Recycled roof slates and crocheted mice

23 Jul
A slate label in Wordsworth House garden

New Life: A slate taken from Wordsworth House roof

Kat in Wordsworth House garden

Lady in red: Kat, skilled secretary and calligrapher

Amanda has found a clever new use for damaged roofing slates taken from the house here and other National Trust-owned homes and farms around the northern Lake District. With the help of garden volunteer Kat, who’s a whiz at calligraphy, she’s turned them into giant plant labels – and they look wonderful.

Kat, who’s also a skilled secretary, says Amanda’s handwriting is worse than a doctor’s, hence her offer to help out.

Visitors have always been interested in the wide range of heritage fruit we grow, but up to now Amanda hadn’t found sympathetic labels for them. It truly is a unique collection, as most of the apple, pear, plum and other wall-growing varieties date from pre 1800.

The garden volunteers bring all sorts of skills – Lynne who crocheted my pals Bubble and Squeak, the mice, also makes the tea cosies that you can see on TV’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch.

The only other place we know of that does something similar with slates – in this case with poetry written on them – is Calke Abbey, a glorious hoarders’ paradise in Derbyshire, packed with generations of fascinating collections and bric-a-brac.

The Georgians were great recyclers – reusing everything from tea leaves to human hair and teeth – so we think William and the rest of the Wordsworths would have approved.

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One Response to “Recycled roof slates and crocheted mice”

  1. Larry September 11, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    Great idea, it makes me want to do the same with my old roof slates.

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