate dealer in Australia.  It was a birthday gift to myself, quite a treat, and symbolises that most important and hard-earned of attributes, self-worth. From this core, everything flows. 

If you had to describe Cabbages & Roses in a sentence what would it be? 
Cabbages crafts gorgeous, playful clothes of the heart for women who move with awareness through the world, trailing a delight of Englishness.  

Phlomis, Justicia, Gaillardia

Callistemon Rugulosus

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