An Artist, Not.

Garden map Wm

 Not to scale


A little while ago Janet and Cathy asked me if I could draw up a map of the garden, to make it easier to see how the different areas fit together. C’est voilà. It will never hang in the Tate, but I hope it meets its intended purpose.

The trees are more densely planted than this, but for clarity I’ve left most of them out. There are trees between the lawn and the river and the woodland extends outwards in all directions. The Cabin/Workshop looks as if it is about to fall down. It probably is. Just not necessarily in the direction indicated on the drawing. The greenhouse is decidedly wonky. Must work on perspective. And I realised, after I’d inked it all in and scanned it, I forgot to put a door on the Man Shed. There must be something deeply significant about that..


2018-02-27T16:14:42+00:00January 28th, 2014|Tags: |


  1. countrysidetales January 28, 2014 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    You’ve also forgotten to draw in Woodrow, Ptolemy, Ptolemy Too and the mice, squirrels and deer….

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      They don’t stay still long enough, that’s the problem!

  2. Cumbrian January 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Maybe not quite up to Tate standard, but it gets the information across.

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      I’d say definitely not up to Tate standard, even Modern.. thanks Cumbrian.

  3. Crafty Gardener January 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I love seeing a birds eye view of your property, gives a much better understanding of the various sections of your gardens and property. Great idea.

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      It also got me thinking, as I was drawing it, about the changes I’d like to make. It will evolve.

  4. Jenny January 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Brilliant – so much easier to picture all the places you mention now. Cheers 🙂

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      I’m glad it helps!

  5. Pauline January 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the picture, it gives a good idea of where everything is .

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome Pauline, it was quite fun to do!

  6. Simone January 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    I love this map! Especially the wiggly trees! I think the map should be your new header so we can have a reference point when you take us around the land!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      Wiggly trees are the only sort I can do!

  7. Amy at love made my home January 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Hello! I love your map and it is great to see what goes where, I can picture things better in my mind already and it will help in the future too. You should frame your picture and put it on your wall, I think that it is really good and I am very impressed that you drew it in 3D, that is amazing. Give yourself the credit where it is due Jessica!! xx

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      I will need to update it as we do stuff.. I was hoping for another veg bed (below the first two) this year, but it’s way too wet to work out there at the moment.

  8. Chloris January 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Well, I think it is an excellent map, it reminds me of the one in Wind in The Willows showing where Ratty and all the other animals live. Now we can see perfectly where everything is. Except you haven’t marked where your snowdrops grow.

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      I was thinking of Winnie the Pooh too… plenty of suitable locations for Eeyore’s gloomy patch!
      The snowdrops are, for the most part, up the sides of the 84 steps.

  9. Anna January 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Job well done Jessica. I often struggle with with maps and plans but yours is pleasing to the eye and easy to comprehend. I’m intrigued as to the differences between Man Shed and Tool Shed so do please enlighten me 🙂

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      Ahhh! The Man Shed is more of a den. It has a workbench and is the place where things are constructed and much time is spent. I was thinking that my omission of a door might be an unconscious suggestion of keeping someone in there..? Except that the damn shed even has a phone extension. If I were to shut him in he could summon assistance. The Tool Shed is where the mower and other garden stuff goes. It is also Mouse HQ.

  10. Sue@GLAllotments January 28, 2014 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Looks great and makes me envy your property!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      It’s badly run down Sue = lots of work!

  11. CJ January 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    It’s brilliant, I love it. I can picture some of the areas, and it’s nice to see how it all fits together. Is there a girl shed somewhere?

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      The girl (potting) shed is currently part of the cabin. Although lately there have been suggestions of a takeover bid on the basis that the Man Shed is structurally unsound. This means I will have to shift along a bit. It also means that the tranquil pastime of potting will be constantly interrupted by the sound of saws and drills. Negotiations are at a delicate stage.

  12. Freda January 28, 2014 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Your map is not only informative, it’s utterly delightful! Treasure it.

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks Freda! I was amazed it turned out as well as it did if I’m honest.

  13. Helene January 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Great! Makes it so much easier to relate to your photos – and makes me soooo jealous of the size of your garden!!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      It is too big really, more than we can cope with possibly. Luckily the fact that much of it is covered in trees means that it can be ignored! If I can get control over the terraces, the bank and the veg beds I will be happy for now.

  14. justjilluk January 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Well, as a dauber I think its brilliant!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jill. It was a bit more straightforward than a hairy coo!

