Carl Taylor, who has built more than quarter of a mile of limestone walling in my garden is an artist as well as a craftsman. He likes to add artistic flourishes to his work and I’ve never been able to fathom whether it’s from his love of the job or to see the look of astonishment on my face when I see it. A good example is the stone flower which he unexpectedly incorporated into the wall of the boiler house next to the Orangery (below); another is the niche which he built into the wall on my bedroom extension overlooking the garden, complete with an elegant slate base. This was some time ago, and I hadn’t got round to finding a suitable ornament to put in the niche, other than having a vague discussion with Alan Ward, my sculptor, as to what might work.
Fortunately, Alan isn’t as lackadaisical as I am, and got on with the job, turning up one day with the perfect little sculpture shown in the photo above. He explained that it represents Cornucopia – the horn of plenty which dispenses unlimited quantities of food, drink and other riches. It is embellished with gold. Nothing could be more perfect for the little niche overlooking the garden. Carl’s spirit is contagious.