This photo is of a section of the peacock’s tail, showing the wide range of pebbles which Maggy is using, including semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, for the mosaic which will form the path leading to the aviary in our garden for the Chelsea Flower Show. Thousands of pebbles and stones will be needed, so many in fact that Maggy announced today that she is running short and will have to make an excursion to Anglesey where she has a special licence to collect pebbles from a secret location which is owned by a titled gentleman there. I’m flabbergasted that with time running so short she has the time and energy to travel for five hours for the back-breaking task of hand-picking pebbles.
The lapis lazuli are mined in Afghanistan. Formerly, lapis lazuli was ground and processed to make the pigment ultramarine for tempera paint and, sometimes, oil paint. The ultramarine colour of the stone will be a perfect foil for the ultramarine paint on the aviary.
The picture below shows Maggy choosing the stone for the Peacock’s eye. She plumped for the one in her left hand.