  15. Cathy January 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Just what was needed – thanks Jessica! Sorry to keep you so busy, but could you put another ‘page’ on your blog so we can access it when we need to, please? ps I know the difference between a man shed and a tool shed, but at least our man shed has a door!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      I do need to have a bit of a pages rethink anyway. As a temporary measure I will put it under ‘About’

  16. Joanne January 28, 2014 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    It is a map with character!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      I don’t think I’d ever make it at design school!

  17. Laura January 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Thank you, it’s lovely and it all makes much more sense now!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      My pleasure… and everything is white!

  18. Wendy January 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Wonderful, Jessica. I shall keep it on hand for future posts!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      I will find it a proper home before too long. Thanks Wendy.

  19. frayed at the edge January 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    When I saw your heading, I thought “wonderful, it isn’t just me who can’t draw” ……… then I saw your delightful map!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Anne, it isn’t. Zoom in and you will see all the rubbings out!

  20. rachel January 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Great map, helps us to makes sense of your many challenges. Where’s the funicular railway? Oh, the man hasn’t quite built it yet…..

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Hmmm… I will add it to his blackboard.

  21. snowbird January 28, 2014 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Actually, you’ve done a rather smashin’ job. It is good to see the complete area. I must say there are lots of surprises here….a cabin? wonderful….derelict pond??? would love to see more of that…..what an interesting plot you

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 11:13 pm - Reply

      I just hope we don’t get frogs spawning in the ‘pond’, it doesn’t hold its water long enough and I’ve nowhere else to put them. The river is too fast flowing. Scroll down and hit the pond tag, there’s a picture.

      • snowbird January 29, 2014 at 12:08 am - Reply

        Sorry, I’m being stupid…….but scroll down on what?….xxx

        • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 12:32 am - Reply

          Sorry, my fault. If you go right down to the bottom of the page to the footer you should find a list of Tags. Click on Pond. There’s only one post there and it includes a picture of a very derelict pond.
          Alternatively, here’s the link:

  22. Denise January 28, 2014 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    It would make a wonderful cross-stitch pattern, Jessica. And if you ever want to get rid of some of your land, you can always ship a bit across here to Kent!!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 11:15 pm - Reply

      I would like to make space for some chickens somewhere. The trouble is we get a lot of foxes, even in broad daylight.

  23. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA January 28, 2014 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    It’s a super drawing of your gardens! I would frame a copy and hang it! Add to your resume after gardener, upholsterer, restorer, now garden illustrator. I’m sure there are many people who love a sketch or their gardens.

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      It doesn’t bear close scrutiny, but might have a bit of value in a hundred years or so as rustic art!

  24. wherethejourneytakesme January 28, 2014 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    What a brilliant drawing it reminds me of a painting by numbers. I especially like how you have got the roof of the cottage to look like thatch. Not sure if you have missed a step or two though!

    • Jessica January 28, 2014 at 11:37 pm - Reply

      I think I missed a good many steps! I keep spotting a whole load of other things I missed too. Essential things like the bird table. Thanks Viv.

  25. Linda January 29, 2014 at 12:46 am - Reply

    Let me be the first to comment here… is a bloody miracle, Jessica!
    Your map is so cute…I love it! And….yes…you ARE an artist!
    Your comments and replies always give me such a laugh….love your blog!
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

      Thanks Linda. Have a lovely holiday!
      P.S. I moved your comment back to the mainstream, thought you might get lonely out there with the picture, Hope that’s OK. 🙂

  26. nataliescarberry January 29, 2014 at 1:45 am - Reply

    Oh, i love that you did this drawing, Jessica. Now I’ll have a better idea about what you are talking about when you tell us about things in your blog. Hugs, Natalie 🙂

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 10:05 am - Reply

      I hope it helps Natalie. Thanks.

  27. Christina January 29, 2014 at 7:48 am - Reply

    I’m impressed, I think this should be in every post so we can refer to it always. 84 steps sounds very steep, what’s the difference in level approx.?

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 10:13 am - Reply

      I shall either give it a page of its own or put it under the ‘About’ section.
      I should think it’s 40-50 feet from the top of the hill down to the house level, and perhaps 30 feet down from the house to the river. Very approx.!

  28. Vera January 29, 2014 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Good idea to draw that plan. Now we know more about your lovely patch of the world.

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      Thanks Vera. I do hope your lovely patch is now less wet.

  29. BadPenny January 29, 2014 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Love it & makes it much clearer for me to imagine how it all fits together; great drawing !

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks Penny.

  30. wherefivevalleysmeet January 29, 2014 at 11:26 am - Reply

    I now feel as if I can take a virtual walk around your garden Jessica.

