Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Green Scene’ for the Western Mail. 10th November 2018
What a st-Art
I am delighted to be exhibiting in my very first Art Exhibition over the next few weeks after just starting art classes a month ago.
Welsh artist Claire Timbrell is organising a fundraising open art exhibition in honour of her partner’s Grandfather, an ex-Grenadier Guard, who passed away last month. The event will be raising funds for The Royal British Legion Chepstow and The Poppy Appeal and will run from the 9th November to 3rd December in Moot Hall, The Greenman Backpackers, Chepstow.
Claire told me, ‘The event is called JQ54, in honour of our Granddad, who would always refer to himself as JQ54 (his initials plus the last two digits of his service number) whenever he talked about his time as a Grenadier Guard.’
Ken Davies, Chairman of The Royal British Legion added, ‘We are delighted that Claire is doing this and we are pleased to be supporting her in her efforts. It is so fitting to hold this event in Moot Hall & the Greenman Backpackers, the former Royal British Legion building. We wish her every success’.
My very first art class was with Claire at Chapel Cottage Studios in Abergavenny, just a few weeks ago and I have definitely found a new passion – and one I can do sitting down! I’m so proud to have been asked to contribute to the exhibition.
I will be exhibiting four pieces of art – two paintings of poppies, a pair of Poppy Shoes and my favourite, ‘Pawppies’, by Yogi. Yes, Yogi has contributed too, creating her own artwork with her very own paws, hence the title ‘Pawppies’.
You can also follow and share the event on Facebook by searching ‘JQ43 Art For All’.
We are all familiar with the little red flower but did you know that an infusion of petals applied to the skin is said to reduce wrinkles or that the seeds can be used in breads and baking?
Other common names for the field poppy include the common poppy, corn poppy, corn rose, Flanders poppy and red river poppy and amazingly, the seed of the field poppy can remain dormant in the ground for as long as 50 years when buried or kept in darkness by vegetation. The annual poppies germination is dependent upon ground being disturbed and exposing them to light. This is why you will see them adorning a new motorway embankment or popping up in imported topsoil.
I adore the little yellow and orange Welsh poppies but surprisingly they aren’t really poppies at all, but a member of the Meconopsis genus, a group of flowering plants that have poppy-like characteristics. I love the way that they will only flourish where they want to and are particularly obstinate to bloom where you want them to!
Suttons seeds are offering Field Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) seeds that include a donation to SSAFA. An average packet contains 2800 seeds and all proceeds from packs sold up to 11/11/18 will go to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. So you can just get an order in if you are quick after the 11th, for every pack sold, Suttons will donate 20p to SSAFA.
Lest We Forget the Animals Too
Purple poppies are being seen more and more as they commemorate the animals that were injured and lost their lives in conflict. According to the Animals in War Memorial Fund, eight million horses died in the First World War. They were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front line, but they weren’t the only animals involved during this period. Dogs were relied upon for duties including detecting mines and digging out bomb victims, while 100,000 pigeons were used to carry messages.
The campaign began in 2016 and has grown each year as people want to show their respects for the animals lost in service over the years, and for those who serve us today.
This year the charity received over 2,700 knitted poppies made by volunteers around the UK and, due to the overwhelming response, they have already sold out.