Some people collect stamps, others collect elephant items, the builder of the Italian Gardens clearly had a thing for bricks.
Brick making used to be a very local thing, cricks were heavy to transport, so you might as well make them close to the clay, and close to where you needed them. As a result the colour variations throughout the country is quite dramatic.
Bricks were stamped with the details of the brick maker, so we spent quite a while looking for bricks that were local to our old home in North Staffordshire. Dad's family are Stoke people, so this collection from Fenton and Longton reminded us of the colours of the terraced houses throughout the city.
This wall contains ones that are a bit more local to Wales, with some wonderful stamping for the brickworks names.
Even the middle of these bricks are beautiful, I love how the outside and the inside turned different colours in the firing process. Wonderfully subtle...
One of the jobs for this week is to plan the February Gradient Pack colours, maybe a brickwork colour way is on the cards.
The area around here seems to attract it's own special breed of eccentrics...
In the garden of a bungalow above Corris there's an homage to a lifetime of holidays in Italy. A local Chicken Farmer and Caravan Park owner loved their family holidays so much that in 1980 he decided to recreate the Italian architecture in his own garden using cement, chicken wire, and other building materials.
35 years on it's now sadly slipping back in to the forest, the owner died in 2012, and since then it doesn't look as if much is being done to maintain it.
We visited just before the New Year, and I freely admit to getting snap happy as everywhere I looked there was something that made me smile with it's delightful quirkiness.
This is only the top half of the garden, so hopefully gives you a sense of the scale of the place...
If you're in the area then it's well worth a trek up the hill to take a look at. This map shows you where to find it.
Next up, brick close ups... seriously, there's some lovely examples of locally made house bricks in some stunning colours!