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      A virtual walk is about all I’m doing at the moment Rosemary, it’s a swamp out there.

  31. Em January 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I absolutely love it. Perhaps some splashy watercolour next time? It does its job and I;m now much clearer as to where everything is. May be using it as a map soon…..

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Oh-er… I’ll need you to teach me how to do that!
      I saw something similar at one of the NT places we visited last year and thought it might work for here.

  32. Janet/Plantalisciousj January 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Hurrah, thank you!! I love it, particularly the lack of a door on the man shed. Says so much… I’m tempted to suggest the addition of contour lines, given how steep it all is, but this is splendid. What a fun – and challenging – area to garden, so much space, but mostly inconveniently angled. You’ll never be bored… And it really will help add context to your posts.

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      I’m so glad you like it! I had tried indicating a drop off down to the river, railway cutting style, but it didn’t really work!

  33. Jayne Hill January 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    You clever girl, and thank you, it does make visualising things much easier.

    I know from my experience of mapping Bag End that it is MUCH harder than it looks.

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      It puts me in mind of all the things I want to change though, that is the problem!

  34. Linda@arichtapestry January 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the map of your garden and land – very artistic and much appreciated as I’m always picturing places in my mind, love maps in general and sketch maps in books.

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Like you I love maps, but sketch maps in books are particularly fascinating. There is a humorous version to this one I’d like to work up sometime, Winnie the Pooh style.

  35. colleen January 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    I really, really like home made maps and this is quite a gem; and wjat a picture it paints of you, avoiding the rain, industrious with your fine tipped pens. Brilliant.

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks Colleen. It will evolve for sure, I had good fun doing it. Thankfully from memory though, no rain involved!

  36. Casa Mariposa January 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    You have SO MUCH SPACE! My neighbors and I are nut-to-butt and I wish I had more privacy. Love the doorless man shed. That will teach him a lesson!

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Nut-to-butt.. I love it. You Americans have such a wonderful turn of phrase!
      Now you see why I will be following your dry shade experiments so closely.

  37. Sarah January 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    The map is so good and helps us to visualize your lovely home and garden.
    Sarah x

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah. A hand drawn map is like photography, you can leave out the less than pretty bits.

  38. haggiz January 29, 2014 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you for doing that for us. I can picture it all so much better now! Julie x

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome Julie 🙂

  39. elaine January 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Quite a challenging garden from the look of it – loved the sketch.

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Especially challenging for the knees. They have started to creak. Thanks Elaine.

  40. welshhillsagain January 29, 2014 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    I love maps and I love this. There are so many similarities between your space and mine – size, slope, falling over sheds and greenhouses. I have been so absent from my garden in recent months that a wander around makes me hyperventilate. Any map would need to show the extensive areas of creeping buttercup…

    • Jessica January 29, 2014 at 11:46 pm - Reply

      In my case it’s ground elder. What a shame I can’t draw it… 🙂

  41. SeagullSuzie January 30, 2014 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Brilliant idea, I can tell you there are absolutely no similarities between your garden and mine-sadly (for me that is).

    • Jessica January 30, 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Ah, but you live by the sea, which I would love!
      Having a big garden also makes you a slave to it, there is little time for much else.

  42. Jo January 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Well that puts everything in to perspective now when you mention each area in your posts. You’ve got so much interest in your garden, I don’t think your blog posts will ever dry up, there’s plenty there to blog about for years to come.

    • Jessica January 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      And to work on Jo. Sometimes I wish I had a magic wand.

  43. charles January 31, 2014 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Consumed with envy. My mother, aunt and uncle were raised on Dartmoor, arriving as refugees from France in around 1940. My father was also born in Devon. A man shed, a river and a greenhouse! Heaven indeed.

    • Jessica January 31, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

      Hi Charles and welcome to rusty duck!
      We moved to Devon relatively recently, but I have become very fond of it… apart from the weather! One of the reasons we came down here was to get more space to garden. Possibly though I have bitten off more than I can chew!

  44. Natalie February 3, 2014 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    You did a great job! It will be wonderful.

    • Jessica February 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks Natalie, I hope so… easy to draw, harder to achieve!

  45. CherryPie February 3, 2014 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    I love this, now I can visualise where everything is 🙂

    • Jessica February 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      It came out better than I thought it might, so everything is broadly where it should be. Thanks Cherie.

  46. Alison February 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Hehe, yes, I was wondering what you thought was the meaning in leaving the door off the Man shed. Was it to keep him in or keep him out?

    • Jessica February 7, 2014 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      In! 🙂

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