As we turn the page on the last year, it's time to hang our new calendars. Whether our 2021 plans will be postponed for a little longer or not, right now we need some fresh pictures to brighten our walls and make home our happy place.
Peggy & Kate’s new, beautifully illustrated garden calendar is calming us with peaceful visions of nature and making our hearts bloom for a summer spent outside. We spoke with Kate Cronk (the illustrator behind Peggy & Kate) to uncover the seeds of her idea.
What was the thinking behind the gardening theme for the calendar?
“I had the idea when I lived in London, my flat was on the South Circular and I really missed having a garden.
I found myself painting lots of gardens in my sketchbook as a way of enjoying nature at home and thought a calendar would be a lovely way of bringing some nature in. It took another 2 years to actually do it though!”
Are the garden paintings based on real gardens or are they fictional?
“They're a combination. As I was painting during lockdown, I had to use a lot of my old sketchbooks for reference, as well as making things up.
I love RHS and National Trust gardens; Great Dixter and Sissinghurst Castle Garden were particularly inspirational. I wanted the gardens to look natural, so you could imagine yourself walking through them.”
“August is my favourite illustration. I can imagine coming across the greenhouse on a hot day and having a good nose around.”
Are you a keen gardener?
“I love gardening. My parents own a plant nursery so I've been in that world since I was a baby. I'm quite a lazy gardener though and I love plants that don't need much year-round intervention.
I am slightly obsessed with grasses and love to watch them move and change throughout the seasons. I like to use my garden for relaxing and drawing mainly. I love being outside even if it's freezing cold.”
Do you have a favourite garden?
“I think my favourite garden is Sussex Prairie garden. I only visited it for the first time this year but it has so much texture and the paths lead you right through the middle of all the planting. So it's really fun to walk around and perfect for appreciating things up close.”
Which month in the calendar is your favourite illustration?
“I think August is my favourite illustration. I can imagine coming across the greenhouse on a hot day and having a good nose around.”
What are your hopes for the next 12 months?
“I hope 2021 is full of hugs and hanging out with my friends and family outdoors. I also have an idea for a children's book – with a gardening theme, obviously!”
Whether filled with family snaps, holiday adventures, pet portraits or wedding memories, our wall calendars bring joy 365 days a year.