Mary Mary Quite Contrary Bird Baths

The last few weeks I have been making bird baths for the Bishops Palace English Country Garden Festival in Wells this weekend. Today was the first day but you still have a chance to come along tomorrow or Sunday!

I thought how nice it would be to make some work based on a garden theme and remembered that old traditional English nursery rhyme …

“Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With Silver Bells and Cockle Shells,
And Pretty Maids all in a row”

I have read that there are different views about the meaning of the rhyme, some say it was about the reign of  Mary Queen of Scots, while others believe it was about Mary Tudor. The rhyme might suggest religious metaphors of Catholicism (silver bells) and maybe the pretty maids all in a row symbolise the rows of Protestants that were executed by Mary Tudor.
However if the rhyme was written not long before it was first published in 1744 then this would be unlikely as both queens reigned in the sixteenth century. But then it could have been written earlier …

I find it interesting that many traditional nursery rhymes appear to be all sweet and innocent but turn out to reveal a much more sinister meaning.

However I made these bird baths in all sweetness and light, taking the nursery rhyme only as it reads!

They are all hand formed shapes (some using a mould and some without) using cement mortar mixtures.

Here is a collection of the baths at the garden festival.

Silver bells, cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row, displayed in different ways, on cobbles, terracotta drainpipes, slates and balustrade plinths to help customers imagine ways they could place them in their gardens …

Silver Bells, Cockle Shells and Pretty Maids All in a Row at the Bishops Palace

 

Silver Bells

 

Silver bells

 

Cockle Shells

 

pretty maids fb

And Pretty Maids All in a Row

 

And a flower bowl

 

At the Bishops Palace

At the Bishops Palace

 

Click here if you would like to know more about the English Country Garden Festival and visit.

🙂

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Mary Mary Quite Contrary Bird Baths

  1. These are gorgeous Kate! Hope they are selling well. Dionne Ible
    From: Kate Rattrays Mosaic Blog To: qemamu@ymail.com Sent: Friday, 10 June 2016, 20:24 Subject: [New post] Mary Mary Quite Contrary Bird Baths #yiv3984265580 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3984265580 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3984265580 a.yiv3984265580primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3984265580 a.yiv3984265580primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3984265580 a.yiv3984265580primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3984265580 a.yiv3984265580primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3984265580 WordPress.com | Kate Rattray posted: “The last few weeks I have been making bird baths for the Bishops Palace English Country Garden Festival in Wells this weekend. Today was the first day but you still have a chance to come along tomorrow or Sunday!I thought how nice it would be to make ” | |

  2. Pingback: Let There Be Light (and Water)! | Kate Rattray's Mosaic Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s