Library Members’ Choice: ‘British Wild Flowers’
October 22, 2013

“To see a world in a Grain of Sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour”

– Taken from the poem ‘Auguries of Innocence’, by William Blake

Touch to See ‘British Wild Flowers’ was created in memory of Living Paintings founder Alison Oldland MBE. Alison was passionate about bringing wild flowers to life for the enjoyment of Living Paintings members and had researched and made notes for such a book, including choosing a verse from Blake’s poem as part of the introduction. In celebration of Alison’s life, many of her friends and Living Paintings supporters contributed funds to bring Touch to See ‘British Wild Flowers’ into being.

Iris web version

The above tactile image from this book contains a Great Willowherb, Yellow water lily and a Yellow Flag Iris. Also contained in the montage is a photograph of the Yellow Flag Iris © Plantlife.

As well as art, Alison loved gardens and flowers. Camilla Oldland, Alison’s daughter and Chief Executive of Living Paintings explains,“As a child I was lucky enough to grow up playing in the beautiful gardens that Mum created.  She and my father worked tirelessly to make wonderful, intriguing spaces to share with family and friends”.

This Touch to See book is one of the most popular titles in the Living Paintings library, and we have received a wealth of wonderful comments from members who really cherish and appreciate this evocative publication. Here are some of our library members comments:

“I very much enjoyed this album about wild flowers. I was in the UK last May after many years absence. I was disappointed not to hear a cuckoo…however I heard a cuckoo on one of the CDs with the Living Paintings album”. Library member

“I am returning Album 33, British Wildflowers, in memory of Alison OldLand MBE, Founder of Living Paintings. I enjoyed it very much and enjoyed learning about all the wildflowers. I look forward to receiving another”. Library member

“Not only was the album beautifully and lovingly put together but the thermoforms were very intricate and so useful with the flowers being produced life-sized. You have taught me so much through this album. Thank You”. Library member

Thistle web

The above tactile image from this book contains a Field Scabious, Spear Thistle and a Poppy. Also containted in the montage is a photograph of a Spear Thistle © ukwildflowers.com

Angela Harvey, long time Living Paintings volunteer, wrote the audio guides which take the listener on various walks through wildlife habitats in Great Britain, from hedgerows to rivers, discovering the wild flowers that grow in them. Angela says of writing for the publication, “I learnt a lot myself as I went along, and I’m really thrilled that other people have enjoyed it so much”.

Click here and fill in the online order form to borrow ‘British Wild Flowers’ or telephone  01635 299771.


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