Bespoke Sign

One day while paging through Issue 174 of Gardens Illustrated magazine, I was drawn to a colorful illustration that spread across two pages of a story about herbs.  I saw that it was designed by Hannah McVicar a famous English illustrator.

I was immediately was drawn to the style of her floral depictions and set out to contact her about the possibility of purchasing the rights to use one or two of the flowers on a sign that was to be mounted on the front of our English inspired guest house, Cottage at Crabtree Gardens.

Hannah replied to my email and explained that she could not allow me to use any part of the illustration as all rights were reserved. Then, she most graciously offered to design a bespoke illustration for the Cottage using an array of herbs and flowers that I preferred.  This was something that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams! When I read her response, I could do nothing other than cry.

I sent her the names of some of the herbs and flowers that we grew  because they were pollinator friendly, such as foxglove, Queen Anne’s lace, perilla, monarda, bronze fennel, milkweed and butterfly bush.  She added a few others and came up with this magnificent sign for me.

Hannah was one of the nicest people I’ve ever dealt with, and I appreciate her taking time out of her hectic life to help me out with my sign, it’s something that I’ll treasure forever.

How could I have been so blessed to have been able to make this connection, a sign designed by a famous English illustrator who just so happens to be the daughter of Jekka McVicar who has celebrity status and is an expert herb grower in England? I’ll never know, but I will always believe in fate.

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About crabtreegardens

I am a passionate decorator and the head gardener at Crabtree Gardens, LLC, which is a five acre naturalized garden located in Drums, PA. I advocate chemical-free, low maintenance gardening methods and working along with nature. I'm a freelance garden writer and member of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators.
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12 Responses to Bespoke Sign

  1. yinyin says:

    Beautiful sign! Love the painting style , I have a book about cats in which there are many pictures painted in this style ! ^ – ^

  2. Anna B says:

    Great blog! So happy I found it 🙂 I am enjoying reading back through your posts 🙂

  3. What a lovely story and the sign is perfect! I’ve visited Jekka’s blog before and it’s wonderful-though I haven’t been there recently. ~ Marsha

  4. Nancy Heraud says:

    Just love Jekka and Hannah so much! They are fabulously talented ladies! Lucky you to have an original Hannah!

  5. WOW! What a treasure! I love your sign.

  6. Jean says:

    That is a gorgeous work of art as well as a beautiful sign. I love purchasing one-of-a-kind items from the artists and craftspeople that are easy to find in Maine; they add something special to our homes and gardens.

  7. Thank you Jean, I too love original garden pieces from local craftsmen, as a matter of fact, we are holding a craft show here at the gardens in December.

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